The cost of having a baby is nothing compared to the cost of raising the kid to 17. Particularly if your kid is Zac Efron. Dude is basically always 17.
That said, the 9 months leading up to the delivery of your in-utero so and so will add some burden to you and your partner’s bank accounts. Check out this breakdown of the biggest pregnancy expenses and how you can cut some costs.
There are so very many things that you’ll feel you need to buy before the baby arrives. But for the most part those are just feelings. There is a very short list as to what you’ll actually need (none of which are vegetable dyed, salvaged-wood mobiles shaped in the profiles of famous smart people).
A Place For The Baby To Sleep ($40 to $300): Crib? Bedside co-sleeper? Bassinet? You have options. Sadly, though, these are not “buy them used” items. Considering it’s your kid’s life you’re talking about, it’s best to go with something new and well-researched. You don’t want to buy anything that’s been recalled for sudden accidental limb removal no matter how many limbs you think you kid can spare, (you monster).
A Car Seat ($150 – $400): Again, given the constant change in safety recommendations, you’ll want to get something new and up-to-date. There is some money to be saved here, however, by buying something that your kid can use until they’re big enough to call shotgun and annoy the crap out of everyone. See Fatherly’s picks here.
A Baby Monitor ($60 – $250): You might not think you’ll need this if you’re co-sleeping, but know that at some point you will want to put your kid in an area that’s far from you for a little while. The price options and functionality of these devices are extraordinary. You can save money by going for a sound-only model, or you can get high-tech, wifi-enabled, app-driven and pricey. This is something you can actually score used, too. If it works, it works! And it’s better than the soup can and string system you were actually considering. See Fatherly’s picks here.
Not on the above list? Changing tables, high chairs, play gyms and toys. Why? For the first many months your kid will not need these things. Change the kid on the floor or a bed (but be wary of high places). Score used toys, disinfect and go. You have time when it comes to high-chairs (but if you feel like spending even more money, see Fatherly’s picks here).
Baby clothes are the biggest racket ever. Do not buy them new. They are worn for such short periods of time that multiple generations can rock the same onesie without it ever going out of style. Hook up with family members or friends who might have totes of stuff you can uses. Totes.
Doing some quick back-of-the-diaper-box math, you can expect to change roughly 10 diapers a day on a newborn. Figure a box of 128 diapers runs you $35, and figure you’ll need 2 of those boxes in the first month, that’s $70. But you can save all 70 of those dollars (plus the ones you’d spend in months 2 and 3) by just asking for them in lieu of baby gifts. It will make all your partner’s baby shower attendees feel useful, and will save you from storing the crap they’d have otherwise bought you. Which, ironically, are totally not useful for dealing with crap.
Supporting your partner’s health and peace of mind as you’re preparing for the kid isn’t as simple as a kind word, a smile and a pat on the back. Oh, that it were.
Nutrition ($1,000): you’ll want to add prenatal vitamins into your mix as early as possible. They’ll go for about $30 for a month’s supply. You may also want to start buying raw ingredients meals to keep any fetus penises from shrinking thanks to phthalates. While it’s cheaper than hitting restaurants for 9 months, Harvard suggests it’s $1.50 per day, per person to eat fresh food instead of the processed stuff. That’s about $900 over the course of the pregnancy if you’re both getting healthy. Which you should have already done to keep from developing fat sperm. Seriously. Not much of a work around on these costs, sadly.
Peace Of Mind: You may want to consider birthing classes. The top 4 types of classes will vary in cost. But you may be able to score them cheap or free if you go through a hospital. And if you’re feeling too cheap to buy any amazing dad-to-be books, just keep an eye peeled on your favorite parenting website for dudes, gratis!
You’ll want to hash this one out with your insurance company as soon as humanly possible. Estimating costs gets complicated. Be sure to budget co-pays on doctors visits as well as any other out-of-pocket expenses before insurance kicks in.
There is one trick to consider if you haven’t conceived just yet. If you can get pregnant and deliver in the same year you may be able to avoid paying your premium twice. Which, luckily isn’t a terrible concern if you’re going to have a Zac Efron, since he’s yet to make Infant Again (thank goodness).