David and I were just talking the other day about how surprisingly inexpensive Liam has been for us. It got me thinking, and he really doesn’t cost us much at all at this point in his life. So I figured, why not write out some hints that have helped us to keep expenses down in the main categories? And here they are:
1) Childcare: Well, obviously this is a ZERO expense for us since I stay at home with Liam. And I realize how fortunate I am to be able to do this! We have found that besides not paying for childcare, since I am at home with him, we also feel less guilt to go out and buy him brand new toys & clothes on the weekends. So double savings!
2) Milk: This one is simple – I exclusively breastfeed and have never once bought Liam any formula. This is a HUGE savings for us, as most people spend approximately $40 a week on formula. One of the reasons that I have been able to breastfeed Liam with little trouble for the last 9+ months is that I have a Medela Pump In Style breastpump. This makes it possible for me to leave him for a few hours and leave a bottle if necessary and has also kept us nursing during a few difficult times where Liam was having “nursing strikes”.
3) Medical: Liam’s medical expenses have a DIRECT correlation with my last topic. It’s simply proven – breastfed babies are sick WAY less often than their formula-fed counterparts. Again, this is not a judgment against people who formula-feed, but simply a fact. Liam has only been to the doctor one or two times for actual “sick” visits, and these were just heat rash-related things that a nervous new mom didn’t know about. 🙂 He has gotten a few colds and such, but overall has been very healthy. Also, although it is not always easy or fun, I keep him out of the nursery at church. I am planning on doing this at least for his first year. That way, he doesn’t get nearly as many colds & bugs as other kids might.
4) Diapers: I know that people say that cloth diapers are the thriftiest way to diaper your baby, but I am not really “there” yet. We buy the Costco-brand diapers in bulk and they are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP and work great. Other generic brands fall short, but these diapers are great. Rarely do we spend more than about $40 a month on diapers.
5) Clothing: I rarely buy new clothing for Liam. He simply grows out of it too fast! I have had GREAT luck with buying assorted lots of clothing on Craigslist. For example, I bought 45 name-brand items in the 12 & 18-month size range for $50 from one lady and 50+ items in the 18 & 24-month size range for $30 from another lady! That pretty much gave me what I needed clothing wise for about a year, except for a few things here and there that I have to pick up. Another trick I learned from my sister-in-law Allison is to buy long-sleeved white onesies. This way, you can wear them underneath short-sleeved shirts & polos even in winter, thus expanding their wardrobe even more! Also, garage sales are a great place to find clothing. Babies just grow out of it so fast that there is NO reason to buy new!
6) Toys: We don’t spend a ton of money on toys. We have been fortunate to have friends pass down toys & activity things to us that their babies used and we also buy some things secondhand as well as a few select new items. I think that most kids have too much “stuff”, so we just make sure that if we’re going to get a toy for him that it will really last for awhile and that it is worth taking up the precious little space that we have in our house.
Anyway, hope those items help! We really love our little guy & can’t wait to have more babies at some point in the future. They are truly a blessing from the Lord!