When baby makes three, all kinds of seeming “must-haves” can take a toll on your bottom line—from hand-knit nursery blankets to souped-up strollers.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average middle-income family shells out about $13,000 in just the first year of a baby’s life.
So how can moms and dads navigate the budget-busting new-baby minefield?
By going to the source for nuggets of advice: parents who’ve been there, done that—and spent that.
“We Buy Cloth Diapers”
Christie Gettler, 27, GiftStarter.com cofounder, Rhode Island
“When we learned that we were pregnant, my husband, Matt, and I had student loans, wedding debt, and astronomical monthly rent payments to make.
Financially speaking, it was not an opportune time to be procreating.
I wanted to use cloth diapers for financial and environmental reasons, but Matt wasn’t convinced. So our deal was that we’d try it, and if it became too much, we’d move on.
Now he’s a bigger advocate than I am!
Our stash of 40 washable diapers, 70 cloth wipes, two pail liners, and three wet bags cost less than $450—and will last us until Max, 1, gets potty trained. (And in terms of effort, we do a dedicated load of laundry every three to four days.)
Compare that to the cost of disposables over two and a half years (roughly $2,500), plus wipes, and we’ll save about $2,000. When you add in any future children, the cash really piles up.
Whenever we go past the diaper aisle at the grocery store, we have the satisfaction of saying, ‘At least we don’t have to spend money on that.’ ”