Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

Balancing My Budget In 2013 Part Two: Baby Expenses

on March 25, 2013

Today’s post follows a previous post, Balancing My Budget In 2013 Part One: Fixed Expenses. If you’ve ever had children, or have ever talked money with someone who has, you will know how expensive a new baby can be. Getting pregnant in a year where I wanted to get positive cash flow happening might not be considered great timing but, then again, is there ever a perfect time to have a baby?

Obviously, having a baby is a significant on-going expense, and I will probably write about how I am financially coping over the coming years. For now, I can see this being divided into two main expenses: getting the baby out safely, and supplies for when the baby is here.

Where and how to birth a baby needs to be more than just a financial decision. The cheapest option would be alone and at home, because you don’t even need to pay for the trip to the hospital. This might be fine if you happen to live with a qualified midwife, but I don’t. Since I am firmly ruling that option out for safety reasons, I am left with a few options: a public hospital as a public patient, a home birth with an independent midwife, and a private hospital with a private obstetrician. My partner and I have chosen a home birth with the midwife, which is going to cost us $5000. She charges a flat fee, and happily it is the same amount as the Baby Bonus offered by the federal government.

The fun, although financially dangerous, part is preparing for the baby’s arrival. This is the part where expectant parents get to go browsing through the baby stores, looking at cute little pants and shirts. Well, it was fun for me until I started looking at price tags. Good grief, even my clothes don’t often cost that much.

I’m sorry, little one, but you’re going to be the king or queen of second hand, at least until you’re old enough to realise how cheap Mummy is being.

Here is a short budget I’ve drawn up, comparing what I could easily spend in retail versus second hand or homemade. I don’t know if this comparison makes me want to laugh or cry.

Item Quantity New Subtotal Made / Second Hand Subtotal Difference
Cot 1 $299.00 $299.00 $40.00 $40.00 $259.00
Pram 1 $750.00 $750.00 $0.00 $0.00 $750.00
Baby carrier 2 $230.00 $460.00 $30.00 $60.00 $400.00
Clothes 30 $15.00 $450.00 $2.00 $60.00 $390.00
Car seat 1 $269.00 $269.00 $15.00 $15.00 $254.00
Feeding chair 1 $59.00 $59.00 $15.00 $15.00 $44.00
Bottles 10 $6.79 $67.90 $0.00 $0.00 $67.90
Nappies 24 $30.00 $720.00 $2.00 $48.00 $672.00
Wipes 24 $5.00 $120.00 $0.10 $2.40 $117.60
Breast pads 5 $11.95 $59.75 $0.10 $0.50 $59.25
Breast pump 1 $79.00 $79.00 $0.00 $0.00 $79.00
Cot sheets 5 $25.00 $125.00 $10.00 $50.00 $75.00
Blankets 5 $25.00 $125.00 $10.00 $50.00 $75.00
Wraps 10 $2.50 $25.00 $1.50 $15.00 $10.00
Play mat 2 $25.00 $50.00 $5.00 $10.00 $40.00
Toys 10 $5.00 $50.00 $0.00 $0.00 $50.00
Bath 1 $25.00 $25.00 $0.00 $0.00 $25.00
Bassinette 1 $129.00 $129.00 $0.00 $0.00 $129.00
Nappy bag 1 $49.00 $49.00 $0.00 $0.00 $49.00
Steriliser 1 $49.95 $49.95 $0.00 $0.00 $49.95
Mattress protector 2 $39.95 $79.90 $15.00 $30.00 $49.90
Plug protectors 2 $5.95 $11.90 $2.89 $5.78 $6.12
Totals:     $4,053.40   $401.68 $3,651.72

If you’re looking at some of my new prices, and wondering why they’re so low, for a lot of them I went with the cheapest product I could find on a random baby store website if I didn’t already know a price. It would not be challenging to spend $10,000 on this. Some of the second hand items are free from friends, so there is no price to include for them.

My approach to this will also save me money. I plan to breast feed, expressing milk if I need to, which is essentially free. If I wanted to use formula instead I would be looking at $30 per tin. With nappies and wipes I plan to make my own. These will be incredibly cheap, since I am able to reuse fabric that we already have; old towels, torn sheets, that sort of thing. I need to buy some elastic and other miscellaneous bits, but I should be able to make all the nappies I need for the price of a single disposable pack.

Working through this budget so early has had a second bonus: by knowing exactly what I need immediately, and what I can do without for a few days after baby is here, I know which items I can ask for as gifts. Melbourne has a thriving second hand market compared to Canberra, so I’m able to get my parents to scout out eBay for me and pick up cheap things as they become available. Other things such as plug protectors and play mats make easy gifts for people to give, and I don’t need to feel guilty about asking for expensive items. If we play it smart, this doesn’t need to break my budget at all.

One response to “Balancing My Budget In 2013 Part Two: Baby Expenses

  1. […] post follows a previous post, Balancing My Budget In 2013 Part Two: Baby Expenses. My irregular expenses are the next area that I need to focus on, and the one that I have decided […]

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