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Unexpected Baby Expenses #1


Well, it’s been a month and I’m happy to report we didn’t spend a lot of money on the kid yet. Our friends were very generous at the baby shower and we have plenty of baby clothes and blankets. We even have a baby swimwear!  We spent some money (gifts) on the usual crib, bassinet, car seat, and stroller, but other than that the boy hasn’t cost us a lot of money. There were some unexpected baby expenses though.

1. Our electricity bill more than doubled! Usually we leave the heater off and mostly warm ourselves up with our Kotatsu table. We set the thermostat to 70 degrees once the baby got home though and it cost quite a bit of money. Now that he is a bit bigger, I dropped the thermostat to 68 degree and I think we’ll be OK at that temp. The weather is also warming up and the heater is coming on less and less so next month should be a lot better.

2. I gave in and joined Costco to buy Kirkland formula and diapers… 🙁 I’ve been resisting the Borg empire for a long time, but I gave in for the boy. Hopefully I can resist the 52 inches 3D HDTV. 😀

3. The breast pump and paraphernalia expenses. We had a lot of problems with breast feeding and I had to run out and get a breast pump for the Mrs. Thanks goodness the Mrs. convinced me to get a rental($55) to try for a month first. I also picked up a few pump paraphernalia for about $100. These were all unexpected because the Mrs. hoped to just breastfeed for a while. In the end, we still had a lot of problems so the kid is on Kirkland formula now. It was a good thing I didn’t drop the $370 on a Medela.

unexpected baby expenseThat’s all the unexpected expenses for now. We also spent about $100 on a baby swing. This one wasn’t really unexpected and if it works as advertised, it would be worth every penny. The boy is pretty fussy and the swing is suppose to help keep him quiet. We had a $50 gift certificate to help bring down the cost a bit.


All in all, Baby RB40 has gained some weight and he is doing quite well. He is a noisy little guy though and I’m starting to feel the effects of sleep deprivation.

So those are our unexpected expenses so far. How about you? If you had a baby, did you get any unexpected bills? I’m sure unexpected expenses are going to be a recurring theme for us, that’s why I put #1 in the title… Ironically, our credit card bill went down in general since we haven’t gone out or done anything much. I’ll write about the February credit card bill next time.

Unexpected Baby Expense #2 is up!

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Little House March 16, 2011, 6:57 am

    A friend of mine had a baby a few months ago and I think she was also surprised by the unexpected items that popped up; especially the breastfeeding stuff. The baby also has an ear problem so there are now unexpected medical expenses (the baby is going to be fine, but it was a bit devastating to her at first.)

    She’s also dealing with sleep deprivation which lasts for the first year or so, so hang in there! 😉

  • 101 Centavos March 16, 2011, 11:27 am

    Hi RB40, if it makes you feel any better, there won’t be any restful sleep for you for next couple years. Unless you have another sweet bundle of joy, in which case, it’ll be longer.

    • retirebyforty March 16, 2011, 3:07 pm

      That didn’t make me feel better at all. The Mrs. vowed that she is one and done!

      • 101 Centavos March 16, 2011, 5:19 pm

        I didn’t expect it would. I was intentionally mocking you, all in good fun.

  • MoneyCone March 16, 2011, 12:16 pm

    You won’t regret the baby swing! Trust me! 🙂

    • retirebyforty March 16, 2011, 3:07 pm

      Bah! Target is taking forever to ship the swing. I can’t wait for it to get here.

  • First Gen American March 16, 2011, 1:16 pm

    You expect the sleep deprivation and spending more at big box stores on things like diapers, but the one thing that took me by surprise is the dramatic increase in laundry. It never ceased to amaze me how such a small person can produce so much dirty clothing..either by spitting up on himself or you, or on the bed, etc.

    IT does get better. The first couple of months are a blur. I’m amazed you’re even coherent right now.

    • retirebyforty March 16, 2011, 3:09 pm

      I get pretty sleepy by 3pm and is not a lot of use for the rest of the work day.
      You’re right about the laundry! We have common laundry so at least this doesn’t spike our bills. 🙂

  • krantcents March 16, 2011, 1:42 pm

    It has been so long, I probably forgot! I do remember my wife playing music for the baby. It was soothing and there probably is developmental aspects I am not aware of. We changed up the kinds of music such as classical, smooth jazz and some rock n Roll. I guess I am adding to your electric bill. Here is a freebie, read and talk to the baby. It improves language skills.

    • retirebyforty March 16, 2011, 3:10 pm

      We got one lullaby CD from the baby shower and it’s been a life saver. I got 3 CDs from the library and they were all too upbeat.
      We want him to sleep, not get up and dance! On the other hand, I am sick of Puff the magic dragon and I have it stuck in my head all day long….

  • DividendPartisan March 16, 2011, 4:52 pm

    Retire by 40,

    I just learned of your site and think you have a great thing going here. Well done! I too hope to retire young.

    Congratulations on the child. Keep in touch,


  • Barb Friedberg March 16, 2011, 5:54 pm

    I have a huge smile. I love babies (mine is graduating college this spring). The swing is AWESOME. We borrowed one from a friend and Jr. loved it. If you can resist the huge push towards uber consumerism, you’ll be fine. A gazillion toys are not really required.

  • Money Reasons March 16, 2011, 7:41 pm

    I was oblivious to our expenses back then, so I’m not 100% sure…

    I never heard of a kotatsu table before, sounds interesting! My wife hates the cold too, perhaps I’ll have to search that more throughly or build one as you suggested in BIFS’s site.

  • Jackie Lemington March 16, 2011, 10:22 pm

    If you think it’s bad now, wait until it gets older. School age is the worst, they seem to go through clothes like there is no tomorrow. Your post made me chuckle though. You have a humorous twist to your writing. I like it 😀

    • retirebyforty March 17, 2011, 8:29 am

      That’s what I hear… I guess we’ll learn as we go along. Thanks!!

    • The Passive Income Earner March 17, 2011, 8:40 am

      I was going to say the same! 🙂

      I have two. I even had to move to a double stroller for a while … That was like driving a truck in a mall.

      Costco for school snacks is a savior for time. Can’t easily beat those prices. We too only recently got our Costco membership but we aren’t heavy buyers there.

  • everyday tips March 17, 2011, 4:04 pm

    Great post. Gotta share a couple things:
    1. I think it is a “Medela” pump, unless the Mandela’s have branched out and are in the business of breastmilk.
    2. Another GREAT baby item is a bouncy seat that vibrates. It used to put my fussy one right to sleep. He sat in that thing and I would make dinner.
    3. Don’t believe the weight suggestions on the diaper bags. My kids always ended up in the size bigger before they ‘weighed’ the suggested amount on the package. If the baby starts leaking, move on up.

    Congratulations again on this little one. I so love babies!!

    • retirebyforty March 17, 2011, 7:09 pm

      Of course, you’re right about Medela, fixing it now.

      I’ll look around found a bouncy seat. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • youngandthrifty March 17, 2011, 9:42 pm

    That baby swing looks pretty cool and looks like it does the trick!

    Your expenses don’t seem bad at all, a little bit of heat is better than using too many blankets on the baby 🙂

    I think I’m going to cave soon and get a Costco card too, I like the almonds and Asiago cheese too much. Are the Kirkland diapers much cheaper than what’s out there?

    • retirebyforty March 18, 2011, 8:56 am

      Oh man, we got the swing last night and the little guy is not enamor with it yet. I guess we’ll have to keep trying.
      Kirkland formula is a lot cheaper than the brand names, but I think Amazon mom has better diaper prizing (30% off.)
      That’s OK, we’ll probably get plenty of other things from Costco, we’ll make a day trip out of it. 🙂

  • Amanda L. Grossman March 18, 2011, 5:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing the unexpected costs with us! My friend is due in May:).

    • retirebyforty March 19, 2011, 1:12 pm

      No problem at all. I’m sure there will be a bunch more unexpected expenses coming up. 🙂

  • Sandy @ yesiamcheap March 21, 2011, 1:58 pm

    I don’t have babies but I’m following along to see what pops up. I’m waiting for the clothing expenses to kick in once that baby starts to grow. Keep us informed!

  • Lindy Mint March 22, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Smart wife on the breast pump rental. I purchased the $380 one, only to have it serve as a weaning device when breast feeding didn’t work for us either. We sold it on Craigslist for about $150 a few months later.

    Formula is not cheap, but it’s only one year, and it’s so worth it if it makes for a happy baby! (and mommy)

    I second Everyday Tips on the vibrating bouncy seat. Both of my kids lived in theirs, it was a life saver, and not too expensive either.

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2011, 10:38 pm

      Yeah, it’s a good thing I listened to her about the rental.
      Baby was crying so much the first few weeks because he didn’t get enough food. He is much better now with plenty of formula. I’ll see if I can find a bouncy seat on Amazon. thx!

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