Budgeting for Baby — The Bump
July 2016 Moms

Budgeting for Baby

randypluskaterandypluskate member
500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
edited February 2016 in July 2016 Moms
Apologies if I missed an earlier thread on this topic in my searches! 

Is anyone else panicking about affording a(nother) baby? DH and I both have decent jobs but we're admittedly terrible with money. This is our first so we fully expect to be blindsided (if that makes sense). I'd love to move out of our one bedroom apartment but I think we're going to have to wait. Any golden pieces of advice from STMs? Any budgeting tools you've found helpful? 

Re: Budgeting for Baby

  • I'm interested in hearing what others have to say on this. It's not a subject I've seen discussed here, but I know people's budgets, incomes and expenses vary widely.

    I have created a line item in my budget for estimated baby expenses. It accounts for full-time daycare (assuming I go back to work full time), extra health insurance, formula and diapers (on the off chance the breastfeeding and cloth diapering thing doesn't work for me). I know there will be a million other things we'll be spending money on, but it's a start. We are also in a small apartment right now and are shopping for our first house. While we have "a lot" of disposable income right now, it's scary to budget for a future home and baby when there's so many unknowns. 
    Me (32) & DH (35)
    Married 10.10.10
    DD born 7.25.16 <3
  • One thing that I find works for me has to do with buying my diapers.  I almost always buy them from target (there may be cheaper places but this about convenience for me).  I almost NEVER buy when I need them though.  Target frequently has buy 2 boxes of diapers get a $10 gift card or buy 3 get $20.  I just used this deal with the buy 3 get $20 but I also had 3, $3 coupons, so total I saved $29.  That makes a really big difference in the long run.  
    Also when I go shopping a make a list and I stick to the list.  I try not to walk through the aisles I try to just beeline to the items I need.  
    Anniversary: 10/10/09
    DS: 11/21/14
    DD: 7/5/16

  • We read Total Money Makeover years ago and loved it! We paid off our car and then saved up money before buying our truck so we didn't have to get a loan. The only debt we have is our house. We keep track of our budget in an excel sheet. I am much less likely to buy something when I know I have to record it! I meal plan for the week based on the sales at the grocery store. 
    Saving money with kids- do without! My daughter is 2 and I have bought her new toys 2 times in her life. Most of her toys and clothing came as hand-me-downs, through my Buy Nothing group or bought at a consignment store. When I see something cute at Target or ..., I think do we really need this? If not, I walk away. If we do need it, I will look online to try and find it used or cheaper. Breastfeeding is free. When DD was older she mostly ate our food (BLW) and I made our own pouches. 

  • Since I'm quitting my job once the baby arrives, we've decided that after my personal bills, I'm using my left over money to buy baby items. I've started budgeting out what I'm getting every month and how much it'll cost, this month is his nb-3m clothes and size 1 cloth diapers/covers. I plan to have cloth diapers done by April. That's how I'm budgeting for the next 5ish months. Pick small items that are stock up items and take it a month at a time. 

    Me: 30, DH: 31

    Married: May 16th 2015

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  • The year we had DD was a huge adjustment. We were able to figure out that I could SAH by living off only my husband's income the whole pregnancy to see if it worked. I saved everything I made to cover medical bills and to have as a little emergency fund. 

    I went simple and basic on everything. Used clothes, used cloth diapers, even more motivation for breastfeeding, etc. The things I would not scrimp on: a new crib and carseat. We lucked out and got a free used infant seat but it was my sister's so I was absolutely sure of its history. 

    Having a baby totally reframed our priorities for money. While it's still no fun to not go out to dinner much or splurge on something, it's a no brainer now. I'm not going to take from my child for my own whims. My brain reset and the priority became the child above all else. 

    Now I save everything from my part time jobs to cover preschool tuition and for fun money. As soon as we got pregnant, I put the fun/vacation money towards this baby. 
  • I love Dave Ramsey!! I actually liked the financial peace book better than total money makeover bc it was more specific and detailed and less motivational speaker. Both helpful tho. He has a free app called Every Dollar that we use religiously to budget. 
  • I rarely buy clothes at the store. Even when they're on sale with coupons it's never as affordable as second hand. Look for groups on Facebook that are for sale or trade or buy/sell/trade in your local area. Sometimes I'll pick up clothes during sales, but it's definitely not the bulk of my purchases. If you find the right groups there will be good things. You can also look for local consignment sales. Those can also be really helpful. I usually aim to spend $5 or less on jeans and jammies, now that he's in toddler sizes, and less than that for anything else. I start buying in advance so that I have time (though my three year old has already outgrown his 3t jeans so I already had to go hunting around for him even though I typically don't start my hoarding until late winter since he's an October birthday). I know new clothes from the store are fun and cute, but it adds up. I've become a little bit picky over the years, but all that really means is that I try to stay away from off brands and items that are really old. 

    Ive found sams club is cheapest for diapers. It's comparable if target is offering a gift card promo, factoring in the discount of the gc, but that also means I will buy more at target than i need to. And sams club warrants more diapers, so it means a few more weeks without having to go back to the store. SAMs is also where I buy generic formula. 

    I I also pick up free formula samples from local moms who received it but don't use/need/want it. 
    TTC #2: 12/2012
    Back to our beloved RE 10/2013
    BFP #5 3/5/14
    Beta 1: 47. Beta 2: 87. Beta 3: 482!

    Baby CCH v2.0 due 11.14.14

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  • Yes to Dave Ramsey I went through financial peace class and it's helping us be debt free by next Christmas! 

    The budget issue we have is childcare costs. I currently don't make much the sad truth in the psych field and hopefully will be licensed by June which should help but we are definitely trying to sort out what is the most cost effective way for us to do this. After going through this whole process to get licensed the last thing I want is to suddenly stay home full time but I love the idea of working part time and especially until we are debt free I want to be helping out as we save for a house 
  • Money always stresses me out. DH and I both have decent jobs and we are very careful to save as much as we can each month. I think you have to be very aware of the money you make and how much you need to spend on necessities. We really don't buy too much and the only thing we splurge on is going out to eat once every few weeks. We refinanced our house recently to get a lower interest rate. We knocked 12 years off our mortgage, which is awesome, but now we pay $300 more each month. That's still taking some getting used to. Plus, I stopped working my 2nd job (I worked at a toy store after teaching all day for 6 years.)

    I'm going to make more of an effort to get back into couponing. I was doing great but then I got lazy with it. We're doing disposable diapers, but I'm going to try to be as thrifty as I can be with it. Always looking for a deal. 

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that breastfeeding works out because I really don't want to spend the money on formula. It's free. I've been known to say that if I could breastfeed the whole family, I would. 

    I know the baby is going to bring a lot of financial changes and I won't be able to work this summer, but I'm hoping we can figure it out and not dig too much into our savings. 
  • We like Dave Ramsey too. Keeping an actual budget is important to us so we know where our money is going and don't spend when we don't have it. We use Mint.com to track our budget. It automatically pulls info from our bank accounts and credit cards so we know where our money is right away and we can just log in to see how we're doing.
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  • Going from a two income household to one was HARD with DD. We're getting the hang of it and have come a long way. Lots of why PP have said.

    Getting out of debt with the snowball plan.

    Couponing saves $15-$30 a grocery trip. Buying things like shampoo, paper towels, diapers, etc. on sale or with coupons only.

    Hand me downs saved us so much. Clothes, toys and things like a swing, bumbo and bouncer that don't get used much. I also shop at a high end consignment baby store. So much of the stuff I buy still have tags. I'm going to buy a "lot" of clothes for this baby on Craigslist. $30-$40 for 6 months of clothes ranging in sizes.

    I dropped my gym and yoga studio memberships, saving over $1000/year.

    We rarely go out and that's ok. We have picnics at the park with DD. I make badass coffee at home and have improved my cooking skills.

    I love reading what everyone else is doing!
  • DH and I are huge into budgets - we started budgeting almost everything about 7 years ago. We have a super complex spreadsheet set up with our income/take home along with almost every expense we encounter throughout the year broken up by fixed/variable (mortgage, taxes, daycare, groceries, gas) and discretionary (cable, gifts, cleaning service). We've been able to tweak this over the years to where we pretty much know exactly how much we spend on certain things.

    We also have an emergency fund which has a large sum that we never touch in case either of us lose our jobs as well as a general savings fund for anything that isn't budgeted that we build up for certain projects. Basically, any left over money each month goes directly to the general savings fund. For example, we recently redid our master bathroom and the funds came that account. 

    The most important thing to do is track every expense; I know it seems tedious but it makes you realize how much money you're actually spending in a given month and year. Like @whataboutscience recommended, Mint is really great for that. We also use an app called Level. 
    July '16 May Siggy Challenge 

    BabyFetus Ticker
    Me: 29
    DH: 32
    Married: June 2011
    DD #1: December 2013
    DD #2: EDD July 2016
  • Dave Ramsey is great to do together.  Takes the pressure off one of you being the money cop and gets you both on track toward goals you want to achieve together (example: affording a new baby without putting undue pressure and stress on your marriage).
  • Dave Ramsey all the way!! He also has an amazing podcast I listen to everyday. "Debt is dumb, cash is king!"
  • DH and I went to a financial planning for baby class before we had DD, it was sponsored by the hospital. They gave some great tips. I stayed home with DD til she was 20 months, and I went back to work. Since the day I went back to work (almost 5 years ago) we have been putting money into savings for another baby. Basically, that money will supplement our income when I stay home with this LO. Daycare is ridiculously expensive in my area, and to pay full-time infant care plus before/after care for DD I wouldn't have much (if anything) leftover from my check.
  • I heard a great tip once to start putting aside the money you will spend on daycare (if you plan to use daycare), and learn to live on that amount now.  It not only helps you learn to budget ahead of time, it also helps you create more of savings.

  • This past year we used daycare reimbursement type fund as a savings act... ($5000/year)  We just let the money keep adding up and then we didnt take any out until end of the year.. we paid off my school loans and bought furniture for the basement was so nice vs the first year Id take out the money every couple months.
  • john5111 said:
    This past year we used daycare reimbursement type fund as a savings act... ($5000/year)  We just let the money keep adding up and then we didnt take any out until end of the year.. we paid off my school loans and bought furniture for the basement was so nice vs the first year Id take out the money every couple months.
    Just want to clarify this - it's money deducted from your paycheck and then reimbursed to you for daycare expenses. It's a pretax deduction so you don't pay federal, SS, Medicare or state taxes on it. Basically, you are getting it tax free.

    We also do this and recommend anyone who will use daycare to do it. However, the max is $5k and you have to use the entire amount you allocate within your plan year. So if you don't plan on putting your new LO into daycare until say, November and your plan year goes until December, you should only allocate the amount you will spend between November and December. 
    July '16 May Siggy Challenge 

    BabyFetus Ticker
    Me: 29
    DH: 32
    Married: June 2011
    DD #1: December 2013
    DD #2: EDD July 2016
  • edited February 2016
    john5111 said:
    This past year we used daycare reimbursement type fund as a savings act... ($5000/year)  We just let the money keep adding up and then we didnt take any out until end of the year.. we paid off my school loans and bought furniture for the basement was so nice vs the first year Id take out the money every couple months.

    this post is very confusing. Are you saying you used the daycare pretax savings as the way you paid for your student loans and furniture. My apologies if I'm incorrect but definitely appears that way and I'm fairly certain that is considered fraud if that's the case...

    eta: @MrsRo731 clarified for me it's not purely used for daycare so not fraud but maybe edit your post to clarify 
  • My husband is on diaper prepping mode.  so he buys a case of diapers in carrying sizes every couple weeks.  his plan is to have enough for the first year. (I know this sounds insane, but it makes him feel better and like he is contributing ).  but it's working nicely.   we can exchanges sizes as needed and we shouldn't have to run to the store at 2 am for diapers.  feeling pretty good about it.  
  • also sign up for coupons 
  • @BabyRoof - I'm just curious, where are you putting all those diapers? I feel like they'd take up a ton of room.
    July '16 May Siggy Challenge 

    BabyFetus Ticker
    Me: 29
    DH: 32
    Married: June 2011
    DD #1: December 2013
    DD #2: EDD July 2016
  • @MrsRo731 Luckily for us we have an extra bedroom so it has become the storage room for diapers right now. Otherwise we would have to put them in our basement or in our main living room. I'm sure people will understand why I have boxes of diapers if I am pregnant haha
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  • @chanfa - Haha I completely get it; I have 1 bedroom completely filled with baby stuff. A year of diapers does seem like a ton to store, though!
    July '16 May Siggy Challenge 

    BabyFetus Ticker
    Me: 29
    DH: 32
    Married: June 2011
    DD #1: December 2013
    DD #2: EDD July 2016
  • ah yea... my 6 months is getting out of hand lol @MrsRo731 ;
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • I just whipped out my budgeting books today. We have been pretty frivolous with our money and not paying much attention to our budget. We have some credit and student loan debt, but we are going to put those on minimum payment until I go back to work. I'm on disability til I give birth, and DH is tired of working overtime hours, which I totally understand. I came up with what I feel is a reasonable budget. I think now that he wants to cut OT he will be willing to accept the envelope system, which he balked at when we did the Dave Ramsey course. 

    A couple apps I have found useful for earning a little extra cash are Ibotta and Ebates. Ibotta is a grocery app. It takes a little effort, but in a couple months I accumulated about $60. You go in the app, see if they have any items you want, and you take a little survey or watch a video to unlock the rebate. Then when you shop, you scan the item, and take a pic of the receipt. The turn around is about 4 hours to approve. The rebates are in the .25-1.00 range, but can add up! They also have generic items like any brand banana or milk etc. I also like ebates for online shopping. Now is probably a good time if you are going to be buying big ticket items. A lot of store do in store pickup, so you can buy it online, get the ebates, then go pick it up a couple hours later. Not going to get rich off these, but it helps!
    If anyone has any recommendations for ways to earn extra cash at home, I am all ears! 
  • My husband and I are still learning the budgeting ways! It's hard and 
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