The Hidden Cost of Babies

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I know I’m not the first to point out that kids are expensive, but I’ve been surprised at the ways the babies have changed my money-spending habits. It isn’t that I have to buy so much stuff. (It’s easy to find used baby items, most things that seem must-have when you’re pregnant turn out not to be necessary, and baby stuff can be resold when you no longer need it.)

But what I didn’t foresee is the convenience cost. Here are some ways I used to save money: 

Take the subway out to the airport to get the cheapest car rental. 
Spend hours looking through markdown clothes at Daffy’s to find great deals.
Get free boxes when I moved by making trips back and forth to a nearby grocery store.
Stop at the grocery store on the way home and carry everything back on the subway. 

And those are just a few examples. Post-baby, there’s no time for that. There are two weekend days each week, when my husband and I are both home, in which to get everything done. Or there are tasks, very few, that can be completed with two babies in tow. There is no longer an option in which one of us is spending lots of time alone doing anything. 

Here is how we now complete these tasks:

Get the nearest rental car, for twice the price. 
Order full-price clothes online if necessary. 
Spend lots of money buying moving boxes nearby. 
Do a big shop once a week and take a car service home from the grocery store. 

Time is money. I didn’t really understand it before, when I had so much time, when, now I see in retrospect, I was rich with time. When my weekends were a big luxury of uninterrupted couch lying, book reading and park walking, clothes rack surfing alone time. Now it’s all Thank You Amazon.com. And there’s another big box of “not the cheapest possible diapers” delivered right to my door.

But of course, I shouldn’t complain. There are worse things than being forced to get home delivery.  

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9 thoughts on “The Hidden Cost of Babies

  1. Hear, hear! Now something that frustrates me is how customer service puts customers on hold for long swaths of time. Several times I have been offered tiny refunds and stated that it’s not money but time sunk that concerns me. Time is what I never have enough of. So when a company shows it does not value its customers’ time, I stop patronizing it. It’s not like I love parting with money, but more can be earned. Once time is gone, it’s gone for good!

    • Exactly. Feeling like your time has been wasted needlessly is a bad feeling! Ugh being put on hold. I am a new devotee of speakerphone. Helps a bit, but still. I have to call my cell phone company again and am dreading it.

  2. I’m soooo with you on the lack of time aspect. I literally have none of it. What little bit I do have is spent sleeping, doing household chores, or relaxing & shopping..online. 😉
    I’m the Amazon queen around these parts and a die-hard deal finder. Now that I have 3 to tend to, I find my deals even more so online. I have groceries delivered (paid at a higher cost, but offset with no gas wasted and children not in tow), schedule outings in groups (i.e…mutliple doc visits in one day), and try to accomplish things “as I go.” It doesn’t always prove successful, but it does work. As far as the diaper situation goes (not sure what brand you use), but I find that ordering them in bulk, usually saves money. Sam’s, Costco, and even Amazon (minus the subscription) have helped me a lot! When I do need to get out, Hubbz is usually eager to stay home and allow me a free day to get what I need done. 🙂 I hadn’t really run into the car rental portion, but I’m sure with a bit of search, there are some discounted rates, especially for the “in-town” branches. I find the airport locations are the most expensive ones due to airport tax. At least that’s my experience.

    But yet….having multiples IS expensive! 🙂 Besides…I kind of like having my food delivered..I tend to spend less overall….. Great post! 🙂

    • Having food delivered is a good idea. Do you think you end up spending less because there’s less impulse-buying? I could see that. Though I do sort of like going grocery shopping now (alone)–feels like a nice break. Of course, having that time to take a break and do something that wasn’t an errand would be even better. Somehow finding deals online doesn’t feel as satisfying as finding them in a store. Not sure if that makes sense. Or maybe I’m just not as good at finding deals online? Anyway, thank you for commenting!

      • I think so. Maybe it’s because I don’t go down each aisle and see things not in the list. I do agree, it is a nice break though. Makes perfect sense. I can understand how the pleasure would be different. 🙂 my pleasure!

  3. I wholeheartedly agree! Just recently I’ve started clothes shopping in clothes shops again, as opposed to online. I’ve found some nice things and it was great fun shopping with my mum. Felt like old times. Everything you write is so familiar for me!

  4. Amen! Convenience is expensive, and when you have zero free time, convenience is essential. I love clothes shopping on Zulily for my girls…online, no dragging anyone out in the cold. I’ll pay more for some non-food items at the grocery store just to avoid an extra trip…it’s all about perspective, I guess! Great post. 🙂

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