Babies aren't expensive

(253 Posts)
ImYourMama Thu 11-Aug-16 15:58:11

Hi all, I'm hoping you can help. I'm new to Mumsnet and I'm 22 weeks pregnant with first baby. So far myself and DH have bought everything we can think of she'll need, in the summer sales. We've not paid full price for anything! But I'm worries about costs when she's here.

Everyone says it's so expensive having a baby, but I can't work out what will change aside from buying nappies/wipes and possibly formula if breast feeding isn't successful. We can just about manage on maternity pay and DH's wage if these are the main expenses, but am I missing something? I always thought babies were as expensive as you wanted them to be?

Is it more when they get older?

Please help, I want to be financially ready and I feel like I'm missing something obvious

Griphook Thu 11-Aug-16 16:01:55

When you add in child care or lose of earnings they are very expensive

DerekSprechenZeDick Thu 11-Aug-16 16:02:37

i think teens cost more than babies. I don't have teens but my siblings are and they eat a shit ton.

You'll never be ready. Just try your best and you'll be fine

fakenamefornow Thu 11-Aug-16 16:03:11

Babies aren't expensive, childcare and loss of earning are though.

Cookingongas Thu 11-Aug-16 16:04:26

Babies are relatively cheap. Childcare is expensive. Children cost more each year they grow ime

londonrach Thu 11-Aug-16 16:05:11

The stuff a baby needs is not bad. Tbh the second hand market is amazing and everyone gives you bits they dont need which is kind of them. Whats the killer is loss of my wages and if i did go back how much id pay in childcare! My wage is just smp now which makes a huge difference. However shes worth it!

leedy Thu 11-Aug-16 16:06:10

Agree that childcare costs (or loss of earnings if a parent stays at home) is a MASSIVE amount of the costs. Having a tiny baby in itself isn't particularly expensive.

Also older children definitely eat more. And cost more to clothe. And bring on holiday. Etc.

LifeInJeneral Thu 11-Aug-16 16:07:19

Personally I rely on lots of donated clothes from friends (though charity shops are amazing) as you need to get more quite often as they grow fast. Nappies and formula aren't too bad. When you start weaning you can do cheaply if you make your own (though honestly premade stuff isn't very expensive). I think it's when they get bigger and want new toys and days out. My boy is 6 months old and current tly doesn't cost me.much (bearing in mind you get child benefit and you may be entitled to child tax credits). The two of these easily cover what I need for him at the moment but I think you live to your own budget,some people have more money and will want to buy all.clothes brand new (as well they should, their money their choice) and they may want more expensive prams, furniture etc. I guess the first year can cost you less than a few grand if you need it to or over £10000 if you want it to

Mymouthgetsmeintrouble Thu 11-Aug-16 16:07:27

Feeding extra mouths and higher bills ( because were not out at work all day anymore) on only one salary is a big expense to us

plipplops Thu 11-Aug-16 16:07:33

DDs are 7 and 9, and cost a lot in terms of days out/holidays/the odd after school club but I think the real impact is def loss of earnings and childcare as others have said. Babies don't have to be at all (especially if you love a hand me down as much as I do!) I think some people get incredibly carried away with clothes etc...

megletthesecond Thu 11-Aug-16 16:09:53

Babies are cheap. I bought so much second hand for mine.

Childcare is the expensive part.

Rockelburger Thu 11-Aug-16 16:10:42

I agree they themselves don't actually cost much. I bought all my daughters clothes in sales, so got lovely top quality stuff for cheap. I have bought up to a year old, though she is only 12 weeks as wanted to do so whilst on full wages still. Not looking forward to statutory maternity!!!

Furniture from IKEA for children is lovely and sturdy.

ImYourMama Thu 11-Aug-16 16:11:09

So the loss of earnings we've factored in, and we can manage, childcare is free thanks to very generous family. If this is covered is the material stuff manageable?

When do they get to an age where they cost 'more' - is it school age?

Thank you all for your help!

isthatpoisontoo Thu 11-Aug-16 16:12:04

They are in terms of childcare/ loss of earnings, but I don't think that's what people mean.

I think the problem is that you have nine months to think of everything you might ever need, and buy it! I've been shocked at my antenatal class how many people have moved house, decorated nurseries, spent nearly £1000 on pram sets, etc. I think we've managed to avoid too many unnecessary purchases, with the exception of a sparkly Christmas dress and a colour-changing room thermometer.

If you've got the money and spending it makes you happy, make your baby as expensive as you like! Don't let people tell you that you have to, though. They're just trying to make themselves feel better about how much they've spent (on things like unnecessary dresses and thermometers!).

OpenMe Thu 11-Aug-16 16:12:10

You're right, we found we were actually better off when the children were very small, despite me going part-time. Unless you have unlimted babysitting you don't spend any money on restaurants/theatre/clothes etc, even holidays we tended to stay in UK. Baby clothes are cheap and you get good quality hand-me downs that have been barely worn etc. Working less (or not at all) saves loads of money on travel, clothes and lunches etc too.

Now I have teens, I reckon DH and I could live on about half what we spend as a family if only we could get them to move out!

In between that if you're going to have them do many extra curricular clubs, swimming lessons, maybe a tutor if they struggle with something, older children are really very expensive, especially if you're unlucky enough to get ones talented at sport or music grin

And childcare.

badg3r Thu 11-Aug-16 16:12:43

Yes babies are very cheap. Childcare and loss of earnings is crippling though. DS's nursery costs are almost as much as our rent.

DerekSprechenZeDick Thu 11-Aug-16 16:12:43

School uniforms cost a lot and the letters from school asking for money add up.

My son is nearly 7 and he's into more expensive things now than he was 2 year ago.

If childcare isn't going to cost you then I think you will be laughing grin Cheap as owt for you

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Thu 11-Aug-16 16:14:02

I think the biggest jump financially is from tween to teen.

Adult clothes, peer group pressure, electronics, the unbelievable mountains of food they eat.

mrsmugoo Thu 11-Aug-16 16:14:10

It's more the childcare/loss of earnings when you go back really. Maternity leave is quite cheap.

Also when you start dropping £28 a time on Clarks shoes that get immediately grown out of!

OiWithThePoodlesAlready Thu 11-Aug-16 16:14:43

Babies are cheap. Children are not.

It's not necessarily stuff for the child as such but more children means bigger house/extra hotel rooms/extra plane tickets/bigger cars.

OpenMe Thu 11-Aug-16 16:17:35

Yes Oi. Now we have teens, every time you go to a restaurant or on holiday we're paying for four adults and that is crippling, although of course not essential.

BikeRunSki Thu 11-Aug-16 16:18:29

Very small babies are not expensive. You've accounted for loss of earnings and childcare, which are both huge for us. It's school age children that are expensive!!

Shoes, many, many shoes (everyday shoes, wellies, trainers, football boots, tap shoes...) are quite pricey. Activities which need the shoes in the first place. Logo'ed school uniform. Swimming, ballet and music lessons, and whatever other activity your child is interested in. Food!!! School dinners (£11/week from Class 3 onwards). After school club. Beaver Camp. Lego. Bikes. Coats. Replacement coats when they get torn on Beaver Camp. Going on holiday during school holidays.

ImYourMama Thu 11-Aug-16 16:18:53

I'm so relieved! At least for now, we have a family holiday venue in the UK we can use anytime for free and family are sharing child care. We'll keep saving as much as we can for when the expensive stuff really kicks off. Thank you all!

klmnop Thu 11-Aug-16 16:20:44

Lucky you on the childcare front! I'm literally jumping for joy that I only have 1 more nursery payment to make.
Other things to take into account are activities, hobbies and swimming lessons for example. Also think about holidays, once they are 2 you could be paying as much as an adult, free child places aren't always available and once they start school you're looking at only holidaying in school holidays when prices are crazy. You also need to think about Christmas, birthdays and birthday parties it all adds up!

EthelDurant123 Thu 11-Aug-16 16:26:11

My almost ten year old is getting more expensive by the year. Childcare, hobbies and interests, uniforms, shoes, tech, declaring she has a style now smile so we get certain jeans from certain shops (spoiling her a bit, I admit it), holidays, meals out (the kids menu for a fiver no longer fills her up) and pocket money. When she was little, apart from private nursery fees, she was virtually cost free as most of her stuff came from older cousins.

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