Can We Afford a Baby? Yes, We Can!

I am really terrible at budgets. I have never even been able to write down what I spend for more than a couple days. There is a long history of being terrible at budgets in my family, one I won’t get into because, well, it’s been “discussed” enough for one lifetime. In my parents’ defense, they were either in the army or living on my dad’s family’s tour bus (I have especially found memories of the Bus Tours to New York from New Brunswick) There was a family band! a la The Partridge Family! from the time they got married at seventeen-years-old until well into their twenties. I will say that my mother is enthusiastically supportive of me doing better at following a budget, and I am absolutely determined to do better by the time I have my own kids. Which is now really soon. I hope.

The point is this: I made a budget! It’s not complete, but it lists the big-ticket items we will need to buy when baby comes along and some smaller things, too. I know, I’m missing clothes, but I have got a box at my sister’s house of hand-me-downs. I also left off a baby monitor. We won’t be living any place large enough to require one. Trust me. I think my husband could hear me typing from the bedroom if he weren’t asleep. The place we have our eye on across the hall? It’s big, necessarily, it just has a whole separate room for the kitchen. That sounds like a huge luxury when I think about the kitchen we have now–the fridge wobbles because it sits half on the linoleum put down to prove this is a kitchen and half on the wood that’s supposed to designate “hallway.” It’s going to be a few years before we can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Which is also why I left off any items required to decorate a nursery/child’s room. Yes, even a crib. For the first few months, the baby will sleep with us, and only then will we decide as a family if we want a separate crib or not. I can always run crying to Babies R Us if co-sleeping makes us miserable for some weird reason.

Other notes: the high chair price is static, because I am getting a Stokke high chair. I want their stroller and crib, too, but I’m on a budget, here. Nathan and I have decided on the high chair, though. It’s amazing and worth it. The baby bathtub price is set, too, because I know which one of those I want. I’ve had lots of practice with this one, and it is great for giving baby a bath and still having two hands to use without fear of water in the baby’s face. So, what do you think? What would you add? How many diapers would you start out with, my cloth-diapering comrades?

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