Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Cost of a River - Year One

I probably don’t want to see this number. I’ve learned that once you have a child, it no longer matters how much it costs to raise them. Love extends beyond rationality and he’s worth it no matter the price. Nevertheless, I am curious to see how much it has cost us to add River to our family. Even though we’ve been pretty frugal, on all but childcare and education spending, I’m sure it’s a large figure.

Here goes the calculation. I’m only counting money spent out of pocket (gifts and hand-me-downs are free) and I subtract any money received from reselling an item used.

Furniture $10
Equipment -$85
Baby transportation $220 (carseat, strollers and carriers)
Nutrition $1087 ($100 formula, $617 breastfeeding supplies; $320
food – interesting to see that breastfeeding is not as cheap as
many claim, especially when my time (hours beyond
counting) is taken into account)
Feeding supplies $57
Clothing $73
Toys $25
Safety $57.41
Childcare and medical: $15870
Swim lessons $150
Other $30
Potty care $423 (cloth diapers, wipes, 2 months of disposables plus
some disposables during travel)
Travel $420 (travel crib, passport and photos, travel fees)
Portraits $140
Mom clothing $800 (maternity clothes and clothes needed after birth
because pre-pregnancy clothes didn’t fit. This is
probably a low estimate)
Pre and post natal yoga $450
Pre-natal massage $500 (during third trimester)
Lost income $52,000

529 plan substantial chunk taken from our down payment savings for
a house – which has promptly gone down 30%.

Grand total: $20,277 in out of pocket expenses
+ $52,000 in lost income
+ education savings
=$72,277 plus education savings


Our strategy was to concentrate our resources into childcare (for the sake of our sanities) and education savings, minimizing all the rest as much as possible. We seem to have done that, with our two priority areas accounting for the bulk of the expense. Nevertheless, I can clearly see that adding a child to our family was a pretty tough financial pill to swallow. Luckily, he’s worth it.

1 comment:

Lainey Wright said...

wow! -so, today is a triple whammy of bad news: snow, stretch marks and the fact that babies are ungodly expensive!! ah well...hopefully you are right and it will all prove worthwhile:)