I've been brainstorming lately to write an eBook about having a baby on a budget. A distant relative of mine got pregnant this year (accidentally) and is 18 years old. She still lives with her family and none of them have any money. They are going through a really hard time financially. Anyway, I had all this advice I wanted to give her about cutting costs raising a baby, but I refrained because I didn't want to give unsolicited advice. But it got me thinking....
I looked up when the "experts" estimate it costs to have a child today (form birth-18 years old) and found it RIDICULOUS. It's from the US Dept of Agriculture. It said it costs about $30,000 to raise a baby from birth to 3 yrs of age (for a rural middle income family). What????? What the HECK are they including in that cost? I didn't delve further into it to see if they included details, but I might go back and check.
Total for a middle income family to have a kid from birth-18 yrs is $241, 080- and that doesn't include college. Ummm... who are these people? I promise you we won't spend anywhere near that. Heck, that would mean we would spend a total of $1,205,400 on our five kids. Hahahahahaha!!!!
So, all that to say, do any of you have any money-saving tips when it comes to babies and young children?
I find that I can get brand new clothing from good stores like Gymboree and Belk if I shop clearance sales, use their coupons, and buy at the end of the season for the following year. I have gotten very good deals using Gymboree's GymBucks program in the past, but the last two times it seems like they raised the prices on their clothes during GymBucks redeeming time.
We don't buy baby food. I didn't learn until the third baby that you DON'T have to start solids by 6 months, and you can feed them your own food mashed up. For the most part, I think buying baby food is a waste of money. Of course, if I had to formula feed for some odd reason, I might want to start solids sooner just to get the kid off of formula. Then again, I'd probably try goats milk before I tried formula.... Now I am rambling