Friday, September 11, 2015

How much does Madeleine cost?

I'm pretty sure most of you have seen the articles about how much a kid cost to raise.

With me starting work out of the house next week, I've been thinking a lot about being a stay-at-home-mom and if it's worth it. Thoughts like would I do it again if I had the chance to do it all over again, what are the pros and cons, would we be better off financial etc.

I wanted to see how much we are saving by me being at home, but in order to do that, I had to first find out how much our kid cost. Since Matt is a neat freak, our finance spread sheets made it pretty easy to calculate.

So here you go.

Pre-birth (2012)
Crib, stroller, carset, clothes, toys, and birth announcement: $129.24
Fabric for bedding and blankets: $87.60
Things for me (OB visits, prenatal vitamins, materinity clothes, and pregnancy books): $28.87

Total: $245.71

(Does not include diapers or anything like that since we waited to grab that after she was born)

We also got $4,967 back on taxes for 2012 since she was born just before New Years and we qualified for both the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit.

Day 1 to 1 year (2013)
Medical bills for being born: $453.03
Medical bills first year: $139.84
Clothing: $232.85
Toys: $76.17
Diapers: $210.72
Baby stuff (furniture, breast pump, changing pad, binkies, nursing bras etc.): $374.23
Formula: $50.06

Total: $1,536.90

Housing doesn't apply for either of these time periods because we stayed in a one-bedroom
She was on medicaid for a lot of her first year luckily so we didn't have too much in the way of medical bills. 

Car to be honest, we don't spend much on our car. It's paid off and it's the same car we had before she was born. We didn't upgrade, and we rarely drive anywhere just for her. If you wanted to add gas, we average about $60 a month in gas and $1,960 total for everything (gas insurance etc.) a year.

Also during this time we got a $1000 for the child tax credit.

1-2 years (2014)
Clothes: $337.94
Toys and books: $459.63
Outings and snacks:$496.80
Diapers and wipes: $209.01
Sippy cups and kid size utensils: $44.64
Healthcare: $1,050
Food: $1,002 (20% of our total food budget)

Total: $3,600.01

Housing doesn't apply here either. The cheapest on-campus housing was a two bedroom. Even single people lived in them. If we didn't have her we would still be living in the same place.

Again we got a $1000 for the child tax credit.

And yay for not being sick at all. :)

2-3 (2015 so far)
Clothes: $205.40
Toys and books:$223.07
Outings and snacks: $354.08
Diapers and wipes:$108.23
Cups, dishes, etc.: $100.46
Healthcare: $1,050
Food: $1713 (a third of the food in the house. She eats a lot)
Daycare: $510.00

Total: $2551.24

Housing strangely still doesn't apply, since we got an extra discount for having a kid. It's actually about $100 cheaper than the one bedroom.

Daycare will all be reimbursed at the end of the semester by Princeton and we bike there and back.

Diapers drop drastically when we started cloth diapering.

And again, she's been pretty healthy. :)

So that's what we have paid so far for having a toddler.

According to the USDA, we should be paying

Overall Annual Estimated Costs

(Household Type = Two Parents, Income = Less Than $61,680, and Region = Northeast)

HousingFoodTransportationClothingHealth CareChild Care and EducationOtherTotal
Your Costs:$4,600$1,600$1,425$925$738$4,225$563$14,075
National Costs:$3,875$1,513$1,500$838$838$2,750$538$11,850

We are higher on healthcare and food but below most other things. So according to this we are saving about $10,000 a year (that's also taking out an extra $600 for transportation). It also helps that I've been able to work most of her life with her, pulling in an additional $15,000 without having to pay for daycare. Also, daycare is way more than $4,225. The daycare Madeleine is currently going to would be $1,860 a month if she was going full time. (Although we would still get a $5000 discount from Princeton, but it would be $17,320 a year for her to go still after the discount.)

I'm pretty excited about working out of the home even if it's just a bit, but I'm already feeling the pull of shifting to being a working out of the house mom. Our lives are already more complicated with daycare pick up and drop offs and meeting up with friends is a lot more difficult. 

So looking at the numbers...does any of this surprise you? I feel like the media tries to scare people in thinking that kids are unavoidably expensive and out of most people range. Matt and I are just starting to notice money going towards Madeleine, but to be honest, that's mostly because our food budget had to be bumped up a bit.


  1. I actually am surprised, and gratified. Thank you for the peek at these finances, it is very comforting/illuminating.

    1. Thanks! I think it is too. I really do think our culture over markets to kids and scares people into thinking they can't provide for kids without lots of money.