BABY'S FIRST YEAR: WHAT TO EXPECT THE FIRST YEAR (PLUS HOW TO SPEND LESS!!)
Babies don’t need much. A cozy place to sleep. A safe seat for the car. Some warm clothes and blankets. But once you get into all of the costs of raising a child in their first year, it really starts to add up! Children are expensive, even if their needs are few. What can you expect to spend on your baby in their first year of life? Quite a bit, but if you do some careful planning, those costs can be significantly reduced.
Your baby needs to eat! If you have your baby on formula and pre-made baby food, you can expect to spend about $20 per week on a tin of formula, and slightly more once they start eating solid foods. That doesn’t count any extra costs if your little one requires a special blend. All together, you are looking at over $1200 in food costs for baby’s first year. Want to reduce that? Skip the formula altogether and give breastfeeding a try, if you are able. If that isn’t an option, buy in bulk whenever you can, which might save you up to 20% at a time!
Some people will go all out and buy an entire cot set, complete with change table, dresser, rocker, and more. While that is fine if you can afford it, many can’t stomach the soaring costs of baby furniture. Buying new, you can expect to spend more than $1500 to outfit a nursery room. And that is on the low end! If you want to spend less, make friends with some moms of toddlers. Buying their used infant furniture can save you a bundle, and they will likely be happy to easily get rid of the bulky items that they no longer need.
Ah, the joy of diapering. Most babies will go through just about 3,000 nappies in the first year. Hard to imagine that such a tiny creature will need so many! Since a disposable can cost between .35 and .50 depending on size, you can expect to spend up to $1500, and that doesn’t even include wipes. To save costs, consider cloth nappies. The upfront costs are higher, but they pay off in the end, especially since you can use them for more than one child or resell! If cloth isn’t a good choice for you, try buying diapers in bulk before your little one is even born. Stock up when you see a good sale and reduce those last minute, middle of the night emergency nappy runs, where you will pay top dollar since you are desperate.
Since you are about to have a baby, this expense is probably the #1 item on your mind. Childcare costs are soaring, and care for just one baby can range between $50 and $200 per day. Yes, day. The astronomical amount that you can expect to spend in that first year starts at $13,000 and just goes up sharply from there. If you have made the decision that both parents need to work, there are still ways that you can save on care costs. Look into a nanny share or a home family daycare, which can cost a lot less than a private nanny or center. Also, don’t forget to look into government rebates and financial assistance, which can significantly reduce your costs.
Clothes, blankets, bottles… all of those little items do add up. If you buy everything new, you will probably spend hundreds of dollars just on those extras that you might not actually need. To save money, ask yourself a few questions before any purchase. Do I really need this? How long will my child use this? Can I buy this used instead? Can I borrow this? Since baby items are used for such a short amount of time (sometimes just a few days to a few weeks), there is a huge resale market for any item you can imagine. Better yet, if you have any mom friends, see if you can set up a time to borrow and trade items. Babies grow so quickly; there is really no need to buy new!
Overall, you can expect to spend between $4,000 and $25,000 on your baby in their first year of life. It’s quite a range, but by following some of these money savings tips, you can reduce your spending a lot. Remember, buy in bulk, buy used, and borrow whatever you can! Having a baby doesn’t need to break the bank or your budget.