Post # 1
So I have this underlying fear that no matter when we get pregnant or have a baby, we will end up losing a job/having some extra cost/etc etc. Can’t shake it.
Darling Husband has been trying to tell me that if we wait until life is perfect and/or completely predictable, we’ll never end up with a baby, because life just does not work the way you tell it to.
We don’t want to tell anyone in RL that we are starting TTC because we just don’t want to deal with the questions and pressure yet (both positive and negative), and would like to keep it to ourselves.
So, I’m turning to the bees for reassurance – can you share some positive stories that it is possible to parent a baby without designer furniture, cadillac strollers, 10s of $1000s in the bank, etc?
Post # 3
Of course it is, a lot of people do it. All your baby really needs is food, clothes, and a place to live. You don’t need all the designer stuff.
For example there are 2nd hand places that you can get clothes to baby furniture. You can always make your own baby food and do cloth diapering.
We bought all our baby furniture on Craigslist from crib to dresser to baby changing station. And the crib isn’t a drop down. A lot of the clothes come from garage sales to hand me downs from my SIL.
Post # 4
When I was freaking out about budget yesterday I think about my one co-worker. They had 2 surprise babies, a wedding all on one income and a mortgage. So I look to them for inspiration, if they can do it, we can do it.
Your baby does NOT need a $400 stroller!!! I refuse to register for anything over $150-$200.
Post # 5
Completely possible, and also the smart thing to do – buying all this expensive stuff that will only be used for a few months is not necessary at all.
We bought everything used except for bottles and carseats. We received tons of baby clothes from friends who are done having babies, so didn’t buy any baby clothes.
And all my maternity clothes were also bought used, because new stuff is too expensive and they aren’t worn long enough so the clothes were in excellent condition.
You can save on food by breastfeeding and making your own baby food – also healthier than what you’d buy in stores.
Once you have a baby, if you find yourself in a difficult financial situation, you’ll find a way to make it work. There are always ways to save or to bring in a little bit more money.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2010 - MacLean Park
I did a budget post on my blog on how much it took us to have a baby, I’ll copy and paste here:
Prenatal Care – $1662.50
• Obstetrician visits: $587.50
• 2 Ultrasounds at the hospital (my doc didn’t have a machine in office): $500
• Blood work (this is a rough estimate, I didn’t keep all my receipts): $250
• Prenatal Vitamins (I bought generic brands): $75
• Hospital charges (for a bout of preterm labor at 35 weeks and a false alarm at 38 weeks): $250
Delivery – $523.25
• Hospital Charges: $523.25
Nursery – $265
• Changing Table (handmade): $15
• Crib (Thrifted): $85
• Highchair (Thrifted): $20
• Glider (heirloom I re-covered): $45
• Maternity clothes (just a few staples from Target, a lot of clothes still worked): $100
Gifts from the Showers – (people give you TONS of stuff for your first baby, especially first-time grandparents)
• All clothes
• At least a 3 month supply of diapers
• Feeding supplies (bottles and formula, manual breast pump, burp cloths)
• Stroller/Car Seat
• Bath care
Our insurance covered 75% of our health care costs. While we had a ton of stuff gifted to us, you can really take advantage of Craigslist, thirft stores, and garage sales when it comes to baby things. A lot of stuff is easily cleaned and washed, like swings or pack and plays. Plus it helps to borrow things from a mommy friend first to see if your baby even likes them before purchasing. Every garage sale around will have baby clothes/shoes/toys/etc. because they grow out of things so quickly. You can really save some cash by capitalizing on that!
If you’re planning on pumping, I’d recommend renting from the hospital or trying things out first with a manual breast pump (I chose Medela for $35). You really don’t have to break the bank on baby supplies, really the main cost is dependent on your health care and insurance coverage, which you can easily inquire about beforehand.
Post # 7
The person in this world I love and respect the most told me not to wait until I can afford it, or it will never happen.
Another friend (mother of three-) told me NO one can afford kids, even if they are millionares.
Here is my thought on the subject- as long as the couple is married, of age, and physically and emotionally ready- and at least one person has a decent job with health coverage and a decent place to live- go for it. I know people who have had children (both people I do and do not respect) with nothing. No health insurance. No jobs. Nothing. I know people I respect who lived off the grid and had no heat, and made it work. They made it work.
There are no absolutes. I made min. requirements (at least one decent job with health coverage and a decent place to live) for us before we considered.
Post # 8
Yes, you can do it. We had a better income when I became pregnant, then my SO was laid off his job, he found 2 more, but the pay isn’t the same, so we are doing it on less than we thought. Good thing? our home is paid in full, so are our cars, so we only have monthly bills like gas, internet, phones, etc.
I’m a 1st time mom, so I got a lot given to me. We were Team Green so we got a ton of wipes/diapers. People didn’t know WHAT to get us! LOL I work as well, at a Daycare doing GA Pre-K, so I will get a discount and when I’m off, she’s off. A perk to being a teacher on the school calender.LOL
One big thing-I coupon. I am not like the shows (biggest I saved was $15 on a $30 grocery bill) but every little bit helps. I can stock up on foods and diapers for daycare.( I use cloth at home.)
Also cosigning cosignment shops! LOVE them. She has a lot from tjhose AND you can sale back when you are done. They have formula too or you can sell yours if it doesn’t work and isn’t open.(if you formula feed, I breastfed for a month before my milk dried up, so research formula beforehand as well, just in case)
Post # 9
Talk to women from your mothers’ and grandmothers’ generations. People raised perfectly healthy, well-adjusted kids on very tight budgets and only the bare essentials in the department of baby care supplies.
In my opinion, what’s MOST important is that you have plenty of quality time to spend with your baby through the preschool years. If you asked any kid what they really wanted the most, I guarantee there are toddlers of millionares who would like nothing more than extra time with mom and dad.
It’s your presence, not your presents, that really matter.
Post # 10
If you can cut out daycare, you can save an insane amount. Do the math of what having one car/one income would save ( insurance, gas, work clothes, eating out l) and stay home if you can!
Will your salary really cover day care and be enough to contribute to the household needs, or would you basically be working for daycare payments?
So stay home, Then you can use your budgeting skills to aquire baby needs through craigslist, baby showers, hand me downs from friends etc.
They will only be little for so long! Once they are in school you can go back to working!
Post # 11
If you are always waiting for your life to be predictable, or to have a certain amount of money in savings, or to live in a certain type of house, you will NEVER find the perfect time to have a baby.
I am a firm believer that a baby costs as much as you make it cost.
Your baby does NOT need an Uppababy Vista ($600)
Your baby does NOT need a matching designer nursery.
Your baby does NOT need the most expensive car seat from Europe.
Your baby needs love, clothes to keep him warm, and a stroller/car seat/crib that keeps him or her safe. Whether they are used, new, given to you as gifts, it doesn’t matter! He or she will never know the difference.
Post # 12
thank you to all the responses! it meant a lot to read them.
I’ve been so nervous to start TTC because I read these blogs and posts about these expensive carseats and strollers, and state of the art nurseries, and thought, “there’s no way we can do that.”
I felt like having a baby before being a millionaire made me a horrible mom – as though I was being selfish and having a baby before we were financially set. but now I realize, that financially set doesn’t mean being able to afford the $1000 stroller, or have a 2011 Mercedes SUV.
I kind of feel like a dummy now that I’m thinking about it, and almost feel selfish for worrying about such silly things. Thank you all for the support and reality check
Post # 13
Have you heard about JustBetween Friends consignment? http://www.jbfsale.com It’s a local consignment for kids and families. When I get pregnant, I’m definitely going to use them to save on used items. Like materinity clothes. You might be able to attend a pre-sale for being a first time mom.
Post # 14
@ttn133: thanks! there’s one in CT that’s not too far a drive 🙂
Post # 15
We have a baby on a budget! The biggest expense is daycare. We were gifted the crib and infant carseat/stroller. We also had some clothes and other misc baby gifts, but overall my shower was small. We use craigslist, a local second hand store, salvation army, and ebay to buy most things. We don’t go overboard with clothes and I’ve yet to purchase anything at full retail price for him. It’s either old navy sales or used. He certainly doesn’t know the difference, and neither does anyone else. Plus, most of it is name brand and just about new.
Cloth diapering can save a lot of money (and it’s pretty easy and way cuter!) as can breastfeeding. You don’t need an expensive stroller or expensive furniture.
Post # 16
@mrstilly: we’re going to cloth diaper! I went to a CD store today, and the lady was busy so she wasn’t super helpful..but I’ve been combing ebay/amazon/diaperswappers and facebook for people trying to sell gently used ones. I just wanted to pick up a couple from 2-3 different brands in case we prefer one over another – we could still use all, but buy more of a particular one if needed. and you are right – they are SO cute. I can’t even handle it.