Does Bringing Up Baby Have to Cost a Fortune?

Shaunta Alburger

You'd think that a person who can't speak to ask for Starbucks or Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and who only eats a few ounces of food a day, wouldn't cost much to upkeep.


Boy, would you be wrong!

Here are a few baby-money mistakes we made in 2005 while taking care of our infant daughter, Ruby. Maybe you can learn from them.

  • I tried to breastfeed Ruby, but when she didn't catch on I let the nurses at the hospital put her on formula before we even went home. In retrospect, I should have tried harder.

  • I didn't start using cloth diapers until Ruby was 10 months old.

  • We bought a $100 baby swing that Ruby enjoyed precisely as long as it took her to grow old enough to complain about being in it. About two months. (I was able to sell the swing on eBay for about half what we paid for it.)

  • I spent $40 on a specially designed chair called a Bumbo Seat, meant to allow a child to sit up without falling over. About six weeks later Ruby revealed her super-baby strength and sat up on her own at a very early age, negating the need for a Bumbo Seat.

Because she's such an agreeable little thing, too small to complain about much as long as she's dry and fed, Ruby will catch the brunt of many money saving experiments this year!

As soon as the Year of Extreme Frugality was conceived, I started using cloth diapers. Ruby was 10-months-old.

It was far too late to switch to breast milk! But, we did stop the fancy little jars of baby food quite abruptly. Ruby is far happier eating what we eat.

Ever since my single-mom days, I've always bought my kids' clothes at thrift stores and garage sales. Especially for babies as small as Ruby, the clothes are in perfect condition. They grow much faster than they can wear out an outfit!

By Shaunta Alburger

About The Author: Shaunta Alburger publishes The Penny-Wise Journal, a print newsletter for those who want to use a short period of very intense thrift as a means of getting out of debt and building savings.


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