Does it really cost that much to have a baby? Of course not. It's sort of like weddings. If your goal is to get married, it's cheap. If your goal is to outdo and impress your friends, it's expensive.
Just look at the things in this article that few, if any, people need:
- Breast pump, bottles, etc: just take the baby with you. This also saves on babysitter costs.
- Baby classes: that's crazy. If you want to expose your baby to Mozart, switch on the radio. If you're really concerned about brain development, you can get all the ideas you could want for free from the library and Internet.
- Picture taking and distributing equipment: OK, we may be a bit derelict in this department. We are going to get a digital camera one of these days, really we are. And we don't have the expense for everything else needed to distribute them because we already have it. So I can't be too critical here.
- Books at $20 apiece: Thanks to aunts who know how to shop thrift stores, we have a good, low-cost collection. We also have several library cards.
- New car: huh?
- First birthday party: Give the kid some paper to crinkle up, cake to smash in his face, and adults acting like lunatics to watch, and he'll be happy.
Babies are the craziest thing to spend a lot of money on, because a) they have no idea you're doing it and couldn't care less as long as they get fed, and b) there is so much perfectly good baby stuff out there for next to nothing, because of all the people out there who are spending thousands of dollars on stuff for their kids--and then they only have two, so it's still in great condition when they're done with it.
Time to hit the garage sales again.