A study in the UK shows that new parents will spend $7,700 in the first year of the baby's life.
I'm guessing that the amount I spent was close to that once all is said and done. They give a breakdown:
Parents spent roughly a quarter of it getting the nursery ready, buying a stroller, car seat, toys, clothes, and feeding and bathing equipment.
The next year, they spend the rest on diapers, clothes, toiletries, and food.
Obviously some of this is unavoidable and first-time parents are notorious for wanting "the very best" -- all new designer clothing, a brand-new crib, and on and on. In my case, by the time the second kid rolled around, I was accepting bags of used clothing and toys. We were not about to buy a whole new wardrobe just because he was a boy.
- A First-Time Mom (FTM) says: "I need that $400 grow-with-me-crib."
- A Second-Time Mom (STM) says: "I will get the (safety-tested) used crib for free from a friend."
- A FTM says: "I need all new designer clothing from little boutiques."
- A STM says: "I will take donations of any size or quantity and store them until he's ready to wear them!"
- A FTM says: "I need a perfectly matched crib set in a perfectly designed nursery."
- A STM says: "Bedding sets are a waste of money since they aren't safe and he will be in our bed 9 nights out of 10 anyway, so who cares how nice the nursery is?"
- A FTM says: "My baby needs 12 pairs of shoes since they're all so cute!"
- A STM says: "Please give me some used shoes that fit since babies only wear them twice before they need a new pair."
The mindset is just slightly different and if you can get there, it will save you some cash. Diapers, car seat, food, and toiletries are still expenses you will have to incur, but you could probably spend half the amount mentioned in the study just by shifting your mindset a bit.
Babies grow fast. They wear things once and then they're done. The second time around, you know these things.
How much will you spend on your baby before he/she is born?
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