Leilani

My husband and I live way below our means. I come from a middle class family and have lived on a really meager salary for years when I lived abroad and when I went back to school.

When I married him, my mindset stayed the same.

That meant not expensive baby showers like in the States, or funny nursery porjects to dig into our budget. It was a straight forward plan with clear goals.

As soon as we got married, we followed the old and outdated (but useful to us) advice to live on the husband's earnings and use the wife's (mine) as "bonus" money (for capital investments or luxuries) because it would be expected to disappear once I got pregnant.

It worked for us because my husband did outearn me by about 2x, and by choice we have pretty traditional division of labor.

So we used my earnings to minimize our future expenses - we made a big downpayment on our property to minimize our monthly cost, we bought cars that would last and paid for them outright, etc.

We didn't save up a lot of extra cash for babies.

Though if you are in the good ol' USA be sure to budget appropriately for labor and delivery. It is IN-SANE what some families have to pay for a hospital birth.

After my first I ended up working about 1/3 time for a couple years, just to get out of the house. I expected to be a SAHM for the first 5 years or so - homemaking plus continuing to do the bookkeeping for my husband's business.

What happened is that it sort of became perminate.

From experience the first time around, the money I saved s by being at home is almost as much as I was making anyhow - more food grown/cooked at home, on-call for husband's business, cloth diapers (because I have time to do all that laundry), no daycare bill, plus ditching work expenses for me (gas, clothes, food).

I'm lucky in that we've always been able to more or less mindlessly save money for our entire marriage. A decent portion goes into retirement accounts, but our "emergency fund" at this point could last us a year at our current lifestyle.

Leilani

I saw a budget for having a baby, granted these are just the basics, but I wanted to weigh in and give my two center.

  • Diapers - $150 / month
  • Clothes - $100 / month
  • College - $150 / month

Our diaper budget went way down to ~30$/mo after 8 months. When they're little you're looking at 12-15 diapers a day but as they get bigger and concentrate all the poops into a few biggies a day the number shrinks. We go through 4-6 diaper a day now.

Clothing budget is a wee bit high I think.

Don't buy super expensive stuff for the baby. Family/friends will buy a lot of things. All you need for the first 3 months is maybe 5-10 onesies, 5-10 pajamas, and a couple pants/sweaters. All that stuff is cheap. It's the cute stuff you can't resist that gets pricey but you can get all that for really cheap at ross/marshalls/walmart/etc.

You'll also only need to clothes shop ~once/3-6 months to stock a wardrobe, definitely doesn't need to be an ongoing expense.

Move the savings into incidentals (docs, soap, butt cream, whatever) and you'll probably still come out ahead of that budget depending on your success in finding sub 1000/mo daycare.

Leilani

The only thing I'm really concerned about budgeting for is childcare, because compared to that, everything other expense is so trivial.

I have a baby fund that will help pay for everything, and I'd like spend no more than $1000 on crib, carseat, breast pump, stroller and cloth diapers...Those are my biggest budget items and I'm hoping to get some of those things used (when safe)..

You can pay to upgrade from semi-private to a private hospital room, but that's not too much.

Also a doula if you want one - they're fairly pricey. Then there's photographers and announcements and stuff if you're into that. Also some people throw massive baby showers and like rent a hall and cater it...But if you're a less-is-more type I'm guessing that's not really your scene haha. Elective ultrasounds aren't covered, I think the standard is a just the anatomy scan and sometimes the dating scan (at least in ON). All of the things I just listed are totally optional, I'm just trying to think of costs that aren't obvious.

Stay at home mothers don't need to worry about childcare costs, so I can't really think of anything else major. We're incredibly lucky to live in Canada where we don't have to worry about having a complicated delivery and ending up bankrupt. It's heartbreaking to see our American friends struggling with the insane costs associated with pregnancy and birth, and then on top of that not even getting paid leave.

I wish there was something we could do.