Checking in with our May 2020 baby costs report. Each month I detail our baby budget and our baby-related spending. I also highlight our monthly savings compared to buying new retail items (spoiler alert: opting for used saves a lot!). You can find all the reports here: Monthly Reports – Baby Expenses and Savings.
I write about our monthly baby budgets to add transparency and detail to what a family’s baby expenses actually looks like month to month. By showcasing the value of focusing on used items, I hope to motivate someone else to try to be more frugal and buy less new stuff.
Buying less or buying used helps both for your wallet and the environment.
May saw limited baby spending for us because of social distancing. We had previously bought bulk-sized boxes of diapers and wipes to help minimize our shopping trips, and are limiting purchases to essentials and contactless pick-ups for used items. Overall, our spending on goods and services is way down.
In May 2020, we spent $300.77 on our baby. These costs came entirely from medical bills and formula. We are still dealing with our baby having a persistent fever so May saw a lot of medical visits and lab work.
I did one secondhand transaction in May – a lot of free baby clothes that I was able to pick up without coming in contact with anyone. Compared to buying retail, this saved us about $96.
These savings would not be possible without the generosity of others, who took the time to pass along their baby items instead of throwing them away. I partly started my record keeping to make sure that anything I got directly from another family I gave away for no more than what I originally paid.
While the environmental and financial impacts of finding used goods are obvious, the strengthened connection to my local community has been a much appreciated bonus.
I breakdown our spending into the following categories:
Diapers: $0 spent, $0 saved
We did not buy any diapers this month. I ordered a bulk box of diapers at the end of April that will likely last us at least two months.
Formula/Feeding: $38.98, $0 saved
We purchased two containers of Costco Kirkland brand formula in May. Our baby is eating 32 oz. of formula a day so a formula container lasts us approximately 10 days. To read more about the cost savings of Kirkland brand formula, check out this post on whether Costco is cheaper for baby items.
Clothes: $0 spent, $96 saved
I got a bag of free baby clothes from a Facebook parents group that included nine pajamas and three rompers. I posted in search of pajamas without feet and someone offered me this mixed lot instead. Had I bought these clothes new at Carter’s, it would have cost approximately $96.
Baby Gear: $0 spent, $0 saved
No baby gear purchases this month.
Medical: $261.79 spent, $0 saved
As I mentioned in my April 2020 monthly baby costs report, our baby has had a persistent fever of unknown origins for at least the last two and a half months. Because of that, we have been in for near weekly doctors appointments and lab work.
The costs here reflect two doctor visits, one chest x-ray, and four blood tests. Because of the lag between visits and billing, some of these appointments were from April and some of our May appointment have yet to be billed.
I anticipate that our June medical baby costs will continue to be high because of these outstanding medical bills from specialists. As of now, our baby still have a fever so we are also expecting more testing at some point.
Resale: $0 recouped
I did not resell any baby items this month.
Overall Monthly Baby Costs: $300.77 spent, $96 saved
May was another abnormal month in baby spending for us. With social distancing, we have curtailed store trips and non-essential purchases. Luckily, I had worked ahead on acquiring baby gear so we have not needed much outside of diapers and food.
Our baby has become more mobile and plays with items a lot more in the last month or two. We have not bought him toys and instead have been repurposing household items with which he can play. Using household items allows us to skip an additional baby purchase, saving money and reducing our load of baby gear. It makes me really happy to see our kid crawl over a “real toy” in favor of his favorite toy – an old egg carton.
Were it not for our baby’s current medical issue, we would have spent very little on baby stuff this month. However, his ongoing fever issue means our baby medical costs are high and likely will continue to be. Based on the specialists we’ve seen, I think we will see the highest baby costs we’ve had since my labor and delivery pregnancy costs in the next month or two.
There isn’t much we can do to save on medical costs except pay for bills with a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs are tax advantaged account where you can pay for qualified medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. Using pre-tax dollars saves you money on taxes.
As our area has entered initial stages of reopening, our secondhand yard sale groups have become more active. I am starting to look for items we may want in the coming months, like a toddler-sized table, feeding accessories and next-size-up clothes. Looking for items in advance is one way I save more money on baby costs. Having more time to find items gives me the flexibility to wait for good deals.
Caveat to this monthly baby costs report: These reports are as accurate as possible but my baby costs record keeping is not 100% perfect. Reported savings are estimated to the best of my ability. Sometimes I am unable to find exact item online, account for fluctuating sales, or remember exact details of budget entries with generic descriptions. These baby costs do not include gifts from friends and family. While gifts only account for a small part of the baby things we use (we requested no gifts), my reports may slightly underestimate baby expenses if you account for gifted items.
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