Friday, June 4, 2010

Babies cost a lot of money...and she isn't even here yet!

I seriously have been lacking a lot of motivation recently.  I think this is what they call the 3rd trimester exhaustion.  I really WANT to get things done, but when it comes time to finding the energy to do so, I'm so not interested. Then another day goes by, and I feel guilty that I did not get much accomplished.  I hate feeling guilty. 

I woke up yesterday feeling much the same.  But something happened during the day, and suddenly, I had this burst of motivation.  It was glorious!  Just to prove how much motivation I had, this is what I was able to accomplish:
  • ordered/sent 3 wedding gifts (2 were super belated)
  • ordered/sent 2 bridal shower gifts
  • ordered my maternity hospital gown (more on this in my next post)
  • filled out a packet of information for our doula and sent it to her
  • filled out a packet of information for the hospital and sent it
  • bought myself new slippers (more on this in my next post)
  • ordered Ian's anniversary present
  • picked up my prescription
  • talked to and set up an appointment with our tentative pediatrician (more on this later)
  • read a lot in my breastfeeding book
As you can see, yesterday also involved dishing out a ton of money.  I absolutely love being included in showers and weddings and other life celebrations - but it seems like all we're doing these days is spending money.  Money for the baby stuff, money to the hospital, to the doctors, money for presents for people.  A whole lot of money.  Money is stressing me out at the moment! 

But the good thing is, the majority of our big purchases for the baby (furniture, stroller, car seats) were either taken care of by family, or we have already taken care of.  And honestly, I guess we just have to get used to the fact that babies and kids cost a lot of money!  It's amazing how much we've spent on baby girl, and she isn't even here yet.  And we're even trying to do things to cut back on spending for her (cloth diapers, no daycare for the first 6 months, not splurging a ton except for her furniture really, and looking into buying lightly used clothing from friends of friends).

Just to give those out there who are about to embark on starting a family a clue as to what type of money to expect, here's a little breakdown for you.

My recommendation to people looking to start families is to put some money away for all of these things.  Our hospital bill alone will cost us about $1200 (that's the bare minimum, assuming we have no medications or complications).  The insurance plan we're on (even though it's the best one offered through Ian's company) pays 80% and we're responsible for 20%.  That's a lot of money!  Obviously, if your insurance plan is better than this, you won't have to dish out this much.  But honestly, we didn't really know how much it would cost us until we were already pregnant and talked to the hospital.

Then, add in the 20% of all these doctor visits, ultrasounds, bloodwork, random hospital visits (thanks kidney stone), and we're looking at about another $1000. 

We also have opted to use a doula (which you read about here and here).  This adds more costs.  We looked into a doula service that is free.  While the idea was super appealing to us (and the doulas are through a huge medical hospital in Baltimore), some things about the service weren't for us (mainly that we couldn't pick which doula we'd use, and if all of the doulas were already called for births before us, then we could end up without anyone).  So we opted to interview a few doulas and ultimately pick one.  The total cost (which some should be covered by our insurance) is $700.

There are also baby classes.  I'm sure you could opt for cheaper classes - but you need to find a birthing class that works for you.  As you know, we're currently taking hypnobirthing classes.  Total cost: $325 (also, some of this may be covered by insurance - get a receipt and submit it to find out!).  We're also taking a baby care class (for cpr as well as basic baby care like bathing, changing diapers, etc.), and a breastfeeding class.  These two classes cost $65 (what a steal in comparison to everything else!).

So those costs alone total:  $3290.  And guys, that's only the medical costs and preparation costs associated with the birth of our baby.  That's without the furniture, breast pump, stroller, car seats, day care, diapers, swings, clothes, books, maternity clothes, etc.

I put all this information out there because, for us, we did not realize how much starting a family would cost us.  Since this pregnancy was an unexpected (exciting!) surprise, we had not financially prepared for it as much as we would have liked.  So start saving now if you are thinking about having kids.  You'll be happy when all of these expenses come up, to already have the money sitting in an account.  It won't hit your monthly income if you've planned.

So there you have it - my motivation is back.  And babies cost a whole lot of money.


  1. Babies cost milllions of dollars....Dave and I are feeling the pressures of this too! It is hard to "relax" even knowing how much everything cost before we got pregnant!! And what makes it even harder for us is that three of our friends are on "state" help and they don't have to pay a penny! I am happy for them and their families that they are experiencing such joy and we truley love them, but when I tried to explain my stressors, they wereeeeee not all that receptive. It is good to know we are not the only ones who worry about all of this.

  2. I know what you mean about being un-motivated. Today I took 2 naps, ate lunch, watched 2 movies and did a few small things. Yesterday I cleaned a ton, went to 5 stores, got a haircut,and started some freezer meals. Just depends on the day I guess.
    Being "Dutch" makes me frugal, and I have been looking foreward to finding "deals" on baby stuff for a while. I know we will be spending $1000 at the hospital, but the other expenses haven't added up to over $500 yet. Our parents have gotten the big items for us, and I have had 3 baby showers. I also shop at garage sales and have found a lot of .25 clothing, $1 items (waterproof matress pads, boppy, ect). I like going at noon before they close to see if they will get rid of things for a cheap price. The big expense one for us is going to be insurance for baby. That will probably be $3000/year. Then there is day care for 3.5 months out of the year. I like the concept of your post and it makes people think:) Congrats on getting so much done!


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