1. I always say that kids are cheap but costly. In complete honesty, between childcare and salary given up, our kids cost around $75k per year, and that’s before we’ve even fed them.

    That said our explicit kid purchases only cost $100-$150 per month. That’s stuff like diapers, wipes, clothes, shoes, kid activities (by that I mean purchasing crayons and a museum membership) etc.

    For baby, I was a big user of Target (though it helped that I had the 10% employee discount). Now that the kids are older I mostly use thrift shops for clothes and Aldi for diapers and wipes.

    We didn’t do much formula because neither kid liked it. I did a little formula with Shirley because I was over pumping (and didn’t have conference calls where I could just pump while on mute), but that was just when I needed to be away. We also skipped baby foods, and did potatoes, sweet potatoes, yogurt and applesauce until the kids could chew pretty well. Thankfully, they liked to eat food, so we had a pretty easy time switching them over to a mostly food vs mostly milk diet.

    I think that the amount you spend on a kid is highly dependent on the lifestyle you want to live. But even simple lifestyles have certain costs (like giving up a lot of salary).

  2. This is awesome! I wish I would have had this mindset when our kids were babies. I think I wasted a lot of money back then! I like the Target gift card roll over idea!

    Also, wanted to share a new trend I’m seeing that I am in love with – no gifts at birthday parties! This seriously makes me so happy! Most kids have more than enough toys and don’t need more. Parents are starting to write on birthday invites – no gifts please. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but felt that I would be a mean mom if I did. So glad others are paving the path for me, lol!

  3. We rolled gift cards too! But I also had cheaper prices from Amazon competing with the gift card roll so that made it more complicated over time since I was bad at timing the cycles of their baby promotions. Get me that schedule or a rough idea of it, and I’d be way better at it.

    About $100 a month seems reasonable to me. That’s roughly where I think we were.

  4. Although I don’t have kids yet, I have several friends and family members who do. They say the same thing – that there is no one size fits all when it comes to kids. Each child is different and what works with baby #1 may not work with baby #2 also. You have some good advice and it looks like you are budgeting well for your new addition. Congrats!

  5. I’d say we probably spend about $100/mo as well (of course that excludes our ridiculous daycare expense). Have you had to buy many clothes yet? My best friend’s daughter is about 15mo older than my daughter and she shares clothes with me. We just got two giant plastic tubs full of clothes from her. It’s amazing!!

  6. Wow that is impressive indeed Penny! Congrats on finding a supply and system that works for you. I think that’s really what it’s all about. Figuring out what works, and finding ways to optimize. I’m glued to your blog for the next 2 decades for sure, waiting for regular updates on how your budget changes over time. #thefinancialvoyeurismisreal 🙂

  7. My wife and I are going to have kids someday, but we’re definitely not going to raise them here in Sydney. Everything here is ridiculously expensive: at least 2x what it would cost in the U.S.

  8. We primarily use Target everything, too, although we buy Aldi diapers sometimes for pure convenience. A definite yes on the gift card “hack,” that’s how we do it, too.

    We have been averaging less than $100 a month by far, but we were gifted lots of diapers, I am exclusively nursing (no formula yet), and we’re not on solids yet. I have been buying a few solids here and there in preparation for when she needs them using iBotta discounts.

  9. I haven’t separated out what we spend specifically on our daughter but by breastfeeding (she won’t take a bottle), using cloth nappies (diapers in Australia) and wipes, and doing baby led weaning (where she eats what we eat) I’d say we spend less than $20 a month extra on our 13 month old.

    We’ve also accepted any hand-me-downs and bought all our larger items second hand which has saved us thousands.

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