It's not the baby part, it's the kids and beyond part of their lives that is expensive. Ds isn't costing us much. Baby cloths are so easy to find second hand, but older kids cloths are not. This month alone I have spent $290 for bussing (if I drive them then I pay the same amount in lunch room fees), $120 in school resourse fees, $460 for indoor soccer (because I want my kids to get excersize and be in social situations outside of school, plus I'm on the soccer board and it's a great organization. Soccer is also the cheapest sport out there), $90 for soccer shoes and chin pads (for both girls), $150 for back pack/lunch bags/2 pairs of jeans. Needless to say we are flat broke until payday.
On payday the girls need some cloths because both went through and enormous growth spurt over the summer. Both of my girls can only wear slim pants with an adjustable waist and guess what? Old Navy and the Gap are the only places I can get them. I buy only when they have a sale. I buy jeans because they wear better. The girls only get 2 nice dressy outfits in their current size. Sometimes the youngest gets hand-me-down, but they usually don't fit her because she's very skinny and straight while her sister is curvy and stalkier.
My kids don't get fancy furnature or toys. I have refinished the furnature they do have to look nice. They don't have fancy toys. They have game boys which were given to them at Christmas and cheap stereos given for their birthdays. They don't have many games or cd's though. We took a trip to the coast and camped because it was the cheapest way to do it. We had a blast, but it still cost us $1200 to do it. Totally worth it but dh and I could have gone to Cancun for the same money and been in a warm bed with a hot shower. :LOL
We needed a mini van which makes things even tighter. We sold all other cars and now just have the van so we could make it. No car or SUV could hold the 5 of us safely. We didn't buy new, but it's not old either because we can't afford repairs on an older car.
Yes, kids are expensive. Perhaps people who state that are looking ahead? Babies are not a lot of money, but they grow up and their needs change. There is nothing wrong with making sure you are financially prepared for children. However, most people are never really financially prepared for children.
I love my girls and my son. I love my family. Sometimes I get a little down because it's like our money is always leaving our account. My dh makes a very good wage and I'm able to stay at home. However, things are very tight and we need to watch every penny. If we didn't have the kids we would be in a totally different place and enjoying a different lifestyle. But that's not the life we choose.
I wanted to add that I live in Canada and we pay a provincal healthcare fee of $75/month for our family. Not every provence pays this, but we do. I couldn't imagine paying hundreds for insurance. We also contribute $300/month into RRSP's throught dh's work because they match that amount monthly. We have studen loans, a car loan and a house payment. We have 1 car. No credit cards or other bank loans. Dh is in the third tax bracket and we are still struggling. Dh and I don't get new cloths unless they are from Costco because they are durrable and cheap. I have a friend that does my hair. We don't go out because we can't affor a sitter AND the evening out. I buy 1 bottle of wine every 2 weeks because I enjoy a glass from time to time and dh buys 1 bottle of wiskey every 2 months. We don't smoke. I buy locally and organically when I can, but I usually can't. I cook from scratch. And we are still struggling.