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Which Is Growing Faster: Baby or Expenses?

by J. Money on Wednesday, December 12, 2012

baby collage - 5 months

Haha… BABY! :) That little cutie of ours has filled out both in width and height – he’s in the top % for his age! Which is now 5 months, if you can believe that… Everyone says it, but man – they really DO grow before your eyes! And unfortunately so do the expenses…

Here’s a look at everything that’s changed since our last update 4 months ago:

  • We’ve spent an additional $1,962.58 in costs, averaging out to about $500/mo (though we seem to be spending less as the months go by, which is surprising…)
  • With the biggest costs coming from his health insurance @ $284 a pop (he’s stuck under my expensive plan ‘cuz the Mrs’ booted kids out from their school ones)
  • But we got a $528.81 credit back ‘cuz we had overpaid for our pregnancy visits! Woo!
  • Baby Money has grown to over 17 pounds now, up from around 9 I wanna say.
  • He’s also now able to stand really well when we hold him and let him do it on his own :)
  • And he’s gone from speaking in “ga-ga” language to “ARrghhhh AAHHHHH RghhhhH!!!” pterodactyl voice. Making it extremely hard at times to tell if he’s super excited or super angry, haha… something the doctor says is a-okay – he’s just testing out his vocal chords :)
  • And finally, he’s sleeping a LOT more now throughout the night, with maybe only one or two awakenings now instead of like 16, haha… Making mommy and daddy very happy!

I’ve also really been loving my time alone with him every week as the wife assimilates into the working world again. The only problem now is that my work is really starting to back up, causing me to hustle late into the nights and over the weekend now just to catch up :( So we’re considering the day-care option again, probably just part-time to start, but of course that has a whole slew of pros and cons too. Chiefly financial at around $1,000 a pop JUST for a few half-days! It’s pretty BoNkErS. But on the other hand it would be great to free up a little time again AND surround the little guy with other babies and kids too which I’m sure he’d just love. We can’t keep him secluded at the house forever right? Or could we??? Haha… The idea of handing him over to strangers kinda freaks us out ;) But I guess we have to deal with it at some point.

We should know more about that in the next month or two, and of course will keep you updated. It’ll be pretty hard to hide a $1,000 charge every month anyways, haha… And in the meantime we’ll just continue loving all that quality time with him! :)

So from conception to five months old, we’re now at a grand total of $5,241.83 out of pocket. With only one last hospital bill remaining which will be either $1,200, or $200, all depending on what goes down when we call to challenge it ;) I’d tell you what it’s about, but the Mrs. is in charge cuz the whole thing just confuses me… Something about covering baby in womb vs. outside of?

Overall we feel like we’re doing pretty well though - what do you think? Do these numbers seem on par with any of your experiences? Or am I the only crazy one ever to track it all? (If you click that link you’ll see every single line item so far ;)) Either way I gotta admit it’s kinda fun. Not when I wait 4 months to update it and lose 3 hours in one sitting, haha, but def. seeing how it all pans out over time. I’ll work on updating the list faster this next round…

Only 17 and 1/2 more years to go! Then we find out exactly how much babies cost!

———-
PS: Do you ever watch Parks and Rec? I’m thinking of taking a page from Tom Haverford’s play book and creating my own line of “baby swag” rental clothes since most of our hand-me-downs were fancy labels. Parents will not only SAVE a ton of money not having to buy new all the time, but their kids will look super fly in the process! YES! I’m gonna do it!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lance @ Money Life and More December 12, 2012 at 7:19 am

Very cool that you’re keeping track. Have you thought of maybe hiring someone to come to the house for a few hours a couple days a week? May be cheaper than daycare if you find someone who just needs some work but is reliable. Just an idea…

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2 Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies December 12, 2012 at 7:38 am

You know what you should do? Make a graph with two lines to track growth of expenses and growth of Baby Money. I bet he’s gonna be more expensive when he’s got growth spurts and stuff (new clothes, more food, etc)!

Or maybe I’m the only one nerdy enough to enjoy that kind of graph =)

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3 moneysavingmama December 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

I wish I kept track of baby expenses from the beginning. One suggestion on child care might be using a college student. When I was in my last year of school, I was a part time nanny for a family of two kids. It was MUCH cheaper for them and they worked around MY schedule. I was able to go to school (I only had like 2 classes a semester left), work part time at my pharmacy gig, and nanny as well. I know a few other families who do this as well, especially in the summer time when students are looking for a few months of stable work. Just a thought!

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4 Alexis December 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

I agree with Lance and moneysavingmama — see if you can bring someone into your home part-time, especially while the baby is so young. Since you’re home anyway, you’d be able to supervise the babysitter (from the other room, of course). You wouldn’t have to worry about not being around in case of an accident, or wonder whether the babysitter was keeping him busy or just letting him stare at the TV, because you’d wander through the living room whenever you needed a snack, or something. And depending on how many hours you need, having a babysitter in your house can be really cost-effective, at least compared to group daycare. Think — no commuting costs or time used driving baby to daycare, fewer communicable illnesses that would force you to take time off to care for him (and make him miserable!), and no need to buy extra food and diapers to bring to daycare for him. He can socialize with other babies in the park when the babysitter takes him out for a walk. :-)

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5 Emily December 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

HAHA Baby Swag!! I love that you referenced Parks and Rec! Please do it. Make Tom proud and get Ron Swanson to invest.

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6 Brian December 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thanks to our good friend and my sister in law we have barely had to purchase any baby clothes, which is saving us a ton! We will just pay it forward to the next friend that has a little boy.

Also I’ve always believed babies are trouble when they become mobile and based on what I can tell from my little guy, I am in trouble!

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7 Joe @ Retire By 40 December 12, 2012 at 10:25 am

What a cute little dude! Yeah, the expense seems high, but I didn’t track our expenses that well. I’m pretty sure it’s not that high at that age because I added him to our insurance. Yeah, daycare is just too expensive. I don’t want to pay $1000 to put him in half days. We’ll wait until he’s ready for preschool to put him back in. My mom is here to help out for a while so it’s not that bad right now. Have fun with the kid man.

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8 Joanna @ Our Freaking Budget December 12, 2012 at 10:43 am

So far we’ve tracked our pre-baby expenses — what she’s cost us before even being born. But after seeing your total after only 5 months, I don’t know if I want to keep tracking it ;) Sometimes ignorance is bliss… but if I know my husband, he’ll beg to differ.

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9 Karen @MSEnthusiast December 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

Your baby is so adorable! I love the costume. They can throw off schedules and finances a bit. It all sets back though.

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10 Linsey K December 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

Welcome to the world of childcare and working from home! The balance (if there is any) is crazy hard to achieve, but the rewards are great. My husband is home working, as well, and my youngest is now 2; it’s great seeing him model what “daddy does” all day. If you can find any way at all to keep him nearby during the day, please consider it. Having a “mother’s helper” in the house with you for an hour or two a day can really help (as others have mentioned) and you’re not wasting time transporting to daycare. Plus, no one cares for the kids better than their own daddy (except, maybe, moms… LOL). Congrats on keeping him healthy and happy. You, my friend, are an inspiration to those who want your New American Dream :)

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11 Aaron December 12, 2012 at 11:09 am

Really a cute guy you got there. I am actually surprised your costs aren’t more! This is pretty neat to see – your tracking it all.

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12 Eddie Spaghetti December 12, 2012 at 11:26 am

Excuse me if you’ve already covered this in a previous post, but did you ever consider using cloth diapers? They save you THOUSANDS of dollars vs. regular diapers, and they are way better for the environment too. We have used bumGenius 4.0′s since our little man was 6 weeks old, and they should last him until he’s done with diapers. They’re a bit of an investment up front (~$18 per diaper x 20 diapers), but after that it’s just laundry.

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13 R J Rogers December 12, 2012 at 11:27 am

Go for the ‘in-house’ sitter if you can.Stay close to your kid. Tried day-care for my daughter and all we got were ear infections. Took her out of daycare and she never had another.

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14 Stephanie December 12, 2012 at 11:38 am

He is SO adorable!!!!

I’d say that in light of the fact that you guys are paying out of pocket for health insurance, you’re doing pretty darn good. You’re averaging a little over $200/month for everything else, and considering what other folks spend on their kids that’s pretty good, especially if you’re using disposable diapers and/or formula.

I’m actually kind of intrigued to find out out much our little one will end up costing us. After the shower, it looks like we’ll probably be spending about $500 of our own money on baby gear, and I believe a $250 deductible on the hospital bill, but monthly expenses are kind of a question mark. I plan on breastfeeding, and we’re going to be cloth diapering, and my mom will be babysitting when I go back to work… so as long as those work out we actually won’t have to deal with the three biggest costs: diapers, formula and childcare. That basically leaves doctor copays and baby-related groceries/toiletries – stuff like wipes, diaper cream, baby shampoo, medicine, etc, and the cost of adding a 3rd person to our insurance (but I have that sweet government insurance, so it only increases our contribution by about $20/month to add baby to the plan).

I’d actually be interested in seeing how the subcategories of baby expenses break down, if you’ve gone into that much detail. Haha… might give me a better idea of what we’re realistically looking at spending! ;-)

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15 daveM December 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Great to see you write about a new baby. I did not keep track of expenses, I was too busy looking for food. lol Reading your article caused me to look back about 30 years… an emotional look back. lol A child brings great love into a home, they are to be treasured.

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16 Debt an the Girl December 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Yes, babies are expensive for sure. He def. has a cute smile. I have found (or so they tell me) that as children grown, the expenses usually go down as well. Hopefully that will be the case for you too.

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17 Christopher @ This that and the MBA December 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Wow kids are expensive..I guess i kinda knew that but i never really tracked expenses. Now after 2 do i finally realize this.. :-)

As for the hospital bill make sure that you call them as many offer a discount if you pay in full. Well that is atleast the case at the hospital I work at. We offer 20% right off the top but if you push sometimes you can get it up to 30%

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18 K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! December 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Your little one is too cute! It’s good that you are keeping track of his costs. That way you’ll have solid ammunition when he dares to suggest during his teenage crisis years that mom & dad didn’t do much for him. Here’s hoping that he won’t do that. ;)

I do think it’s important for the little ones to socialize with others even if you put him back in part-time although the cost is steep!

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19 Financial Black Sheep December 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

It’s good to see your expenses are low for the growing baby. Babies really do grow fast!

I figured a good round number would be $1000 a month if I had a child. I only figured in expenses for first year and didn’t consider conception as anything other than his or her first year expenses. I guess if you add 9 months to my figures, it spreads the money out and makes it look better. Either way, children seem to get more expensive every day. I would love to have a child, but a child’s expenses equals out to half of my current school tuition for the year, IF there are no complications with the birth of said child. Sad to think I would need to choose school or child, but that is what it comes down to.

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20 Alexa @ travelmiamor December 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I love this. When the time comes for us to have kids I want to keep track too…then we can share notes and you can see the difference based on state and region.

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21 lori December 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Maybe you should consider hiring a babysitter to come to your home while you work. I work from home and that is what I do. Since you don’t need many hours it shouldn’t be anymore than daycare and probably a lot less. My babysitter has a daughter that she brings so my little one has all of the interaction without any of the worry or germs. My friend has been sick almost every week since she put her little one in daycare since her son brings home tons of colds. With someone at home, you are also saving on travel costs/time and your sitter will most likely still watch your child if he is sick whereas a daycare won’t. Kids (and their parents) that go to daycare get sick a lot!

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22 debtgirl December 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Adorable! In my case, expenses are growing, oh wait, maybe its that I haven’t gotten a raise to keep up!

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23 becca December 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

That’s a super adorable kid there!
Also: sleeping in major chunks (3-4 hours or more) is HUGE! They become VERY lovable insane pterodactyls then.

I didn’t track expenses, but 5 months is also when my kidlet started daycare (which worked out reasonably ok), so I’m pretty sure the expenses got MUCH worse around that time.
I will also say: my kidlet got lots of sniffles and one or two ear troubles, but now (at 3 years) he has Immune System Of Awesome. I think if your kid is healthy, you get the illnesses early or you get them later, but you can’t minimize the total by delaying daycare (NB: if your kid has health issues early on this is a totally different case).

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24 Faith Helmin December 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm

REI, Inc. will toss you over the cliff, lol.

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25 J. Money December 13, 2012 at 12:53 am

Thanks for all the discussion guys, it helps to see what works with others out there. Especially with the daycare vs homecare type stuff… I think we’re still going to give it a try at least for a month, but we’re totally gonna play it all by ear and go from there… If it sucks, we’ll take him right back out and go with Plan B… which I don’t have yet :)

My responses for y’all:

@Lance @ Money Life and More – Funny enough we thought about that just yesterday :) But a few things nixed it: 1) It would still be distracting for me while I work cuz I’d still rather go and play with him instead! haha… and 2) We’d have to make sure they were licensed/trained just in case something crazy happened… which from what I hear is hard to find, not that we have tried yet… Oh, and 3rd) We want him to be around other babies and meet start socializing :) I think that’s an important one.
@Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies – HAH! I love that actually, that is hilarious :) I think he’s having one right now too cuz he went from drinking like 5 oz a bottle to now 8 1/2!! He’s crazy tall… If we could figur out how to correlate the two on the graph I’d totally be down :) like does each inch = $1,000 or something to compare? haha…
@moneysavingmama – Yeah! We kinda do want to try it but the 3 options I listed above to Lance squashes it :( We may change our minds though as time goes on…
@Alexis – See above responses :) Though the idea of not catching so many illnesses would make up for it!
@Emily – I’m glad you caught that! I was trying to work it into the post the entire time and finally just did it at the end, haha… Ron Swanson would be all over this! :)
@Brian – Yeah!! Everyone keeps telling us that too, haha… Gonna enjoy these last few weeks/months/days until they start crawling away from us!
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – Tell your mom to come over here next!! Mine hasn’t been over in a while! :)
@Joanna @ Our Freaking Budget – Awwww, well the good thing about once they’re out is that you can then have the other side of the equation of LOVING AND PLAYING WITH THEM! Totally makes it worth it even as those numbers climb :)
@Karen @MSEnthusiast – Hehe thanks! I think we all got more out of it than him – about 10 seconds after taking that pic he started protesting pretty loudly ;)
@Linsey K – The New American Dream is awesome :) I bet I’d get along with your husband great too, you should take him to a conference one day!
@Aaron – Thanks man :) Both he and the numbers keep me entertained, haha…
@Eddie Spaghetti – We have considered it in the past since a lot of people have recommended it, but we got into the rhythm so well with disposables tha we decided to just keep going with what works. Especially since we’ve heard horror stories about cloth too – pros and cons to both it seems. Totally awesome that you and the othes are saving tons of money though! That is one of the cons to disposables for sure :)
@R J Rogers – Oh jeez, yeah that’s what we’re hearing too… But what about the socializing aspect?
@Stephanie – Yeah, we do breast feeding but not cloth diapers :) So one win and one loss, haha… As for subcategories, I don’t have them labeled out but you can check the entire online spreadsheet of them here. I list every single item :) Congrats on your new baby in the works!
@daveM – 30 years huh? Man, I can’t even imagine where he and all our future children will be/etc. But I bet it all goes by fast! :)
@Debt an the Girl – Thanks! And we hope so too :)
@Christopher @ This that and the MBA – Yes! Definitely – good point. I tend to forget how flexible hospital bills are, so if we end up getting stuck with it at least we’ll do our best to negotiate it down – thanks for the reminder! :)
@K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! – Haha… I hadn’t even considered that – I like the way you think ;)
@Financial Black Sheep – Well at least for now :) Circumstances and priorities do change over time, so no need to worry about it being a now or never type deal. If you become ready for it one day you go from there :)
@Alexa @ travelmiamor – YES! Love it! Haha…
@lori – Well I do like the idea of another kid being here too – but I still have concerns about legal/liability stuff shall anything go wrong :( With daycare/etc I’m pretty sure most of that is covered… maybe that’s why it costs so much?! :)
@debtgirl – Raises are good! Especially when you’ve actually EARNED it :)
@becca – YES! Immune System Of Awesome – that’s what we want him to get too! I think I agree with you on it’s a now or later kinda thing, and I’d much rather get it out of the way now if possible :)
@Faith Helmin – REI, Inc.? Like shopping there for the kiddo? I don’t think we even have one of those near us so I guess I’m safe!

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26 Sarah December 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Hi Mr. Money,
I just had a baby myself (3 months old now) and I work from home writing a dissertation. I was working at night and in the wee hours of the morning. It was unsustainable and made all of us crazy. Last week I hired someone to play with her for a few hours three times a week in my house, and to come get me if there was an issue. Since she is so young, I did not want her in daycare with older kids and more germs and with less attention than I was giving her. I want to wait until she has finished her first 6 months and the immunizations that go with it.

Let me tell you, it is the best $100 bucks I have ever spent. Baby is happy, I am happy, and a college student makes more money per hour than I ever did going to college, so is also happy. I went online to care.com, paid for a three month membership, and got a list of part-time candidates who I now have at home in my handy little microsoft access database based on times they are available, qualifications, and pay scale. Most are child psychology majors, CPR trained, have had flu shots and TDAP, and have references I’ve already checked. The few continuous hours I can now devote to work without feeling guilty that I am ignoring my child are the best and worth way more than the $400 I’m going to spend per month–and a steal compared to day care centers.

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27 J. Money December 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Oh wow – good for you!!! Talk about almost the exact same situation here – ours is 5 months now and the wife has barely *touched* her dissertation because of everything :( She doesn’t function the best w/out sleep, so needless to say our next move will fix that too :)

I’m going to send this info over to my wife for us to discuss – I guess it couldn’t hurt to get more info and check it out a little? Even though I think eventually I want him in daycare w/ all the other kids, sicknesses and all… but maybe in the beginning as a trial run? Could be something.

Thanks so much! And congrats on your precious little one too :)

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28 Sarah December 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

I forgot to mention-I am also concerned about the baby getting enough socialization. Where I live, there are multiple public libraries with infant story hours open to the public. I’ve met a bunch of moms and dads and their babies there, for free, and spent a half hour or so with developing Baby S’s pre-reading skills.

I like your blog on keeping track of baby expenses; I have been doing the same. Right now mine are somewhat under yours because she is younger. I’m interested to see how it progresses. We are cloth diapering and breastfeeding at the moment, but I bet we will be where you are soon with the new childcare expenses.

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29 J. Money December 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Great idea with the library! I wonder if ours has anything similar? Curious to see how your tracking of the money goes too – keep me updated, okay? Lets’ see who lasts the longest, haha… :)

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30 lisa December 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

cute lil guy you got there! We have 6 of them, couldn’t get enough with just one. Being I’m a stay at home mom and dear dad is the only money maker, I’ve sure learned how to make the dollars stretch! I buy most clothes used, keep them in good condition by not using the clothes dryer, letting them air dry, pass them off to the next kid and when they have done their due I donate them to goodwill. I make most food from scratch, healthier for the kiddos and we take advantage of parks and libraries and cheap or free things for entertainment. My kids don’t have an xbox but a nice trampoline and bikes to keep them outside in the fresh air using all of their energy so they are nice and tired when bed time comes! THAT makes mommy and daddy happy:-) I may ‘sacrifice’ more than most folks but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. They are worth every cent (or lack there of).

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31 J. Money December 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

Awwww how wonderful!!! Your family sounds beautiful :) Good for you guys on making it work and enjoying life in the process – that’s something we can all learn from. Especially me – I’m so new at this stuff I can’t tell what’s left or right these days, haha… but I’d love to be able to comfortably have a family with 6 kids too! That would be awesome! :)

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