Author Topic: Baby budget—what’s reasonable? (Australia)  (Read 1030 times)

MrThatsDifferent

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Baby budget—what’s reasonable? (Australia)
« on: January 03, 2019, 03:51:02 PM »
I’m looking at the possibility of becoming a single father through surrogacy. (Let’s not debate that, have another thread discussing it.). What I’d like to know is: if I’m lucky to have the kid, what should I be adding to my budget? And what are the general monthly costs? Here’s what I can think of, but have no idea regarding costs or what is used on average:

1. Formula
2. Diapers
3. Medicine
4. Wet wipes, powder, etc
5. Accessories (I’d imagine lots of one off items like: stroller, crib, that front carrier thing, car seat)
6. Speaking of which, I’ll need a car I suspect, but I can work that one out

What else am I missing and what amounts would be reasonable?

Thanks in advance for sharing
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 08:26:53 AM by MrThatsDifferent »

SimpleCycle

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2019, 09:02:45 PM »
We used Target formula.  It’s $22 for a tub that makes 245 ounces.  That’s about 7-10 days, so $66-88/month.  Formula consumption drops when you introduce solids, but my daughter was still taking 24 oz/day at 12 months.

Don’t do special baby food, either make your own or do baby led weaning. Babies are pretty cheap to feed.

We did cloth diapers and spent $600 or so on diapers and maybe another $10/month on consumables like detergent and bum spray.  That also made our gas bill go up from heating water.  Our utilities went up from keeping the house more temperate and being home more.

We bought everything used, I think we still spent around $550 on “gear”.  Crib, stroller, baby carrier, car seats, a rock n play.  Then later we bought an expensive stroller ($350) because I hated the used one and we use the stroller all the time.

If you bike right now, you’ll probably need a car.  There’s mixed advice about biking with infants.  If you live in a place with good public transit you can do that.

A cost that surprised me was the cost of switching health insurance to a family plan.  And fulfilling a family deductible.

Childcare is our biggest single expense.  It’s $1600 per month per kid.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 09:05:54 PM by SimpleCycle »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 09:50:44 PM »
We used Target formula.  It’s $22 for a tub that makes 245 ounces.  That’s about 7-10 days, so $66-88/month.  Formula consumption drops when you introduce solids, but my daughter was still taking 24 oz/day at 12 months.

Don’t do special baby food, either make your own or do baby led weaning. Babies are pretty cheap to feed.

We did cloth diapers and spent $600 or so on diapers and maybe another $10/month on consumables like detergent and bum spray.  That also made our gas bill go up from heating water.  Our utilities went up from keeping the house more temperate and being home more.

We bought everything used, I think we still spent around $550 on “gear”.  Crib, stroller, baby carrier, car seats, a rock n play.  Then later we bought an expensive stroller ($350) because I hated the used one and we use the stroller all the time.

If you bike right now, you’ll probably need a car.  There’s mixed advice about biking with infants.  If you live in a place with good public transit you can do that.

A cost that surprised me was the cost of switching health insurance to a family plan.  And fulfilling a family deductible.

Childcare is our biggest single expense.  It’s $1600 per month per kid.

Thanks. That’s great. Completely forgot about health insurance increase and forgot including childcare. Perfect!

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 11:00:27 PM »
Sorry this is not super responsive to your question, but it’s basically childcare (40-60% of my take home pay on a six-figure salary, for example) and everything else, which is utterly trivial. Medical is non-trvial, but I reckon you’re in AU, where that is covered. By “trivial”, I mean maybe $100/month for consumables, and a few hundred over all for second hand essentials. Some essentials may come as gifts, depending on your family/social circle. The pipeline for gently used baby gear and clothes is fabulous. My next door neighbors, for example, have clothed their son almost exclusively on my son’s clothes, for free. They are overly grateful and send gift cards in return, but honestly, it is a
convenience for me.

AliEli

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 11:39:53 PM »
I've got a 2 year old and a newborn, so I can share what's in our budget.

-unexpected health "stuff". You will need to plan on at least 6 GP appointments in year 1. Is your GP bulk billing? How much is the gap per appointment? In addition, it's worth allowing a bit of extra cash (around AU$200) for the gap if you need radiology. My first daughter needed a few tests for her hips, and the gap was $100 per X-RAY, so it's worth allocating a bit of cash. You'll probably go through a fair bit of panadol, nurofen, bonjella, and meds for colic, reflux, nappy rash etc in year 1. It's worth setting aside at least $500 for this... that might be generous, but we spent at least that on meds last year.

- birth certificate. In Vic it costs about $100 for both the extract and commemorative certs.

- formula can be difficult to obtain a consistent supply, especially if you can't be flexible. You could also investigate whether you can access a milk bank in your area if you want your baby to have breast milk.

- Factor in having A LOT of days off work in bub's first year of day care.  Our daughter has come home with frequent chest infections and gastro, as well as hand foot & mouth and lice 🤢.

- Increased food costs for you. It's really hard to cook and eat with a newborn - plan to spend significantly more on your food. Some days you will just have to get take away or home delivery.

Basically, the more cash you have, the better. We have picked up a lot of the furniture for next to nothing second hand, and cloth nappies are cheap. The more expensive things fall in to the "health" category - our daughter has eczema and asthma, and treating them is costly.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 12:09:11 AM »
Sorry this is not super responsive to your question, but it’s basically childcare (40-60% of my take home pay on a six-figure salary, for example) and everything else, which is utterly trivial. Medical is non-trvial, but I reckon you’re in AU, where that is covered. By “trivial”, I mean maybe $100/month for consumables, and a few hundred over all for second hand essentials. Some essentials may come as gifts, depending on your family/social circle. The pipeline for gently used baby gear and clothes is fabulous. My next door neighbors, for example, have clothed their son almost exclusively on my son’s clothes, for free. They are overly grateful and send gift cards in return, but honestly, it is a
convenience for me.

Childcare is insane

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2019, 12:11:42 AM »
I've got a 2 year old and a newborn, so I can share what's in our budget.

-unexpected health "stuff". You will need to plan on at least 6 GP appointments in year 1. Is your GP bulk billing? How much is the gap per appointment? In addition, it's worth allowing a bit of extra cash (around AU$200) for the gap if you need radiology. My first daughter needed a few tests for her hips, and the gap was $100 per X-RAY, so it's worth allocating a bit of cash. You'll probably go through a fair bit of panadol, nurofen, bonjella, and meds for colic, reflux, nappy rash etc in year 1. It's worth setting aside at least $500 for this... that might be generous, but we spent at least that on meds last year.

- birth certificate. In Vic it costs about $100 for both the extract and commemorative certs.

- formula can be difficult to obtain a consistent supply, especially if you can't be flexible. You could also investigate whether you can access a milk bank in your area if you want your baby to have breast milk.

- Factor in having A LOT of days off work in bub's first year of day care.  Our daughter has come home with frequent chest infections and gastro, as well as hand foot & mouth and lice 🤢.

- Increased food costs for you. It's really hard to cook and eat with a newborn - plan to spend significantly more on your food. Some days you will just have to get take away or home delivery.

Basically, the more cash you have, the better. We have picked up a lot of the furniture for next to nothing second hand, and cloth nappies are cheap. The more expensive things fall in to the "health" category - our daughter has eczema and asthma, and treating them is costly.

Ok, thanks. 1 question and one response:

Formula: why is it so difficult to obtain? Didn’t know breast milk banks exist, cool.

Response to the diseases from childcare: OMG! 😳

Prairie Stash

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2019, 11:12:05 AM »
Diapers run us $40-50/month. usually 6-7/day are used and they cost $0.20. Add in wipes and creams to get the range right.
Medicine is about $5/month, thats Gripe juice and childrens tylenol; about all we needed.
Accessories were under $1000 for crib, stroller, bedding, extra blankets, a backpack to carry diapers, car seat etc.
RESP - (university education in Canada) is $200/month for 12 years (then I stop)

Childcare is roughly a persons annual salary for your area, divide by 3, and then divide by 12. As the child gets older, it goes down, its a lot easier to care for 4 year olds then babies (so the ratio of kids/provider changes). So If I expect my daycare person to make $36k, my portion is $1000/month. Childcare is a service job, they need to make a living wage, in HCOL it will obviously cost more then LCOL areas.

Currently, my little tax breaks don't cost much, the refunds cover quite a bit. I get child cheques in Canada that range from $0 if you earn $200,000 to $6K if you earn $30K (amounts based on income). Government support is very high in Canada, what does Australia have?

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 11:24:31 AM »
Day care is insane in some areas.  In my area it’s badically $1700-$2500/month depending on where you specifically live and work and the quality of the daycare.  I could pay my in-laws mortgage for a lot cheaper....

Baby stuff is lots of things that cost under $30. Good brand name formula is like $29 for normal tubs. Store brands are cheaper but you’ll find they sometimes coagulate into clumps in the bottle or don’t evenly dissolve as well.  If you’re willing to toss an occasional bottle, store brand costs $5-10 less per container.  Even if you splurge (and we went so far off the deep end splurging) you’ll find yourself spending less than $450/month. That’s assuming you’re buying lots of cute outfits, doing photo sessions, buying baby food, paying for Gymboree memberships...

The big costs are family plan insurance (holy crap kids are expensive to insure) and daycare.  Having a spouse or in laws or a parent that can care for the kid is hugely helpful.  In your scenario, I recommend really researching daycares.  If you have a robust work schedule, day care may not be a real option and you may need to consider a live in nanny or a really good nanny service. 

We couldn’t do day care because our work schedules were too robust and there’s a lot of juggling late and early times as is.  We’d have to move and hire a nanny if we didn’t live next door to a close retired relative to watch baby Upward.


MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2019, 01:03:08 PM »
Diapers run us $40-50/month. usually 6-7/day are used and they cost $0.20. Add in wipes and creams to get the range right.
Medicine is about $5/month, thats Gripe juice and childrens tylenol; about all we needed.
Accessories were under $1000 for crib, stroller, bedding, extra blankets, a backpack to carry diapers, car seat etc.
RESP - (university education in Canada) is $200/month for 12 years (then I stop)

Childcare is roughly a persons annual salary for your area, divide by 3, and then divide by 12. As the child gets older, it goes down, its a lot easier to care for 4 year olds then babies (so the ratio of kids/provider changes). So If I expect my daycare person to make $36k, my portion is $1000/month. Childcare is a service job, they need to make a living wage, in HCOL it will obviously cost more then LCOL areas.

Currently, my little tax breaks don't cost much, the refunds cover quite a bit. I get child cheques in Canada that range from $0 if you earn $200,000 to $6K if you earn $30K (amounts based on income). Government support is very high in Canada, what does Australia have?

Yep, I’m see childcare as the definite killer here. Aus has a program but I suspect I make too much for it.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2019, 01:07:46 PM »
Day care is insane in some areas.  In my area it’s badically $1700-$2500/month depending on where you specifically live and work and the quality of the daycare.  I could pay my in-laws mortgage for a lot cheaper....

Baby stuff is lots of things that cost under $30. Good brand name formula is like $29 for normal tubs. Store brands are cheaper but you’ll find they sometimes coagulate into clumps in the bottle or don’t evenly dissolve as well.  If you’re willing to toss an occasional bottle, store brand costs $5-10 less per container.  Even if you splurge (and we went so far off the deep end splurging) you’ll find yourself spending less than $450/month. That’s assuming you’re buying lots of cute outfits, doing photo sessions, buying baby food, paying for Gymboree memberships...

The big costs are family plan insurance (holy crap kids are expensive to insure) and daycare.  Having a spouse or in laws or a parent that can care for the kid is hugely helpful.  In your scenario, I recommend really researching daycares.  If you have a robust work schedule, day care may not be a real option and you may need to consider a live in nanny or a really good nanny service. 

We couldn’t do day care because our work schedules were too robust and there’s a lot of juggling late and early times as is.  We’d have to move and hire a nanny if we didn’t live next door to a close retired relative to watch baby Upward.

Insurance isn’t an issue in Aus. The issue will be childcare. I’ll have flexibility as I’m the boss but will need to work out with corporate how much time I can work from home. A nanny would be ideal but they’re expensive too. I can afford the costs, it’s looking at the way I can still,save the most so I can achieve FIRE the quickest so I can be around as much as possible.

CNM

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2019, 01:13:40 PM »
About the childcare issue - will you be able to take parental leave, assuming you have a newborn?  If not or if only for a short period, you will likely need to hire a nanny or au pair, unless you have a willing and trusty family member, because many day cares will not take newborns.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2019, 01:33:41 PM »
Was wrong, there’s a max of $10k from the government for childcare available at my income.

El Jacinto

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2019, 03:59:18 AM »
We have been very lucky so far, so some of this probably won’t apply. They don’t necessarily answer your question, but they are good tips to save money and sanity.

1) Register on every baby registry you can find. Formula companies keep track of registries and will just send samples to your door for free.

2) We have bought almost nothing with our own money for our baby so far. We got a lot of necessities in baby showers and several hubdred dollars in Target & Amazon gift cards. We still have enough to cover diapers for a few months.

3) Use cloth diapers if you can. We chose not to, because we didn’t want to make our babysitters deal with them.

4) There are cheaper alternatives to daycare. My wife is still on maternity leave now, but when she goes back, her retired mom is going to babysit 3 days per week, and we found a stay at home mom whose kids have started school that doesn’t really need money (husband makes a lot) to watch him the other 2 days for only $25/day.

5) This won’t apply to you but might for others reading this: breastfeed as long as possible and pump extra to use when you start working again. The longer you can go before switching to formula, the more money you will save.

6) Garage sales are amazing. People sale barely used items for pennies on the dollar. We just went around our own neighborhood last summer when my wife was pregnant to get an idea. When we told people we were expecting, they either further discounted stuff or gave it to us for free. Anything to help a neighbor, right?

7) See if any friends who have 2-3 year-olds have any baby clothes you can have. We have been given more clothes than we will ever use. Also, at least for newborns, babies don’t need nearly as many clothes as I expected. We keep ours in the same outfit for 2-3 days at a time, as long as he doesn’t have a major spit-up or something.

8) Clothes with zippers rock. Button up outfits are a pain. I hate changing a diaper at 3:00 am and trying button the outfit back up correctly.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 04:03:16 AM by El Jacinto »

Villanelle

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2019, 04:20:33 AM »
Day care is insane in some areas.  In my area it’s badically $1700-$2500/month depending on where you specifically live and work and the quality of the daycare.  I could pay my in-laws mortgage for a lot cheaper....

Baby stuff is lots of things that cost under $30. Good brand name formula is like $29 for normal tubs. Store brands are cheaper but you’ll find they sometimes coagulate into clumps in the bottle or don’t evenly dissolve as well.  If you’re willing to toss an occasional bottle, store brand costs $5-10 less per container.  Even if you splurge (and we went so far off the deep end splurging) you’ll find yourself spending less than $450/month. That’s assuming you’re buying lots of cute outfits, doing photo sessions, buying baby food, paying for Gymboree memberships...

The big costs are family plan insurance (holy crap kids are expensive to insure) and daycare.  Having a spouse or in laws or a parent that can care for the kid is hugely helpful.  In your scenario, I recommend really researching daycares.  If you have a robust work schedule, day care may not be a real option and you may need to consider a live in nanny or a really good nanny service. 

We couldn’t do day care because our work schedules were too robust and there’s a lot of juggling late and early times as is.  We’d have to move and hire a nanny if we didn’t live next door to a close retired relative to watch baby Upward.

Insurance isn’t an issue in Aus. The issue will be childcare. I’ll have flexibility as I’m the boss but will need to work out with corporate how much time I can work from home. A nanny would be ideal but they’re expensive too. I can afford the costs, it’s looking at the way I can still,save the most so I can achieve FIRE the quickest so I can be around as much as possible.

Planning to work from home with an infant seems unrealistic.  Many employers in the US actually require any in-home children to have a caregiver present during work-from-home times.  Depending on the type of work you do, you *might* be able to pull it off, but I wouldn't just assume that will work out.  If you need to take a call and Junior is losing his shit, what happens? 

I have several friends who got live-in nannies and they talk about how much cheaper it is that regular childcare.  If your house is large enough and set up to accommodate having live-in help, this may end up being your best bet if you end up needing full time or near full time care. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2019, 05:14:36 AM »
We have been very lucky so far, so some of this probably won’t apply. They don’t necessarily answer your question, but they are good tips to save money and sanity.

1) Register on every baby registry you can find. Formula companies keep track of registries and will just send samples to your door for free.

2) We have bought almost nothing with our own money for our baby so far. We got a lot of necessities in baby showers and several hubdred dollars in Target & Amazon gift cards. We still have enough to cover diapers for a few months.

3) Use cloth diapers if you can. We chose not to, because we didn’t want to make our babysitters deal with them.

4) There are cheaper alternatives to daycare. My wife is still on maternity leave now, but when she goes back, her retired mom is going to babysit 3 days per week, and we found a stay at home mom whose kids have started school that doesn’t really need money (husband makes a lot) to watch him the other 2 days for only $25/day.

5) This won’t apply to you but might for others reading this: breastfeed as long as possible and pump extra to use when you start working again. The longer you can go before switching to formula, the more money you will save.

6) Garage sales are amazing. People sale barely used items for pennies on the dollar. We just went around our own neighborhood last summer when my wife was pregnant to get an idea. When we told people we were expecting, they either further discounted stuff or gave it to us for free. Anything to help a neighbor, right?

7) See if any friends who have 2-3 year-olds have any baby clothes you can have. We have been given more clothes than we will ever use. Also, at least for newborns, babies don’t need nearly as many clothes as I expected. We keep ours in the same outfit for 2-3 days at a time, as long as he doesn’t have a major spit-up or something.

8) Clothes with zippers rock. Button up outfits are a pain. I hate changing a diaper at 3:00 am and trying button the outfit back up correctly.

Thank you for this. All great. I’m going to be a single dad so no breastfeeding but someone mentioned a milk bank. I like the stay at home mom baby sitter idea. I don’t think I will get the baby subsidy though.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2019, 05:16:46 AM »
Day care is insane in some areas.  In my area it’s badically $1700-$2500/month depending on where you specifically live and work and the quality of the daycare.  I could pay my in-laws mortgage for a lot cheaper....

Baby stuff is lots of things that cost under $30. Good brand name formula is like $29 for normal tubs. Store brands are cheaper but you’ll find they sometimes coagulate into clumps in the bottle or don’t evenly dissolve as well.  If you’re willing to toss an occasional bottle, store brand costs $5-10 less per container.  Even if you splurge (and we went so far off the deep end splurging) you’ll find yourself spending less than $450/month. That’s assuming you’re buying lots of cute outfits, doing photo sessions, buying baby food, paying for Gymboree memberships...

The big costs are family plan insurance (holy crap kids are expensive to insure) and daycare.  Having a spouse or in laws or a parent that can care for the kid is hugely helpful.  In your scenario, I recommend really researching daycares.  If you have a robust work schedule, day care may not be a real option and you may need to consider a live in nanny or a really good nanny service. 

We couldn’t do day care because our work schedules were too robust and there’s a lot of juggling late and early times as is.  We’d have to move and hire a nanny if we didn’t live next door to a close retired relative to watch baby Upward.

Insurance isn’t an issue in Aus. The issue will be childcare. I’ll have flexibility as I’m the boss but will need to work out with corporate how much time I can work from home. A nanny would be ideal but they’re expensive too. I can afford the costs, it’s looking at the way I can still,save the most so I can achieve FIRE the quickest so I can be around as much as possible.

Planning to work from home with an infant seems unrealistic.  Many employers in the US actually require any in-home children to have a caregiver present during work-from-home times.  Depending on the type of work you do, you *might* be able to pull it off, but I wouldn't just assume that will work out.  If you need to take a call and Junior is losing his shit, what happens? 

I have several friends who got live-in nannies and they talk about how much cheaper it is that regular childcare.  If your house is large enough and set up to accommodate having live-in help, this may end up being your best bet if you end up needing full time or near full time care.

A live in nanny would be perfect but they’re almost $50k/yr where I live, according to research I’ve done so far. There is nanny splitting though.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2019, 05:23:37 AM »
Which city in Australia are you moving to? Just curious as an Aussie. Will you have a network / community already when you move here, to rely on for hand-me-downs?

A few thoughts:
Aldi is cheapest for formula and nappies.
Join your suburb's Buy Nothing group - my group regularly has prams, cots, change tables etc as well as clothes.
You won't get the childcare subsidy if you use a nanny, au pair or any other arrangement outside of a formal childcare centre.

Villanelle

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2019, 05:50:35 AM »
Day care is insane in some areas.  In my area it’s badically $1700-$2500/month depending on where you specifically live and work and the quality of the daycare.  I could pay my in-laws mortgage for a lot cheaper....

Baby stuff is lots of things that cost under $30. Good brand name formula is like $29 for normal tubs. Store brands are cheaper but you’ll find they sometimes coagulate into clumps in the bottle or don’t evenly dissolve as well.  If you’re willing to toss an occasional bottle, store brand costs $5-10 less per container.  Even if you splurge (and we went so far off the deep end splurging) you’ll find yourself spending less than $450/month. That’s assuming you’re buying lots of cute outfits, doing photo sessions, buying baby food, paying for Gymboree memberships...

The big costs are family plan insurance (holy crap kids are expensive to insure) and daycare.  Having a spouse or in laws or a parent that can care for the kid is hugely helpful.  In your scenario, I recommend really researching daycares.  If you have a robust work schedule, day care may not be a real option and you may need to consider a live in nanny or a really good nanny service. 

We couldn’t do day care because our work schedules were too robust and there’s a lot of juggling late and early times as is.  We’d have to move and hire a nanny if we didn’t live next door to a close retired relative to watch baby Upward.

Insurance isn’t an issue in Aus. The issue will be childcare. I’ll have flexibility as I’m the boss but will need to work out with corporate how much time I can work from home. A nanny would be ideal but they’re expensive too. I can afford the costs, it’s looking at the way I can still,save the most so I can achieve FIRE the quickest so I can be around as much as possible.

Planning to work from home with an infant seems unrealistic.  Many employers in the US actually require any in-home children to have a caregiver present during work-from-home times.  Depending on the type of work you do, you *might* be able to pull it off, but I wouldn't just assume that will work out.  If you need to take a call and Junior is losing his shit, what happens? 

I have several friends who got live-in nannies and they talk about how much cheaper it is that regular childcare.  If your house is large enough and set up to accommodate having live-in help, this may end up being your best bet if you end up needing full time or near full time care.

A live in nanny would be perfect but they’re almost $50k/yr where I live, according to research I’ve done so far. There is nanny splitting though.

Does AU allow nanny visas?  That tends to be home most people do it cheaply in the US.  They often come from Eastern European countries, usually via agencies that handle the visa stuff. 

AliEli

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2019, 06:36:18 AM »
Nope, can't get international nannies here in Australia legally. Getting an international au pair is possible, but their work requirements are pretty stringent and I don't think that option would be viable for everyone.

Formula - it gets purchased by people who have international shipping companies and they sell it outside Australia. It's in the news quite regularly.

You should be eligible for some family tax benefit (FTB -part A & B), as well as paid parental leave.


MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2019, 06:41:35 AM »
Day care is insane in some areas.  In my area it’s badically $1700-$2500/month depending on where you specifically live and work and the quality of the daycare.  I could pay my in-laws mortgage for a lot cheaper....

Baby stuff is lots of things that cost under $30. Good brand name formula is like $29 for normal tubs. Store brands are cheaper but you’ll find they sometimes coagulate into clumps in the bottle or don’t evenly dissolve as well.  If you’re willing to toss an occasional bottle, store brand costs $5-10 less per container.  Even if you splurge (and we went so far off the deep end splurging) you’ll find yourself spending less than $450/month. That’s assuming you’re buying lots of cute outfits, doing photo sessions, buying baby food, paying for Gymboree memberships...

The big costs are family plan insurance (holy crap kids are expensive to insure) and daycare.  Having a spouse or in laws or a parent that can care for the kid is hugely helpful.  In your scenario, I recommend really researching daycares.  If you have a robust work schedule, day care may not be a real option and you may need to consider a live in nanny or a really good nanny service. 

We couldn’t do day care because our work schedules were too robust and there’s a lot of juggling late and early times as is.  We’d have to move and hire a nanny if we didn’t live next door to a close retired relative to watch baby Upward.

Insurance isn’t an issue in Aus. The issue will be childcare. I’ll have flexibility as I’m the boss but will need to work out with corporate how much time I can work from home. A nanny would be ideal but they’re expensive too. I can afford the costs, it’s looking at the way I can still,save the most so I can achieve FIRE the quickest so I can be around as much as possible.

Planning to work from home with an infant seems unrealistic.  Many employers in the US actually require any in-home children to have a caregiver present during work-from-home times.  Depending on the type of work you do, you *might* be able to pull it off, but I wouldn't just assume that will work out.  If you need to take a call and Junior is losing his shit, what happens? 

I have several friends who got live-in nannies and they talk about how much cheaper it is that regular childcare.  If your house is large enough and set up to accommodate having live-in help, this may end up being your best bet if you end up needing full time or near full time care.

A live in nanny would be perfect but they’re almost $50k/yr where I live, according to research I’ve done so far. There is nanny splitting though.

Does AU allow nanny visas?  That tends to be home most people do it cheaply in the US.  They often come from Eastern European countries, usually via agencies that handle the visa stuff.
In Australia, foreign nannys and Au pairs tend to be from Asian counties. In the United States they tend to be from Latin American countries.  You don’t really see European nanny’s and au pairs unless you specifically look for an agency and mention something about specific language or cultural preferences. 

HappierAtHome

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2019, 06:42:35 AM »
Formula - it gets purchased by people who have international shipping companies and they sell it outside Australia. It's in the news quite regularly.

I wonder if this is more prevalent in the eastern states, because I've never had an issue getting formula in Perth.

AliEli

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2019, 06:44:49 AM »
Oh, and you mentioned car stuff - local councils usually rent out good quality car seats cheaply. If you wanted to go without a car but need to get around, most states consider taxis to be public transport and you can travel with infants & children without a car seat (though this doesn't apply to Uber and other similar services).  If you buy a car, it's worth getting a seat professionally fitted which will cost $50-$100.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2019, 06:49:00 AM »
We have been very lucky so far, so some of this probably won’t apply. They don’t necessarily answer your question, but they are good tips to save money and sanity.

1) Register on every baby registry you can find. Formula companies keep track of registries and will just send samples to your door for free.

2) We have bought almost nothing with our own money for our baby so far. We got a lot of necessities in baby showers and several hubdred dollars in Target & Amazon gift cards. We still have enough to cover diapers for a few months.

3) Use cloth diapers if you can. We chose not to, because we didn’t want to make our babysitters deal with them.

4) There are cheaper alternatives to daycare. My wife is still on maternity leave now, but when she goes back, her retired mom is going to babysit 3 days per week, and we found a stay at home mom whose kids have started school that doesn’t really need money (husband makes a lot) to watch him the other 2 days for only $25/day.

5) This won’t apply to you but might for others reading this: breastfeed as long as possible and pump extra to use when you start working again. The longer you can go before switching to formula, the more money you will save.

6) Garage sales are amazing. People sale barely used items for pennies on the dollar. We just went around our own neighborhood last summer when my wife was pregnant to get an idea. When we told people we were expecting, they either further discounted stuff or gave it to us for free. Anything to help a neighbor, right?

7) See if any friends who have 2-3 year-olds have any baby clothes you can have. We have been given more clothes than we will ever use. Also, at least for newborns, babies don’t need nearly as many clothes as I expected. We keep ours in the same outfit for 2-3 days at a time, as long as he doesn’t have a major spit-up or something.

8) Clothes with zippers rock. Button up outfits are a pain. I hate changing a diaper at 3:00 am and trying button the outfit back up correctly.

Thank you for this. All great. I’m going to be a single dad so no breastfeeding but someone mentioned a milk bank. I like the stay at home mom baby sitter idea. I don’t think I will get the baby subsidy though.

I don't know what is available to you in Australia, but here the milk bank milk is extraordinarily expensive. Some insurance covers it when babies are in the NICU; but once they get home- it's out of pocket.
IIRC, it is $8 for 100 mL.

Some people do peer to peer giving; but many people are uncomfortable with that because the milk would not be pasteurized.

If your baby is healthy, formula is generally a much more viable option. Though it sounds like some areas of Australia it's hard to get.  But I can't imagine milk bank milk is super available either...  Ours is always desperate for donations, so healthy babies only get milk if there is a surplus from what the NICU needs.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 07:00:27 AM by I'm a red panda »

AliEli

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2019, 06:52:19 AM »
Formula - it gets purchased by people who have international shipping companies and they sell it outside Australia. It's in the news quite regularly.

I wonder if this is more prevalent in the eastern states, because I've never had an issue getting formula in Perth.

It's an on-going issue in Melbourne. There is a 3 tin limit at supermarkets, but groups of ppl go and rotate through the checkout (each person buying 3 tins at a time) until it is all gone. I wrongly assumed it was happening in all cities - sorry!

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2019, 07:30:40 AM »
We have been very lucky so far, so some of this probably won’t apply. They don’t necessarily answer your question, but they are good tips to save money and sanity.

1) Register on every baby registry you can find. Formula companies keep track of registries and will just send samples to your door for free.

2) We have bought almost nothing with our own money for our baby so far. We got a lot of necessities in baby showers and several hubdred dollars in Target & Amazon gift cards. We still have enough to cover diapers for a few months.

3) Use cloth diapers if you can. We chose not to, because we didn’t want to make our babysitters deal with them.

4) There are cheaper alternatives to daycare. My wife is still on maternity leave now, but when she goes back, her retired mom is going to babysit 3 days per week, and we found a stay at home mom whose kids have started school that doesn’t really need money (husband makes a lot) to watch him the other 2 days for only $25/day.

5) This won’t apply to you but might for others reading this: breastfeed as long as possible and pump extra to use when you start working again. The longer you can go before switching to formula, the more money you will save.

6) Garage sales are amazing. People sale barely used items for pennies on the dollar. We just went around our own neighborhood last summer when my wife was pregnant to get an idea. When we told people we were expecting, they either further discounted stuff or gave it to us for free. Anything to help a neighbor, right?

7) See if any friends who have 2-3 year-olds have any baby clothes you can have. We have been given more clothes than we will ever use. Also, at least for newborns, babies don’t need nearly as many clothes as I expected. We keep ours in the same outfit for 2-3 days at a time, as long as he doesn’t have a major spit-up or something.

8) Clothes with zippers rock. Button up outfits are a pain. I hate changing a diaper at 3:00 am and trying button the outfit back up correctly.

Thank you for this. All great. I’m going to be a single dad so no breastfeeding but someone mentioned a milk bank. I like the stay at home mom baby sitter idea. I don’t think I will get the baby subsidy though.

I don't know what is available to you in Australia, but here the milk bank milk is extraordinarily expensive. Some insurance covers it when babies are in the NICU; but once they get home- it's out of pocket.
IIRC, it is $8 for 100 mL.

Some people do peer to peer giving; but many people are uncomfortable with that because the milk would not be pasteurized.

If your baby is healthy, formula is generally a much more viable option. Though it sounds like some areas of Australia it's hard to get.  But I can't imagine milk bank milk is super available either...  Ours is always desperate for donations, so healthy babies only get milk if there is a surplus from what the NICU needs.
Are you a neonatologist?

I'm a red panda

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2019, 08:18:09 AM »
We have been very lucky so far, so some of this probably won’t apply. They don’t necessarily answer your question, but they are good tips to save money and sanity.

1) Register on every baby registry you can find. Formula companies keep track of registries and will just send samples to your door for free.

2) We have bought almost nothing with our own money for our baby so far. We got a lot of necessities in baby showers and several hubdred dollars in Target & Amazon gift cards. We still have enough to cover diapers for a few months.

3) Use cloth diapers if you can. We chose not to, because we didn’t want to make our babysitters deal with them.

4) There are cheaper alternatives to daycare. My wife is still on maternity leave now, but when she goes back, her retired mom is going to babysit 3 days per week, and we found a stay at home mom whose kids have started school that doesn’t really need money (husband makes a lot) to watch him the other 2 days for only $25/day.

5) This won’t apply to you but might for others reading this: breastfeed as long as possible and pump extra to use when you start working again. The longer you can go before switching to formula, the more money you will save.

6) Garage sales are amazing. People sale barely used items for pennies on the dollar. We just went around our own neighborhood last summer when my wife was pregnant to get an idea. When we told people we were expecting, they either further discounted stuff or gave it to us for free. Anything to help a neighbor, right?

7) See if any friends who have 2-3 year-olds have any baby clothes you can have. We have been given more clothes than we will ever use. Also, at least for newborns, babies don’t need nearly as many clothes as I expected. We keep ours in the same outfit for 2-3 days at a time, as long as he doesn’t have a major spit-up or something.

8) Clothes with zippers rock. Button up outfits are a pain. I hate changing a diaper at 3:00 am and trying button the outfit back up correctly.

Thank you for this. All great. I’m going to be a single dad so no breastfeeding but someone mentioned a milk bank. I like the stay at home mom baby sitter idea. I don’t think I will get the baby subsidy though.

I don't know what is available to you in Australia, but here the milk bank milk is extraordinarily expensive. Some insurance covers it when babies are in the NICU; but once they get home- it's out of pocket.
IIRC, it is $8 for 100 mL.

Some people do peer to peer giving; but many people are uncomfortable with that because the milk would not be pasteurized.

If your baby is healthy, formula is generally a much more viable option. Though it sounds like some areas of Australia it's hard to get.  But I can't imagine milk bank milk is super available either...  Ours is always desperate for donations, so healthy babies only get milk if there is a surplus from what the NICU needs.
Are you a neonatologist?

Nope, just had to decide whether or not to use donor milk when my daughter was having incredible difficulty nursing due to tongue/lip ties.  We did not qualify for insurance coverage of milk bank milk because she was otherwise healthy, so the pediatricians recommended formula supplementation until I had enough milk. (It's difficult to get milk when baby does not have the correct level of demand.) 

I had people online, local and distance, offer me milk, but not knowing them personally and knowing what medications they took, how much they drink alcohol/caffeine, if they had any communicable diseases, how they sanitized their pumping equipment; I was not comfortable with peer to peer lending.

I had hoped to donate milk, but since I couldn't sanitize my pump to specifications between sessions (I pumped at work, so I just did a quick rinse and put the flanges it in the fridge), I was not eligible.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 08:21:10 AM by I'm a red panda »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2019, 08:28:50 AM »
Which city in Australia are you moving to? Just curious as an Aussie. Will you have a network / community already when you move here, to rely on for hand-me-downs?

A few thoughts:
Aldi is cheapest for formula and nappies.
Join your suburb's Buy Nothing group - my group regularly has prams, cots, change tables etc as well as clothes.
You won't get the childcare subsidy if you use a nanny, au pair or any other arrangement outside of a formal childcare centre.

I live in Aus and have a network but by the time I have a kid, all my mates kids will be older. I read that some nanny’s that are registered qualify for the subsidy.

Venturing

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable? (Australia)
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2019, 02:27:27 PM »
Babies don’t cost a lot directly, it’s the indirect costs that you need to research and that will depend a lot on exactly what you plan to do.

We are in nz. Last year we had a newborn, 1 year old twins and a 3 year old. We spent about $5k on them directly for the year. That doesn’t include food (they don’t each much anyway at that age) but includes everything else. Cot and car seat for the baby, formula for the twins, disposable nappies for all of them, clothes, gifts etc etc

The indirect costs of Childcare, larger house? Health insurance? And car will be the biggest costs.

If you can afford a nanny that would be my choice of childcare. From a practical perspective a nanny can look after the child even if the child is sick. In the case of daycare the baby is likely
To get sick more often and you will have to take time off every time (and daycares are very fussy about any sign of sickness. A nanny will also allow the baby to more easily form the strong attachment which is so important

chouchouu

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable? (Australia)
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2019, 12:47:59 AM »
Formula supply isn't really an issue unless your child is on a special formula. There is, after all, online shopping and you can order direct from the formula company. If you're a single dad I would suggest getting some live in help for the first three months. The thing with babies and giving birth is that mums have this hormone surge that pumps them with adrenaline and makes them very sensitive to babies crying. Fathers don't get this and hence even though the mums get really tired those hormones help give them some stamina. Having some live in help in that newborn stage can help shift it from being torture to something manageable.

You don't need a car, my twins are six and we've never had one. Formula was expensive for us because my kids needed hypoallergenic formula and they vomited up most of it anyway. Depending on your age bracket you could get a lot of hand me downs.
As I wasn't working before our kids were born our living costs actually went down, we stopped eating out and spent more time in parks where the kids could roll around and be noisy. The actual costs with the babies weren't too bad, we just bought cots from ikea and my mother in law bought most of their clothes as we didn't have friends with hand me downs. The only big purchase was their pram which I spent quite a lot on but without a car I wanted something practical and long lasting. Food was next to nothing, just overcooked veggies adding a bit of canola oil as per their pediatrician.  Childcare will be the killer in Australia, you could look into a nanny share which friends did. 

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2019, 04:56:36 PM »
Formula - it gets purchased by people who have international shipping companies and they sell it outside Australia. It's in the news quite regularly.

I wonder if this is more prevalent in the eastern states, because I've never had an issue getting formula in Perth.

It's an on-going issue in Melbourne. There is a 3 tin limit at supermarkets, but groups of ppl go and rotate through the checkout (each person buying 3 tins at a time) until it is all gone. I wrongly assumed it was happening in all cities - sorry!

Just out of curiosity...what the HELL?!?!  You have a shortage of infant formula in Australia? Why?

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable? (Australia)
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2019, 05:02:10 PM »
Formula supply isn't really an issue unless your child is on a special formula. There is, after all, online shopping and you can order direct from the formula company. If you're a single dad I would suggest getting some live in help for the first three months. The thing with babies and giving birth is that mums have this hormone surge that pumps them with adrenaline and makes them very sensitive to babies crying. Fathers don't get this and hence even though the mums get really tired those hormones help give them some stamina. Having some live in help in that newborn stage can help shift it from being torture to something manageable.


+1 to this. I was single with a newborn and found it much each than it should have been "on paper" to manage the schedule. That "fourth trimester" time is still almost like being one organism. The "night nurse" or "night nanny" concept (here in U.S. anyway) is a great idea for the first three months, even if you are off work.

Unrelated to that, but since I'm following your story here and on another thread, here's an internet stranger's advice to consider more time off up front and later FIRE. Working once the child's in school will be easier, and FIRE may be less free-wheeling once they are in school, so not such a bummer to be working (assuming you like your work well enough.)

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable?
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2019, 05:58:57 PM »
Formula - it gets purchased by people who have international shipping companies and they sell it outside Australia. It's in the news quite regularly.

I wonder if this is more prevalent in the eastern states, because I've never had an issue getting formula in Perth.

It's an on-going issue in Melbourne. There is a 3 tin limit at supermarkets, but groups of ppl go and rotate through the checkout (each person buying 3 tins at a time) until it is all gone. I wrongly assumed it was happening in all cities - sorry!

Just out of curiosity...what the HELL?!?!  You have a shortage of infant formula in Australia? Why?

Yeah, that’s bizzarre. I’m annoyed if a drug store doesn’t have multiple containers of the brand and type we want on the shelf when I walk in...

AliEli

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable? (Australia)
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2019, 02:10:47 AM »

Anatidae V

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Re: Baby budget—what’s reasonable? (Australia)
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2019, 06:48:12 AM »
We have a high combined income, are in Aus, and get a 50% subsidy on childcare. I assume this is up to the $10k mentioned earlier. We pay $140/day, then the subsidy is applied to that. Our childcare is high quality and our son is 20 months old, so a younger child will be a bit more per day.

I've found our groceries have gone up because he doesn't eat much but feeding him wastes a lot. Maybe it's different if you have a "good" eater... But then they'd probably just eat the lot on the plate anyway!

Friends with older kids hopefully means friends with lots of hand me downs!

Our biggest expense was the surprise dairy allergy and my postpartum anxiety, because it meant we had to learn a new diet so that we could make meals our baby could eat and because I needed a lot of support and my DH had to take extra time off plus heaps of convenience options so I didn't get worse and end up admitted to hospital or on meds (PS, I should've just gone on meds). It is a good idea to find out what the support is in your area for sleep problems, feeding/gastro issues and your own mental health because that last one isn't just for mums going through a hormone surge, it's anyone up feeding the baby every 2 hours around the clock, or with the pressure of looking after the tiny new thing weighing on them all the time, etc etc.