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Total Baby Costs Hit $10,000!

by J. Money on Monday, March 4, 2013

baby money eat everything

Hello hello! If you ever doubted that babies cost a lot of money, let this post be a clear warning sign ;) I just ran all the numbers and updated our Total Baby Cost Tracker, and it seems we have now crossed into the quadruple digit range. That was fast!!

Here’s a snapshot of the previous totals so far:

New total now at 8 months old: $10,447.98! (Up $4,834.25). That’s almost a 50% increase! Now granted $3,500 of that is allocated towards Baby Money’s college tuition which I retroactively included, but still – that’s all money which comes from having and loving our cute little squishy baby pie. And we’re only in year 1 still, wow…(You know that saying, “they grow up so fast?” I’m hereby changing it to, “they soak up all your money too fast!” Haha…)

You can see the breakdown of how this $10,000+ is spread out on our cost tracker, but needless to say it’ll keep growing over time. Once they’re out of diapers and toys they’ll just be into Nikes and cars like that. It really is weird watching all these numbers climb to be honest with you. And perhaps even a bit inappropriate, maybe? It doesn’t change the fact we love our baby to death, but I imagine our son could feel a bit confused one day as to why we cared so much to track it all, haha… But luckily we have a few years ’till he can read ;)

Here are some other cash gobblers looming on the horizon too:

  1. Our new SUV. Whenever we get around to picking out a new ride, we’ll be allocating around 25% of it straight to these baby costs as a “premium” since he will directly affect our decision… Maybe a little less depending on what we end up settling on.
  2. More 529 Investments. Our plan of maxing out our state deductions of $2,500/year will continue full-force as we keep saving for his future college. Even though we’ll probably need to save more than $2,500/year by the time he’s ready to go! I swear there has to be a tuition bubble around the corner somewhere, yeah? It’s getting ridiculously high!
  3. Our bogus $1,300 medical bill we’re still fighting. I’m 90% confident this will be done and over with in a month, but as it stands it’s still out there… Not gonna cross it off the list just yet and jinx ourselves – that’s a surefire way to get an ugly surprise!

So that’s the news on the baby/money front! Other than the financial hits, everything’s going just fine. J. Money Jr. is growing at an alarming rate, and continues to put every single thing he can find in his mouth no matter how big or small. And now he’s learning how to open up drawers and use keys!! I think he gets his smarts from his mother – I’m pretty sure I just drooled 24/7 when I was his age :)

Hope you and your babies are doing well too! Back to preventing J.M.J. from eating more of my wallet – both literally and figuratively! Haha… good times, good times.

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PS: It took me 4 tries to finish this post this morning – it’s like he subconsciously knows when I’m talking about him and wakes up! I’ll have to give him a hard time about it once he understands ;)


{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Call Me What You Want Even Cheap March 4, 2013 at 5:29 am

He is so cute and so expensive! $10,000 and he’s not even 1 yet. Wow! I am glad you’re doing this baby tracker, to help us DINKS folks to pay attention to the cost of a baby.

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2 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

It’s a lot of work keeping it up, but I like the pay off of tracking it all and watching it grow :) Though it would be a LOT more fun if it slowed down, haha…

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3 M March 4, 2013 at 6:01 am

Babies are expensive. Can you believe the cost of the Diaper Genie refills? A friend of mine told me that the Diaper Champ takes regular trash bags, but I don’t know. Hand-me downs come really in handy for clothes, toys and books. They grow out of stuff so quickly. That is one of the ways we tried to keep costs down.

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4 Chris March 4, 2013 at 6:05 am

You can use regular trash bags (the ones with the 4 ties) instead of refills for diaper genie.

Also, is there a reason you are getting an SUV? If its space, there’s a lot of other cheaper options (crossover, station wagon etc.) that won’t lose all of its value right away and won’t eat away at your wallet with gas money!

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5 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Awesome!!! Did not know that about trash bags w/ diaper genie, totally looking into that – thx :) As for SUV stuff, we really want one anyways to be able to haul more stuff around, especially as I go yard sale’ing and thriftshopping every other weekend. So it’s partially for baby, but largely for us :)

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6 Chris March 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

Here’s the link on how to do it. I believe it only works with the “elite” version.

http://www.magnificentbliss.com/2009/07/28/even-more-evidence-that-im-a-dork-diaper-genie-refills/

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7 Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies March 4, 2013 at 7:10 am

Wow. $10K. Wow.

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8 Lance @ Money Life and More March 4, 2013 at 7:12 am

Haha it sounds like I’ll need to save up for a down payment on a baby before we ever think about having one! In a couple short years that could be a house down payment! I’d rather be prepared than rely on our income/expense gap.

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9 AverageJoe March 4, 2013 at 7:13 am

As the father of twins who are turning 18 soon, I’d love to tell you it’ll get less expensive, dude. I’d love to do that….I really, really would….yeah…..

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10 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Hahahaa… double your pleasure! Like those Wrigley’s gum commercials – remember those? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeEX3Cn8NgU

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11 Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank March 4, 2013 at 7:14 am

Your bub is a cutie pie!

We just had our first bub 6.5 weeks ago and he has already cost us a small fortune. I have also started a future fund for him, but ours is going at $10 a week (so hopefully by the time he turns 18 there will be about 12K in there). I might add more later, but at this point in time I feel like it is a good start.

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12 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Def a good start! Some people put in $0.00 every week ;) AND CONGRATS!!! So excited for you guys – babies are so fun!!

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13 nGneer March 4, 2013 at 7:24 am

The cost for my first (due in June) will be starting out with a $2600 deductible due to our insurance. Couponing is already my best friend. I’ve started stocking up on diapers when they’re under $0.15 a piece. I hope my pre-planning will pay off.

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14 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I’m sure it will! Congrats on the pregnancy!! Hope it’s nice and smooth :)

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15 Slackerjo March 4, 2013 at 7:55 am

Why a SUV? Would a station wagon work just as well? C’mon, you and Mrs Money are cool enough to make a station wagon hip?

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16 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm

HAH! That is true :) But really we just want tons more room for all the activities we do (like yard sale’ing and thrift stores, etc). Gas will suck but I rarely drive much anyways working from home.

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17 John S @ Frugal Rules March 4, 2013 at 8:09 am

They can get expensive, can’t they!? ;) Just wait til he starts walking and doing oh so fun things like trying to play in the trash (all of our kids were dumpster divers) and pulling everything out of the drawer in the bottom of the stove and sitting in said drawer. I am sure that they all get this from me and Mom is just too smart to do crazy stuff like that. :)

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18 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm

They don’t sit in one place and read? Man… I was ripped off! :)

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19 Brian March 4, 2013 at 8:18 am

I laugh everytime we had our little guy something and *boom* right to the mouth. My favorite face so far was when he got ahold of a lemon. The face was amazing! Then he kept doing it over and over again!

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20 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm

AH!!!! I want to try that!! Hahahaha…. that is So. AWESOME.

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21 Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce March 4, 2013 at 8:25 am

They are expensive. The only cool part is that once you get into daycare/babysitting costs (if you use those) you are in a groove. For instance, we spent $1000/month on daycare for my son, but now that he is done, we use that for lessons, tutoring, and 529 contributions. I think it will be cool, J!

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22 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Ooh good point! Once you get used to spending money month in and month out, you can then xfer it to other things without feeling the pinch when the time comes! I dig it!

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23 KB March 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

Your baby is adorable!
Babies are a little expensive but some things you don’t have to do – 529 plan, diaper genies, etc. but it’s great if you can or want to! Also, you can buy them any kind of inexpensive plastic gift for their bday and they’ll be happy with it or playing with the box it came in!
The highest cost for me having 3 kids is sports and activities. Every single sport or activity starts out as recreational but there is always the competitive stream that your child or the organization suggest. For example, my daughter’s competitive sport fees are about $500 per month, $6000 per year plus the gas driving her, etc and my other kids participate in activities to. As a frugal person, do I tell my kids no, I’d like to retire early or what to do? What you do if your kids loves or has a talent for skiing or golf or anything? It is very rewarding for the kids to participate in sports and watching their games, etc and is even harder to say no and not even sure that I’d want to or others would want to keep their kids back?! If you saw your kid ripping through everyone on the soccer field and were approached by a rep coach for you kid to try out for their team, you’ll see how exciting it is and how proud you will be!
Also, you may have no interest in keeping up with the Jones, but most kids most definitely do when it comes to things like sports shoes, technology etc – that has been my experience. Money is a means to an end. It is meant to be spent and saved. I love having three kids and would have loved more. My husband wanted 2, I wanted 4, we compromised with 3!

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24 Moni March 4, 2013 at 4:53 pm

KB – I know what you mean. I have two teenage daughters who are serious dance students, they’re in their 10th and 11th years – ballet, jazz ballet, tap & contemporary. And it costs a bomb. But they are in a positive environment 5-6 days a week, the discipline is tough, the teachers are solid mentors in their lives, they have learnt to stick to something and that they can get thru anything if they keep trying and the part my husband feels is priceless: they’re too busy to have boyfriends.
It is a tangible benefits versus intangible benefits situation.
Would I like to save the money I spend on the girl’s dancing? Of course I would. But I have to view it as investing in a human being for now and just suck it up and enjoy the positive things.

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25 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

This is such great info!!! There’s no way I’d be able to turn down sports or anything of that nature if my kids expressed interest – one of them will play for the Redskins anyways so I’m already buying them little footballs! ;)

Man I love kids… I joke with my wife that I want 10, but I’m only half-joking…

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26 Mike Collins March 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

I wish I could tell you it gets better, but as the father of 3 I’ve learned there always seems to be something popping up. Car seats, Girl scouts, Soccer leagues, a $300 bill for pulling a piece of crayon out of a toddler’s ear…it’s always something!

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27 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm

EEWWW!!! Hahaha… how on Earth did it end up there??

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28 Mike Collins March 5, 2013 at 7:33 am

LOL…just kids being kids I guess. haha

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29 Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle March 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

People without kids have clean houses and lots of money but I wouldn’t trade with them for anything.

When both of my boys were teenagers the food boys were astronomical. They would eat a full meal of snacks, cheese, cereal or leftovers then declare they were startving and wonder how soon dinner would be.

They are both in university now and the costs are huge. The one who is currently at school out of town regularily grocery shops in my freezer and pantry. The youngest will be at an out of town school in the fall and I am saving up to get him Greyhound tickets so he can afford to come home occasionaly and I can load him up with food to take back.

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30 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Us boys grow!!! I always felt like I was starving even though I was being fed like an elephant, haha… guess that’s how we get big and strong :)

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31 ThriftyGreenGal March 4, 2013 at 9:35 am

My sister just had her second child and is a stay-at-home mom. My sister handles all the shopping for the kids, groceries and other necessities with her hubbies money but she still buys and/or exchanges things at a fairly low price. She hasn’t even spent $5,000 total on the kids combined and her first one just turned one.

My recommendation is to check out some local thrift stores and if you have friends with kids to see if they will be willing to exchange clothes or give you clothes for the little one. My sister got all of my nieces’ clothes from a friend.

If you really want an extreme savings you could invest in cloth diapers which my sister uses. It will save you hundreds in dollars in the long run and be more eco-friendly for the environment. ;)

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32 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Yep! 95% of all our clothes and toys were hand me downs or from thrift stores :) Our main costs seem to be insurance and college investing. That alone takes up almost half, haha..

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33 Cassie March 4, 2013 at 9:54 am

All of the text kind of fell by the wayside for me today. I just can’t get over how adorable JMJ is with his fist shoved in his mouth…

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34 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm

hehe thanks!! we think so too, but we’re pretty biased :)

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35 Grayson @ Debt Roundup March 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

My little man just hit 2 months old, but he is about to start daycare. I will be pushing out $12k a year in just that alone. I think I am in the wrong business. That is where it is at.

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36 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Right??? Madddd money in daycare! It’s almost $2,000 a month where I live – insane.

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37 Johnny @ Our Freaking Budget March 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

Freaking babies. The best expense in the world.

We found out this morning why all of our 0-3 months clothes don’t fit our 8-week old Baby Girl… because she’s 95% height/95% weight. So there goes a few months worth of clothes, diapers, etc. Doesn’t she realize we’re trying to SAVE MONEY?!?!

Little man looks awesome. Send a fist bump his way.

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38 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Haha yup!! we’re into 12 mo clothes now and ours isn’t even 8 mos :) Congrats on your baby girl!! I want one of those too!!

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39 Lulu March 4, 2013 at 11:05 am

What a great idea!!! Our adorable little money pit turns 1 this month (where does the time go?!?!); I so wish I would have tracked this from the beginning. She’s expecting a sibling in July, so would love to track this time around (even though all the hand-me-downs will show a much cheaper cost). Thanks for the inspiration!

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40 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Go for it! It’s fun and maddening and time consuming all in one, but having the hard numbers is well worth it :) Give your little money pit a kiss from Uncle Jay!

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41 Matt @ My Coin Blog March 4, 2013 at 11:06 am

Imagine if you were paying full time daycare. We have two kids in daycare and pay almost $20k every year because of it. It’s insane! Even more insane is how the tax code has not been updated to reflect today’s cost for daycare, and we only get a very small deduction because of it.

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42 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Makes my head hurt :( And also feel more blessed we can watch him at home most of the week ourselves, only Dad doesn’t get all his work done.

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43 Retire By 40 March 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

Just wait until he starts walking. He’ll get into everything and you won’t ever have another moment of peace. :)
What about day care? That’s gotta cost a lot too. Our biggest expense to date was daycare. He’s out though so that cost is gone. The next one is the 529 contribution. We’re hoping to front load a bit so we don’t have to contribute as much later on.

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44 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

We only do “flex care” like once every week or two, so it’s only cost us $500 so far… but full time would cost more than $20k a year for just 1 baby!

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45 The Happy Homeowner March 4, 2013 at 11:50 am

Cute AND expensive…he’s a double threat…hahaha :)

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46 Nick @ ayoungpro.com March 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Babies are expensive! I think you are doing a great job keeping costs low. We crossed the $10,000 mark (plus a lot more) on the day we adopted our baby. :)

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47 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

awwww, but you guys are doing SUCH A GOOD THING!!! I hate it that adopting costs so much for people :(

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48 Melinda Gonzalez March 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Ugh, I hate the hospital vs. Insurance game. The good thing is persistence usually wins, so I’m sure it will all work out.

And dang, babies are expensive. I guess it depends on how well you want your child to turn out. Some families around here just throw their kid in a laundry basket in the back of their two door car. I assume that isn’t safe.

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49 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm

haha… I didn’t even know you had to put a baby in a car seat when we had ours!! my wife thought I was joking but the reality is I had no idea about babies :) Sure do now! (And you’re totally right about the persistence thing – that and patience goes a looooong way getting dumb bills cleared up…)

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50 Moni March 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm

First of all – the little dude is adorable!
I personally wouldn’t factor in his college fund, the little fella can’t even walk and his needs are very simple at this stage. Maybe you could view it as an long term asset, its still exists doesn’t it? Its just been set aside – and if we’re going to do a balance sheet, surely the little fella is worth a trillion bucks in the asset column.

I’m sure you are doing this cost keeping for academic and interest purposes, but my mother kept a note book with a tally of expenses she spent on me – and she didn’t apportion a share of accommodation, vehicle and utilities – and I actually really didn’t like it, even now as an adult it rankles a wee bit. Just a thought.

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51 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

That’s what I’m worried about! I def. don’t want my kids feeling weird about it :( I guess we’ll see how long I last and go from there :) Did your mom ever share total numbers with you?? *That’s* the interesting part of it all cuz you can learn so much.

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52 Edward Antrobus March 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm

My buddy’s daughter was born early this morning. I think it may be kinder to not show him this post!

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53 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

HAH! Just bring a shot of vodka :)

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54 Cat March 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Holy SMOKES that’s a lot of money!

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55 stephanie March 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Oh he is just so darn cute! Mine is now 31; I so remember those days of “it’s HOW much?” followed by my jaw thumping on the ground. Yes they are expensive but oh! they are worth every darn cent!

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56 J. Money March 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

31! Wowww… I bet it just flew by too. Let’s see if I’m still tracking it in 30 years ;)

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57 Sense March 5, 2013 at 3:58 am

WHOA. That is my entire emergency fund, in less than one year. And your tally is WITH good health insurance?!! How do people less fortunate DO THIS??

Please keep this up as it is wholly enlightening for us DINKs and SINKs. :)

p.s. the babe is a total babe. So cute!!

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58 J. Money March 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Thanks! Yeah, good health insurance but still expensive :(

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59 My Financial Independence Journey March 5, 2013 at 5:38 am

This entire post series is an incentive to remain child free. I’m sticking to cats and plants. And maybe some fish in the future. Several orders of magnitude less expensive.

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60 J. Money March 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Haha… no shame in that :) Kids aren’t for everyone, regardless of finances.

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61 Doable Finance March 6, 2013 at 5:06 am

I realize you are in the black by more than $350,000 and so are we but I would never buy an SUV, period.

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62 J. Money March 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Well it’s good that no one’s asking you too, then :) Doesn’t even really have to do with money for me – more of a preference or taste thing.

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63 Stephanie March 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Wow, that’s a lot of money! Granted, I know a lot of that comes from having to pay for your own insurance premiums since you’re self-employed, but yikes!

If I had more time, I’d try to track our baby costs in more detail, but I got as far as adding the category “baby stuff” to our spreadsheet starting in 2013. I’m pretty pumped about the cloth diapering thing – I just spent $150 on the next size up of prefolds and a couple of additional small covers, and that should last us until she’s about 5 months old (she’s 3 1/2 weeks now). Total, I don’t think I’ll have to spend more than maybe $200 on the rest of the larger size prefolds, plus of course additional water/sewer and detergent costs. And the covers add a cuteness factor that disposables just can’t match! ;-)

P.S. Love baby’s mohawk in the middle picture! Amelia is starting to tread dangerously close to mullet territory right now since she’s losing some hair on the top, but not the back, of her head… :-P

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64 J. Money March 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Hahaha… I think they all go through that stage :) Ours has yet to get his first haircut so you can tell he used to be bald for quite a bit of those first months! It’s all so fun and beautiful to watch though – I freakin’ love babies… And yours has such a beautiful name!!

Congrats on all that diaper saving too, that’s awesome.

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65 Mike Carlson March 7, 2013 at 2:19 am

That was one expensive baby huh. I wonder how much he would be at the age of 1.

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66 K March 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

$10,000 for 8 months? Man… you’re really making me want kids here haha. No seriously though… I think it’s worth it at the end… right? lol

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67 Urban March 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Holy macaroni. Kids are expensive and the costs of things just rising. Imagine in 20 years what the cost will be at the current stage. 40,000? You know you’re getting older when things like that start to happen.

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68 J. Money March 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I venture to guess he’ll cost us $100,000-$150,000 when all is said and done at 18. But really the question is how long I can continue tracking it! Takes me forever, haha…

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69 @pfinMario March 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Has anyone else already mentioned that you don’t necessarily *need* an SUV? That a minivan or even a crossover (a.k.a vehicles formerly known as station wagons or tall cars) will give you as much space and as many seats (if not more), while costing less up front and using less gas? Not that there aren’t other reasons to get an SUV, of course.

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70 J. Money March 14, 2013 at 12:24 am

So far a ton of people have told me not to get one ;) But I like them! I don’t mind spending more money on something that makes me happier if it fits within my budget/goals.

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71 @pfinMario March 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm

p.s. A big congratulations to you and your growing family :)

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