By Kelsey on September 21, 2012 19

Our Budget With a 6-Month-Old

We’ve written before about how much a baby costs, but not in this much detail. I sat down and ran the numbers the other day, and it really surprised me.

  • $150 on formula (32 oz/day)
  • $50 on diapers (six/day)
  • $704 on day care
  • $30 for chiropractic care
  • $277 for health insurance

Total: $1,211/month*
*Based on 4.4 weeks in a month

But what about…

  • Wipes? Day care provides wipes during the day, and we got so many wipes at our showers that we haven’t bought any.
  • Clothes? We haven’t bought any clothes yet, thanks to gifts and hand-me-downs from my sister.
  • Trips to Babies ‘R’ Us? I spent $18 this week on bibs, a Razbaby teether and Boogie Wipes. I can’t remember the last time I did this. We really try to keep these trips to a minimum. I don’t have an accurate number for how much these items cost us per month, but maybe $5-10/month.

Miscellaneous/non-monthly costs:

  • At this point, our hospital bills are paid in full ($4,013).
  • Decorating the nursery cost about $1,100.
  • Birth announcements ($120) and thank-yous ($42) are done.
  • We’ve paid $275 so far for well-baby checkups and other doctor visit co-pays ($25 each).

Upcoming costs:

  • Additional car seats as she grows.
  • We still need to do our estate plan.
  • I haven’t figured out yet how baby food will affect our budget (we’ve made some and bought some).
  • Etc…

Let me know if you have any questions. There is probably something I am leaving out…

P.S. You can do better on formula prices but we have chosen to use Earth’s Best Organic, as discussed in a post about the ingredients in infant formula.

P.P.S. A baby is a huge blessing and totally worth the costs that come along with it! I wanted to add this up for those of you who are planning to go from a family of two to three – it can be unclear about how much it will affect your budget.


I love my husband, my kids and the Internet.

  1. That teether looks neat! Do you have any recommendations on other teething remedies? Have you tried any of the natural stuff like amber necklaces or Camilla? We are just starting to deal with this (at least I think!) and I’m not sure what to try. Thanks for sharing your budget!

    • the only thing we’ve tried so far is hyland’s teething tablets. we gave them to her last week one night when she was really fussy. like you said, it’s hard to tell if she was fussy because of her teeth, but she did stop fussing after i gave her the tablets and then slept all night long.

    • Check out Gum-o-mile oil, too. Numbs the gums, but it’s holistic and can be found at many chiropractic offices or online.

  2. this is really helpful, thanks for posting! it’s nice to see conservative, but realistic numbers. sure kids can be super cheap if you stay at home, breast feed, cloth diaper, and live on hand-me-downs, but those aren’t always options and the associated costs can’t be ignored. i really appreciate seeing it spelled out.

    • you’re welcome! and you’re right that these are not the cheapest numbers you could do, but they are our reality. we use pampers diapers, organic formula, disposable wipes, buy some baby food, etc.

  3. I’m from Canada but my husband and I are considering moving to the States next year for his PhD. We are also planning on starting a family soon enough. Living in Canada, we do not have to pay for most healthcare and for delivery/hospital bills, so we are totally unfamiliar with the idea of paying for these things and find it to be totally scary.
    Can you explain: were your hospital bills mostly covered by insurance? (so, if you didn’t have insurance, would it have cost even more?). And is your monthly insurance for Rooney through your workplace? Do you pay all of that out of pocket or is it somehow tied up in your workplace benefits?
    Sorry if these questions are too personal :)

    • I know that with my insurance, we only saw $200 of our hospital bill($100 for me, $100 for the baby- this was my co-pay). And it was only $60 more a month to add him to my insurance at work. It really all depends on the type of insurance your employer provides, I have really good insurance, with relatively low co-pays. Not all employers here offer health insurance as part of your benefits though.

    • no worries :) our hospital bill was over $7,000, and after insurance our share was $4,013.

      and our monthly health insurance for Rooney is through our employer and comes out of our paychecks directly. we are going to look into getting her a separate policy for her to see if it is cheaper that way.

      good luck!

  4. This is really helpful – I’m due in December, and we need to sit down and create our budget for 2013. I didn’t even think about asking about how our insurance premiums will be affected.

    It’s crazy how much daycare costs can range depending on where you live- we live in Downtown Boston and it starts at $2200/month for infant “tuition” – Needless to say, it’s definitely more cost effective for me to stay at home.

  5. I’m surprised your hospital bill was so much! With insurance?? Our hospital bill with Liam was only $200. This time around we are having a home birth which is about $4000 but our insurance has agreed to cover 80% of the cost after we meet our deductible (which is ridiculously high by the way!) but it’s worth it to me. I’m excited about a home birth.

    Oh and when it comes to baby food it is definitely cheaper to make your own. I made and still make about half of his food but I hate cooking so I didn’t mind shelling out a dollar per pouch/jar.

    • our company reimbursed us $2,000 of our bill, but yes, that was our payment with insurance. the original cost was more than $7,000 – so insurance paid more than half.

  6. Wow! It’s interesting to see how our choices have affected how much our baby costs us!! We do what the above commenter mentioned, although not with the intention of saving money, per se. Breastfeed, cloth diaper, say at home, use hand-me-downs! But there are still lots of costs within those choices too. I needed more clothes that were breastfeeding friendly. Buying the cloth diapers has a big upfront cost. Staying at home does mean living on less.

    Luna’s csection birth cost around 12,000 total (long hospital say, drugs, ultrasound, the surgery) and we had to pay about 3,500 of it and insurance paid the rest. Not cheap! Could be worse, but it could be better!

  7. I found the older they get, the less you spend on diapers/food/daycare/etc. and more on clothes/toys/books/entertainment. I about dropped my phone when I read you hadn’t had to buy clothes yet but then I remember that was about the time our clothing gifts started to dwindle/not fit anymore and I only have boy hand-me-downs in my family so I have been “paying it forward” and loan out some of Brynn’s old things. So you enjoy that!!! :) We spent the weekend at the mall for our seasonal wardrobe overhaul. I had awesome coupons, but still… The consignment shops around town are great too!

    • you’re totally right – we would be running out of clothes right now if we were relying on gifts only. my sister had twin girls and then another daughter last year – she has a ton of clothes and they were all born in the spring so the sizes match up perfectly. we are SO THANKFUL for the hand-me-downs! although i have to admit it would be kind of fun to shop for her!

  8. Car seat makes a great gift from Grandma and Grandpa :) Just sayin’! Plus, it cut down on the massive amount of toys a child simply doesn’t need.

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