I find this fascinating because I am so close to having my first child!
I don't know about the costs of raising a child, but definitely what I have seen about preparing
for a child is silly. The book that so many of the women I have spoken with on other sites practically worship, Baby Bargains
gives a long, long list of things you will need. I wish I knew where that stupid book was so I could trot it out for us all to laugh at. I believe the total figure of things you'd need to prepare for the baby was somewhere in the $6000 range--and this was at their "bargain" price!
Okay, so far this is what we have spent on our little one: $198. Eighty-eight dollars for a crib (Oh, how I love the Navy Exchange!), seventy dollars for a convertible carseat, $25 for a little boy's going-home outfit, $10 for a girl's going-home outfit, $5 for soft shoes for the boy's going-home outfit (which I wanted just 'cause they're cute, darn it). We're looking at...hmm, another $30 for a crib mattress (I might be able to get one cheaper, but haven't seen one!), $40 for a sling, $36 for 3 doz prefolds from Babies R Us, perhaps another $25 for diaper covers, on the outside $100 for baby clothes...so $429 all together. I'll need to get some sort of seat to put her in when I'm taking a bath, because Bobby won't be here for the first 3 or four months of her life, that's maybe another $25. I know I could do it cheaper, but I can afford to start out my baby in new things, and I want to!
When she's older, we will start putting away money for college/wedding. I am still researching that. I won't tell the child to expect money from a wedding, but since dh & I couldn't afford the wedding we wanted (and it would have cost us only perhaps $2000!), it is important to me that I be able to give her money for hers.
When it is time to add up how much she costs us once she's born, I know I won't have to add in my lost wages! I have only worked, total, eight months out of the three years I have been married. I think it would definitely wind up costing us more for me to work than to stay home, but I want to go to college! I have a calling (teaching), & I have been avoiding it long enough. I am scared of daycare costs, but home daycare is one of the big things for Navy wives, so I will probably be able to find a good caregiver for only a little money. That's the big issue right now. Because I've been out of high school almost 5 years, I'm reaching the time limit, apparently, when all my good grades in high school could work towards getting me a scholarship! And I think that the cost of daycare pales in comparison to the cost of college, but it's something I have to consider seriously.
|I would love to have a career someday. I don't see why a woman can't have her babies young, stay home with them, and start a career when the babies are older. That's what my mom did.
I had to respond to this! Thank you, daylily, it's good to know I am not the only person who thinks like this! I got married when I was 19, & I did research & decided it would be better to postpone the career rather than the childbearing. Given how difficult it was for me to concieve, it's ironic this choice was essentially made to protect my fertility, but it has been noted that women lose a lot of their earning potential when they drop out of the workforce for a few years to have kids!
(And at this I must quit, because my husband is awake & it is my anniversary.)