I just got an email from Babycenter with a link to a "baby cost calculator". It says the average baby will cost the parents $10,158 for the first year alone.
The calculator lets you change things based on your lifestyle to see how that brings down the amount you are actually spending.
Staying home with the baby and not paying for childcare - my cost is already down to $5,550.
Using cloth diapers brings the cost down to $4,914. Using your own wipes is cheaper too.
If you breastfeed, the cost goes down to $3,942. That even includes spending an average of $57 per month on solid foods from ages 6 months to 12 months. And y'all KNOW I won't be spending that much every month!
I won't be purchasing any clothing, toys, books or games. I can't imagine any clothes Hunter is going to need, and he CERTAINLY doesn't need any new toys, books, or games.
That brings the total to $1,098.
That does include medicine and some other miscellaneous things. I know there are some things moms can't avoid (most people don't want to cloth diaper or can't afford the big payout in the beginning; some women can't breastfeed; some women have to go back to work, etc.)
We have been incredibly blessed to be able to keep our costs down with having kids. Even as Brianna has gotten older we save money by not buying separate foods for her (such as Stage 3 or 4 baby food), we have not bought her toys (except her Christmas slide) but we've been blessed with gifts (actually I did buy her an awesome puzzle last week at the Coalition for 50 cents), we've had people donate clothes to us just as she's moving up sizes, we had someone give us a potty for her from a yard sale, we don't buy videos or movies for her to watch, we've been incredibly thankful for grandparents who buy gifts for her "just because", she's never been sick and had to have medicine...
We just really have so much to be thankful for. I was thinking about this today as a girl loaded up my trunk with garbage bags of clothes for Brianna, some with the tags still on them, and all of them the exact clothes Brianna needs that I was about to break down and going to go buy.
It's just proof that God really will take care of us!