I know, it's ridiculous really, because I've spent the past several hours making this wonderful cost-comparison Excel spreadsheet. Actually, the cost-comparison took maybe 30 minutes, but the perfectionist inside took several hours making it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. After finishing it, I couldn't help but want to share it with you all. You see, I am a very visual person, so naturally before making hefty purchases, I need to see how it affects my budget plans, as realistically as possible, for the next few months, and in this case, the next few years. Here is my pretty spreadsheet:
Based on 2 1/2 years or 30 months, an average diapering time for one child, this is what I came up with. I don't take into account water usage because I never have to pay that in the apartments we live in (though, this means another spreadsheet when we buy a house someday!)
I am happy to even save a few hundred, but a $1000 with one baby?! And then over $6000 with 6 babies?!* Yes, we really would like to have 6 babies. Anyway, I decided that $40/month was an achievable average for me to obtain had I decided to go with disposable diapering through the years. These expenses are actually quite modest in comparison to what so many other websites have cited disposable costs to be. Just the same for cloth diapering, many sites stated the costs to be SO much lower than what I have listed. Not taking all the extra stuff to compare and just comparing diapers, the amount saved is more like $880 for one baby and $6,240 for six. The whole chart makes sense to me, but I hope it all makes sense to you all. Basically, I figured most of the costs out as monthly, but several things were listed as "cost X number of purchases." Nonetheless, the whole thing is based on 2 1/2 years. Oh yeah, the part that lists "Extra Disposables" on the cloth diapering section is referring to the disposable diapers I will buy while cloth diapering. I've been told that it's nice to have some on hand and I completely agree. Plus, the one-size may be a tad too large for our babe when he arrives, so we'll use newborn disposables for the first few weeks then slowly go into part-time cloth diapering then full time after that.
Initially, I thought I would be paying $18-20 per cloth diaper, but after careful research over the millions of cloth diaper websites and searching out ways to get my hands on promotion codes, I managed to buy my first seven for about $15.40 each (Why seven? Well I wanted free shipping and it had to be over $100, so buying 6 made it a few dollars short. haha).
Anyway, instead of my coupon-clipping madness I do, what if you're more like the average Joe who buys diapers for $8-10/pack or $15-20 for the bulk pack? Fear not, I made a mini-comparison for the "sales shopper/occasional coupon clipper:"
Obviously I could save money if I received diapers and whatever other baby things as gifts, but so far, with the exception of some baby clothes, blankets, and a baby bouncer (love it, Lisa!), everything has come out of our own pocket, so we are really grateful to give our wallets a break by cloth diapering!
Clearly, I am really obsessed, but at least I'm informative too, right? And I know you all secretly enjoy reading this all too :)
* EDIT: Ok, my dad sent me a different link about cost comparison and after averaging the cost for detergent and electricity expenditure for the washer and dryer, our bill may increase an extra $5/month, which puts us at about $600 for the 2.5 years and saving about $940 in that time as well (can you imagine what you can by with an extra $900?!). I'm still happy :) We'll see how much it actually does end up costing in November because utilities may really differ than the average.