The Lusty Vegan: How Much Baby Can You Afford?

Zoe Eisenberg, iEG sex/lifestyle

When I was younger, babies didn’t interest me much. Sure they were cute, but I would rather snuggle a puppy, who asks for nothing but belly rubs and the occasional bowl full of chow. Whenever I babysat, I always felt I was with a strange little alien who oh-so-selfishly assumed their needs (food, comfort, diaper changes) were more important than mine (Netflix marathons and really long soaks in the bathtub).

However, somewhere around 25, my ovaries shifted into an unfamiliar gear; now, every time a baby appears, I get tunnel vision and a weird impulse to put their cute little baby toes in my mouth. (Baby toes, my own personal kryptonite.)

Oh no, not the toes!

Now when they’re around, I smell their little baby heads, poke their little baby fat rolls, and–pointing to them as if it were a puppy—turn to my boyfriend (my poor, poor boyfriend) with ooey-gooey baby-crazed eyes. Baby fever has hit me hard. Damn you, ovaries…

While I am still several years out from giving baby-making any real consideration (35 is the new 25, amiright?), a recent study about the financials behind babies caught my eye. While considering life with children, I typically focus on not being able to take a nap whenever I want, being on constant call, or the nasty looks I would garner if I tried to bring my baby into a bar. But while I know children are expensive, I hadn’t realized exactly HOW expensive.

The answer, it seems, is around $245,000 per babe, according to a CNN report, and that’s before college costs. Holy crap! That’s comparable to an entire house, and a good chunk of your retirement fund. And that’s just one kid! If you want to avoid only-child syndrome, you’re gonna have to cough up half a mill just to have a two-kid family.

Give me all your monies!

An interesting article from Business Insider  explored what it looked like, financially, to have babies in your mid twenties vs. mid thirties, going off the assumption that you will likely be more financially stable in your thirties, have less debt, and the start of an egg nest. The in depth article looks at two couples, 26 and 36, and compares the pros and cons of having kids at either age, ultimately deciding it’s likely smarter to wait until your mid thirties overall.

A similar Advice IQ article recently posted reader responses for money-saving baby tips:

  • Network with other parents and families to trade clothes and such items as playpens and swings.
  • Create a budget for wine. (Wait what? Yes, this is what the article said.) 
  • Never go to the grocery store without a list.
  • Don’t buy every big-ticket item prior to your baby coming; borrow such items as baby carriers from friends for a test drive.
  • Don’t be loyal to pricey brand names.

Of course, having kids is not a decision based entirely on logic. It’s one made out of love. Just ask my greedy baby-crazed ovaries. Still, it can’t help to be prepared, right? Wine budget and all.

What are you baby money-saving tips? Tell me in the comments!

Want more from Zoe?  Follow her on Twitter and  Instagram, and don’t forget to check out her book, The Lusty Vegan.

About Zoe Eisenberg

Zoe Eisenberg is a writer, editor, and published author.
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