Above: Baby Evan at 11 months.
Today, our family celebrates my son’s first birthday. When we first looked at him that cold January day last year, this day seemed so far away. I’m sure most of you with kids have had the same experience. Time flies relentlessly by and they seem to learn new things almost daily.
I hope he will look back on this site one day and be proud of his dad. It’s crazy how the Internet has changed the kinds of things we leave behind, a legacy if you will (nod to Gary Vee).
Happy birthday, son.
The 12th Month
All right, enough sappy-ness. I’m here to do business and share the latest numbers with you for what it costs to take care of the little guy.
Here are the raw spending numbers for December as well as a full one-year running average in each category. Keep reading for information on our first-year total.
Reviewing the Data
Most of December’s data isn’t a surprise based on our performance in past months. Here are a few things I’d like to point out, though:
- Food: Our food budget has increased exponentially in the last 30 days, because my son’s moved on to eating “table food,” i.e. “real-people” food. Of course, this doesn’t mean sushi and jerk chicken, but rather things like fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, and some proteins (he’s temperamental about beef but seems to have taken a liking to tilapia). Three solid-food meals a day, however small they still are, are beginning to add up.
- Total Average: At about $200 a month, our son isn’t as much of a hit to our budget as we originally expected. Of course, we’ve been fortunate in many areas, especially child care, based on our circumstances. I am curious to see how the numbers change as we move into the second year.
The First Year
With a full year of data behind us, I was able to start running some totals and comparing our progress to national averages. This will also serve as a great baseline for future kids!
Here’s a brief summary of our first full year of expenses:
What do I make of this?
All in all, I think we did pretty well in 2010. $2,200 is well below the typically quoted national averages, which range from $5,000-$10,000.
Our numbers, of course, reflect only post-birth costs. Adding in our pre-birth expenses, including furniture, I would estimate we’ve spent a total of $3,500-$4,000 to date, still well below the first-year average.
I’m hesitant to call our progress a “success” because we’ve been fortunate to save money in so many areas with the help of friends, family, and life circumstances.
But it is proof that, when the stars align, having a baby doesn’t have to be an astonishing hit to your budget. Let’s see how things go in the next 12 months!