Planning for Second Year Child Costs

Every month, I like to do something other than just following expenses, budgeting ahead, and planning world domination.

This month, we’re doing a bit of micro-planning and taking a look at how our baby expenses might shape up over the second 12 months of little Evan’s life. Many of you followed and enjoyed our baby expense reports, so this should be right up your alley. (Sadly, I fell off the wagon on those reports, but I’ll make up for it soon.)

Here’s what we’ve come up with, based on experience, research, and our trusty 8-ball:

  • Food: $750 (We buy and make all of our own baby food, mostly organic, so this assumes about $15 per week extra on Evan’s food, which is a bit more than we spend now—they grow, you know…)
  • Health Care: $1,500 (Our regular well visits are free, so this would only cover any emergencies or prescriptions we’d need to get, as well as the regular insurance premium we pay monthly.)
  • Diapers: $500 (Assumes a full year of average diaper expenses, which is the longest time span we’re willing to endure as we potty train.)
  • Clothes: $300 (This is a tough category to estimate accurately, but the good thing is we already have a lot of clothes from friends and family. We’ll just have to supplement where needed.)
  • Toys: $250 (If clothes were hard, this one’s just a stab in the dark. I expect that Evan will engage with toys more as he grows older—translation, more expenses—but I also intend to keep him busy in other ways, too.)
  • College: $2,000 (That’s more of a goal rather than what we expect, but I think we can reasonably reach it with a little effort. At this rate, we estimate being able to cover about 50% of 2028 college costs.)
  • Other Expenses: $200 (The are always little things that come up, so this would cover small, incidental expenses.)

You’ll notice nothing budgeted for common categories like babysitting or child care. That’s because we have a large family in town (more than willing to babysit regularly), and my wife now works from home (with baby in tow).

What do we total? $3,500 in non-college expenses over the second 12 months of life! Well shy of the many “conservative” estimates that tell us to plan for $10,000 a year until 18 years of age.

Will I prove the averages wrong or will I eat my words in 12+ months? We shall see. 😉

Photo by juhansonin