Last week, I posted my early retirement series and within the first article I stated:
I also PLAN to have kids, but don’t have any currently so I really don’t know how much they’re going to cost..
George, a regular reader and comment contributer, made a detailed explanation on how much a newborn can potentially cost. This may be helpful for those who are planning to have children, like myself, and would like to financially prepare for them. Here is the comment:
You mention that you don’t yet have kids, and that you’re not sure how much they’ll cost. While this is something that’s highly variable, here are some rough guides…
1) Diapers cost about $80/month for a newborn, and slowly the cost drops until potty training. Purchasing cloth diapers (we got ours from www.motherease.com) can cut the diaper costs dramatically, but increase the amount of laundry you need to do.
2) If you need it, daycare is the single largest child-related expense you’ll have. A good daycare can easily cost over $800/month. Dayhomes can be a cheaper option, but they have their own pitfalls. Having “free” daycare from grandparents, if possible, is the cheapest solution.
3) The initial “set-up” cost for a nursery is around $500, less if you can get things used.
4) If you end up bottle feeding, baby formula costs up to $25/can for powder, and a can lasts about ten days – that’s $75/month for formula alone. Obviously breast feeding is cheaper, but it isn’t always possible.
5) Baby clothing adds up very quickly. We got a large amount of our baby clothes from friends and from Freecycle, which helped out immensely.
So looking at the list, here is what a newborn child would cost my wife and I:
- Diapers: $80/month
- Day Care: $0/month (two sets of grandparents in town)
- Nursury: $400 – We have a new nephew in our family, so our first child will most likely be getting hand me downs.
- Bottle Feeding: $75/month – have to check with the wife on this one ;)
- Baby Clothing – Depends on the gender of my first child. If my first child is a boy, then he will get hand me downs from my nephew. If my first child is a GIRL, then we'll most likely be purchasing baby clothing (new and second hand) – $75/month.
Total: $230/month + a setup fee of $400. Kinda sounds like I'm getting a second mortgage from the bank. :)
For those new parents out there, what do you think of my numbers? Am I missing anything?