Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How Not to Go Broke After Having Children

Well my fellow blogger, Middle Class Millionaire recently became a parent. So I thought I would share some things I've learned about raising kids and money so far.

Kids accept anything they grow up with as normal. This is your key to raising a happy child without going broke. For example, my kid mostly wears clothes from Walmart. Why? I don't need high quality when the out grows it before wearing it out. So why spend the money, unless your wife is having a 'It is SO CUTE' moment and the item is on sale at the Please Mum store.

The fancy looking crib is really for yourself and not your kid. Otherwise you would just accept the fact it doesn't have to look good to any but you 95% of the time for only a few years. Try to find one that converts to a toddler bed so you can really get some use out of it.

A cradle is a waste of money for most people. The kid doesn't need to be in there in the first place. A few rolled up towels gives the same effect in the crib. Also the change table is a complete waste of money, because if you were really worried about their safety you would just change them on the floor on mat. You can also skip the baby tub, since a foam mat in the bottom of your regular tub works just as well for under $5.

Cloth diapers are WAY cheaper in the long run, so try to switch when you can. Bottle baby food is useful for the first try at anything, then wash the jars and get a blender and make your own.

If you want a cute custom receiving blanket, go to your fabric shop and buy 1 square meter (1 square yard) of fabric and hem the edges. My wife got a set of these from a friend and loved the extra big size.

One thing to really put some money into is a good chair in the kid’s room for the first while (if your really smart you might be able to just borrow one from elsewhere in the house). You will be in there a lot until the kid is sleeping through the night, so make sure you can get comfortable.

Other than that, buy a digital camera, as then you can take a few hundred pictures and just print what you need rather than everything.

One last thing, remember that your kid is more important than anything in the world to you, so get some life insurance for both of you and make sure you get the kid a SIN number ASAP so you can open a RESP account right away.


Canadian Capitalist said...

Funny that we made a post on the same subject.

We never got a changing table, but I know some people really like them because it is easier on the back. I think the cheapest option is to simply ask around and you may be able to land most things for free.

Middle Class Millionaire said...

Good post CD. I couldn’t agree more! We have some very expensive baby clothes from Baby Gap that were given as gifts as well as some Walmart clothes (that we bought) and our baby has not once complained that his Walmart duds are not fashionable enough…

We have all the baby accessories crib, change table, basinet, playpen etc...but the only thing we bought new was a good quality stroller and car seat combo (about $400). That was the only thing that we felt should be bought new (car seat for safety and the stroller for our convenience)


Anonymous said...

We bought a foam change pad that goes on top of a normal dresser.

Works great, about $20-30.

Canadian Dream said...


That is a bit funny, but both posts take it from a different angle. Very good idea on asking around for free items.


Good call on the carseat/stroller combo. We got a good one as well and we still use the stroller when we go roller blading with the kid.


We got one of those as well and justed used it on the floor. The kid has always been a pain to change, so it is just safer for everyone.


byno said...

We did the cloth diaper thing for both of our kids and while it was a lot of extra work we were glad we did it. Not for the money savings but for the environment. It is amazing how much room a dozen disposable diapers a day can quickly fill up your garbage.

Not sure how much money we did or didn't save doing this though as the inital purchase of the cloth diapers and the extra loads of laundry and detergent all added up too.

One tip I would like to add, and it is one that we did and found it to be very helpful. Much like how you recommended getting some material to make a receiving blanket, my mother-in-law went out and bought some material and made us about 100 cloth wipes. These were fantastic! We just reused one of the plastic containers you get from the disposable wipes and would pre-wet the clean cloth wipes and place them in the container.

Worked like a charm :)

Anonymous said...

you make some good points however, i would caution against putting rolled up towels in a crib as they are a hazzard.