Baby Expense Report: Month 4

Honestly, I can’t believe it’s already been 4 months. The time is truly flying by, but at the same time, the days at the hospital seem like a distant memory from decades ago.

This month’s report is not very eventful, so I don’t have much to share with you in that respect:

Yup, I’m not kidding. This is not an accounting trick. The only non-college expenses this month were health-related, and they involved the health insurance premium, doctor’s visits and miscellaneous supplies.

How can this be?

As I explained last week, we’ve started to buy things in bulk. That’s why you saw such a big spike in last month’s diaper spending. In turn, that was offset by this month’s $0 figure.

To make the report more informative, and since I now have a bit of backlog data, I’ve begun to include a running monthly average for each category. This should give you all a much better idea of our average spending on the baby.

In total, we’ve spent about $1,300 since the birth of our son. We’ve also implemented or will soon implement some of the following cost-cutting measures:

  • Buying in bulk. We get as many items as possible in bulk, especially diapers and wipes. This not only saves on the item price, but on repeated trips to the store.
  • Using an HSA insurance plan. I’ll explain more in a few weeks, but an HSA plan offers lower premiums in return for the ability to save money in a tax-free account. That keeps our overall healthcare costs down.
  • Breastfeeding. To the surprise of our pediatrician, we have fed our baby 100% breast milk up to this point, without exception. Obviously, that means no money spent on formula.
  • Staying away from “cute” stuff. There are so many cute clothes, toys, and other baby things out there. If we gave ourselves the opportunity, we’d buy it all. So we let others do it for us.🙂 It’s really a win-win.

There’s much more, of course, on a daily basis, but those are the main ways we’ve kept costs at a very manageable level.

See you in 30 days with another report!

Photo by M.ADA

14 thoughts on “Baby Expense Report: Month 4

  1. I’m really curious about how using an HSA (for a baby) could save you money. A few trips to the doc and some medicine could easily wipe out your yearly deductible. Hoping for a post on this. I ran a big test with my HSA (2500/yr Deduct+100/mo premium) and the only way I could make the numbers REALLY work in my favor (vs typical healthcare) is to order my allergy/asthma medicine from India. I also stocked up on antibiotics (2 drugs to prevent resistance) for infrequent sinus infections.

    1. The math was simple in my mind: I compared two similar plans, one traditional with copay, the other an HSA plan. On the basis of premiums alone (not even factoring in the no-copays and tax savings), the difference in premiums between the two plans MORE than pays off the entire yearly deductible.

      In short, even if I use up my entire deductible every single year (highly unlikely), I should come out ahead.

      By the way, my trips to the doctor are about $60 a pop, and the last medicine I got for him was $25. Unless we get a big emergency, like a hospital visit, I don’t foresee burning through the deductible.

      Thanks for your question! I’ll definitely get into more detail on it soon!

      1. I guess that’s the power of preexisting conditions. My HSA caps drug benefits at $2000/yr so I was looking at an additional 1800 a year. So in this case I’m the exception, not the rule. I should also look at a more affordable doctor!

      2. Not at all the exception–I think the majority of people have some kind of preexisting issue (my entire office was recently shopping for individual insurance, so I have a small but pretty varied sample to observe). HSAs don’t make sense for everyone, our family included (a couple of family members are on a separate plan), but they are attractive under the right circumstances.

        Generally speaking, I think they’re best for the young and relatively healthy who don’t use the healthcare system frequently or can otherwise make the numbers work.

        All in all, we’ll see how the experience goes for us…

  2. ha ha “staying away from cute stuff”!…. Yes that’s some advice everyone can listen too!

    Buying in bulk works wonders if well planned and you are proving it.

    Looking forward to the 1 year post….
    .-= Forest´s last post: Haven’t Bought A Mother’s Day Gift Yet? Don’t Get One!! =-.

    1. Me too! I’m not sure how long I’ll continue the reports, but I definitely want to reach the 1-year mark first.

    1. Hehe. More realistically, we had to be really careful to make sure that he doesn’t grow out of his size before we went through a box, since one box does last us about a month and a half.

  3. Great to see that you already have a college fund started for your son! My mother tells me, “Even if you think you are ready to have a kid – start putting away money for college!”

  4. Another avenue you might want to consider is using coupons for diapers and stocking up when the getting is good. There’s a whole “science” to using coupons, and I’ve stocked my pantry and donated tons of food to the local shelters for pennies on the dollar. I don’t have babies, so I always give away my diaper coupons. Check out sites like moneysavingmom.com for more of an explanation on how power couponing works. I can almost always beat Sam’s and Costco’s prices on most things I buy by 20 or 30% combining coupons with sales (that’s when I stock up!).

    Neat read, in any case. Nice to see that college fund in process.
    .-= Valerie´s last post: Farm Fresh Double Dollars – 3 extra days =-.

  5. To save money you could use cloth diapers. Of course the initial outlay of money seems bad, but you never have to buy them again, they last until the child is potty trained, then you don`t have to buy anymore for baby number 2. And it’s easier to potty train a cloth diaper baby.

    Plus it’s healthier, less diaper rash, less chemicals and chemical smell (I know disposables smell good but it’s not a natural smell).

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