Young And Thrifty http://youngandthrifty.ca Saving Generation Y Mon, 24 Apr 2017 01:54:42 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 Destination Wedding vs Traditional At Home Wedding: Which One is Cheaper? http://youngandthrifty.ca/destination-wedding-vs-traditional-at-home-wedding-which-one-is-cheaper/ http://youngandthrifty.ca/destination-wedding-vs-traditional-at-home-wedding-which-one-is-cheaper/#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2017 01:23:13 +0000 http://youngandthrifty.ca/?p=2030 Destination Wedding vs Traditional At Home Wedding: Which One is Cheaper? first appeared on Young And Thrifty

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Summer is just around the corner and so is Canada’s wedding season – if you’re into traditional (local) weddings that is.

It’s wedding mania for me now since I’m in my mid-to-late twenties and I’ve been to two weddings this year already (including my first good friend, as opposed to a relative – so exciting!) and they were both here in Vancouver. Another friend is planning to get hitched in Hawaii for a destination wedding next year. My boyfriend and I were discussing what we would like to do in the future, and we were going back and forth between the romantic and financial allure of a destination wedding vs a standard traditional wedding (aka “local wedding”) where we can invite and expect more of our friends and family to attend.

Consequently I thought I would do what I like doing best here on Young & Thrifty, by creating a comparison list between the two to help me (and you) decide which one is better for the wallet and which fits your wedding goals overall. Yay for lists (can I get more A-type?)!

Destination Wedding:

A destination wedding is where the bride and groom invite the wedding party and close family & friends to an exotic resort location or a tourist mecca such as Cancun, while turning it into a mini-vacation for all.  Destination Weddings have increased 400% in recent years, clearly becoming more popular.  Common destination wedding locales are usually warm sunny places such as Mexico, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Italy, and the Caribbean to name a few. 

Destination weddings are substantially cheaper in most cases.  The average cost for a destination wedding is $17,000 for 100 people (and in many cases there are far less than 100 people that wish to attend) whereas a traditional wedding costs $25,000 for the same amount of people and here’s why:

  • You can combine your wedding and honeymoon together – no new travel plans needed.
  • You usually pay for only yourselves as the bride and groom.
  • Your guests pay for their own package (flight and hotel) to get there, and if you choose an all-inclusive resort it makes things really simply and low maintenance as all the food and drinks are paid for as well.
  • There usually aren’t as many guests (average is around 40 guests) because of obvious financial hurdles.
  • You don’t need to be as elaborate (read: expensive venue and decorations) at your reception because the location (beaches!!) speaks for itself.

The costs you would need to consider for a destination wedding are:

  • Your wedding dress and suits.
  • Passports if you don’t have them already; and Visas, if the destination requires it.
  • Wedding Insurance (if you want) in the event of extreme weather issues or other unpredictable events (hurricanes! tropical storms! yuck!).
  • Bridesmaid and groomsmen outfits.
  • Your flight and hotel package.
  • The reception (should be much cheaper because there are fewer guests) – you can probably strike a deal with the resort to include this in a package.
  • Photographer and their transport costs – although resorts often include this option in their packages.
  • Destination wedding planner if you’re using one to make sure you pick a good location and help coordinate the shindig.
  • Flowers – a base package is already included in most destination wedding packages.  Of course you can always pay for more, but with the beautiful beach to compete with I’m not sure folks will notice them much!

Although this list seems a bit lengthy, the actual cost pales in comparison to what many Canadians are paying for local weddings these days.  Usually places have packages for the bride and groom, but make sure that the hotel will give your wedding party and guests a package deal as well.  This is where negotiating comes into play. 

Here are some good websites to help you with your destination wedding planning:

Without trying to sound crass, the financial downside is that you likely won’t get gifts or cash for your wedding (nor should you be expecting any!) because the cost of getting to that exotic place is already expensive enough for the guests.  A good tip to save money for both guests and yourselves is to book your wedding during the mid-week.  You will be able to save on flight costs, hotels, photography, site fees, music etc.

Traditional Local Wedding:

The costs associated with a Traditional Local Wedding are as follows:

  • Your wedding dress and suits.
  • Bridesmaid and groomsmen outfits.
  • The reception: A big range of prices here depending on the location, fanciness of desired food options, and whether or not to do an open bar.
  • The venue: Again, there are a huge range of prices here, especially if you live in a large city.  You also may have to book two years in advance to secure your desired location!
  • Decorations at the reception and venue.  (I’ve been a part of way too many centerpiece conversations.)
  • Photography
  • Flowers
  • Limo rental (if you’re not using a friend or family’s fancy car)
  • Wedding Favors

Other Financial Considerations for a Local Wedding

A traditional wedding in Canada averages out to $32,000, but the flipside (again, there is no way to talk about this reality without sounding crass) is that you do receive gifts.  If you ask for money to be given instead of gifts, that can really help offset the cost of your wedding.  The wedding that I just attended this summer initially cost $20,000 for a wedding with 180 guests but after they tallied the gifts from friends and families (they requested money instead of gifts because they have all the toasters and glassware they need as they were living common law) they came out even!  So the wedding actually cost nothing.  I know some people consider asking for money to be in really poor taste, but I tried my best to explain why changing societal norms are making this more acceptable when I wrote this article on how to ask for money instead of gifts tactfully.  Emphasis on the last word there!

The other good thing about traditional weddings is that more people can come to your wedding.  If you would like to have a chance to celebrate your union with your colleagues, your boss, your friends, your extended family, a traditional wedding at home can be a great chance for everyone to get together and have fun (especially if there is an open bar lol).  The flipside of this is that whoever makes it to a destination wedding will likely stay for several days – so you can spend a substantial amount of time with them – instead of just a quick five minute stop at their table.

Traditional Wedding vs Destination Wedding: You Do You!

So in conclusion, a destination wedding is usually cheaper because there are a fewer number of guests. On the other hand, there could be a possibility that the traditional at home wedding is cheaper in the long run if you manage to convey to your large guest list that a monetary gift would be the way to go if they want to bring a gift at all (as unconventional as that may sound). In the end, it is up to you and your husband or bride-to-be to decide where you want to spend your money and what you ultimately want out of your big day.

Related: 10 Financial Tips For Newlyweds

On a side note, I can’t believe it’s “wedding age” already! In my early twenties, I used to watch TLC’s  all the time and analyze and tear over the wedding details.. and now that it is possibly coming up for me in the near future, I’m not sure I want all the hoopla associated with a wedding… I certainly don’t want to spend $32,000 on a wedding, that’s for sure!

Readers who are engaged or married or even the single folks who read “Bride to Be” magazine every month… which would you prefer to do? Destination Wedding or Traditional Wedding?  Married folks, how much did your wedding cost, and were you within budget?  Please share to help future happy couples make up their minds!

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Money Earned While on Maternity and Parental Leave in Canada http://youngandthrifty.ca/money-earned-maternity-parental-leave-canada/ http://youngandthrifty.ca/money-earned-maternity-parental-leave-canada/#comments Mon, 17 Apr 2017 03:16:50 +0000 http://youngandthrifty.ca/?p=16665 In Canada we are pretty darn lucky to have a great maternity (and paternity) leave system, although surviving on 55% of your income for much of the year can be pretty daunting.  Some of my friends in the United States are not so lucky and have 12 weeks of leave after giving birth and then […]

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In Canada we are pretty darn lucky to have a great maternity (and paternity) leave system, although surviving on 55% of your income for much of the year can be pretty daunting.  Some of my friends in the United States are not so lucky and have 12 weeks of leave after giving birth and then have to go back to work.

Maternity and Parental Leave in Canada

Generally, to qualify to receive money during your leave, you have to be employed and have worked for at least 15 weeks full-time before applying for the benefits, or if you are a self employed individual, you have to pay into the benefits and make a long term commitment to continue paying into the benefits (e.g. you cannot opt out once you opt in).

According to Service Canada, to calculate your weekly rate while on leave, you just multiple your current earnings by 55%, and you can receive up to a maximum of $51,300 as of January 1 2017. This means that you can receive a maximum Employment Insurance amount of $543 per week.  This value is updated and evaluated every year.

This income is taxed (of course!).

You have to have a one week waiting period (they recently reduced this from a two week waiting period) and then maternity leave starts for 17 weeks, and this starts after the baby is born.

Afterwards, it can be switched to parental leave (35 weeks) which adds up to a full 52 weeks, or a full calendar year.

Many employers offer a top up to the benefits and can be anywhere from 75% to 90% of your previous earnings (which definitely helps a lot!).

Nonetheless, it is definitely reduced and many new parents may not be used to this reduction in income, hence there may be thoughts about making some money on the side.

Before you do that, make sure to think carefully about those side gigs!

Earning Money While on Maternity or Parental Leave

Money Earned While on Maternity and Parental Leave in CanadaAny extra money earned while on the 15-17 weeks of maternity leave will be deducted dollar for dollar (meaning for an extra dollar you earn, a dollar will be taken away from your benefits payment), which makes earning extra money on the side extremely non-satisfactory.

So earn any side money while on maternity leave!

For the remaining 35 week parental leave portion, there are two options with recent changes.

  1. You can earn $50 per week or 25% your weekly benefit, whichever is higher… anything more than that will be taken away dollar for dollar
  2. With the 2016 Budget, there is a new program that is in effect until August 11 2018 called the Working While on Claim program (link is to a Youtube video from Service Canada).  With this pilot project, if you work while on parental leave, you get the luxury of keeping 50 cents of their benefits for every dollar earned while on claim, up to the 90% of your weekly benefits, then anything more than this is taken away dollar for dollar.  This is called the “optional rule”

Default Rule: Let’s say you get $500 per week for parental leave, and you earn $300 one week in side money.  With this rule, you 25% of weekly benefit is $125.  So $175 ($300-125) will be subtracted from the $500 for that week.  So total for that week is $300 (earned money) and $325 (benefits)= $625.

Optional Rule: Let’s say you get $500 per week in benefits, and you earned $300 in side money again (it is less than 90% of weekly benefits).  So you get to keep $150 with the optional rule (you keep 50 cents for every dollar you earn while on claim).  Total for that week is $150 (earned) + $500 (benefits)= $650.

The caveat is that you have to calculate your earnings/ work time on a weekly basis and not lump it together.  You also have to report your income while working on parental leave regularly.

Check out the Service Canada website for more information about how much the taxman will take away when you earn money while on maternity or parental leave.  The Service Canada customer service agents will even listen to your story and potential situation and tell you which option is best (the conventional or default way or the Working While on Claim way) for you if you plan on earning any income while on parental leave.

Potential Work Arounds and Other Income

If you are a freelancer, potential work arounds to this include not getting paid while you are on parental leave portion of the year and invoicing later or earlier/ before your parental leave starts.  This would avoid the clawback.

Or you can just start selling things for cash and have a big garage sale and not report this income!

The other thing to know is that non-earned income e.g. rental income and dividend income or passive income and capital gains are excluded from this and should not be taken away dollar for dollar from your weekly parental leave benefits (phew!).

Readers, have you earned money while on parental leave?  Did the math come out right for calculating the Default and Optional choices?  

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How to Ask for Money Instead of Wedding Gifts (Tactfully) http://youngandthrifty.ca/how-to-ask-for-money-instead-of-wedding-gifts-tactfully/ http://youngandthrifty.ca/how-to-ask-for-money-instead-of-wedding-gifts-tactfully/#comments Sun, 09 Apr 2017 11:58:19 +0000 http://youngandthrifty.ca/?p=5283 How to Ask for Money Instead of Wedding Gifts (Tactfully) first appeared on Young And Thrifty

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According to the Globe and Mail the average wedding costs over $25,000 these days.  It doesn’t make much sense to go into debt when you’re just beginning your new life together (especially considering that financial stress can be so destructive to relationships).  After the lavish one-day celebration, there’s the rest of your life that needs to happen!  To me, starting your life together in consumer debt (not to mention student loan debt, and/or credit card debt from each individual) whilst at the same time trying to save up for a down payment for a home together doesn’t make much sense.  Doing this while having 3 toasters, 2 blenders, and a partridge in a pear tree that you received as wedding gifts, makes even less rational sense. 

Wedding Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Now, before some of the easily-offended traditional types out there start spamming our Twitter feed with posts that included the words “entitled, snotty, ungrateful, Millennials” hear me out.  This whole wedding gift scenario is really the perfect example of opportunity cost, overall utility, and basic economic thought. 

Let me put it this way, is there any way that one of your friends and family could possibly know EXACTLY what you want to do with the money they are spending on a gift?  In other words, can anyone spend money on your behalf better and more efficiently than you could? 

Obviously not – you have the best idea of what you want or need, so at best, your friends and family might hit 70-80% right?  You’ll likely get several of some gifts, other gifts you’ll never really use at all, and even the gifts that are purchased off your wedding registry might have only been listed because you felt pressured to make a registry in the first place!  This doesn’t mean you are ungrateful for the heartfelt sentiments behind the gifts, it simply means that in an absolute economic sense, if people want others to get as much utility and enjoyment out of their gift as possible, then we should simply give cash.  The other alternative would be to simply do away with the social convention of giving wedding gifts all together – but I doubt this will happen any time soon.

All this to say, please don’t automatically label me a thoughtless jerk!  I’m just saying what most young couples are thinking when it comes to opening wedding gifts!

A Whole New World

Many couples these days are shacking up prior to getting married.  For these folks, it makes sense to share the shelter costs and to “test the waters” out by cohabitating before marriage.  Therefore, many couples already have a toaster, a blender, linens, silverware, glassware, furniture, electronics, etc.  This is quite a change from 1-2 generations ago when most couples did not live together before marriage, (or at least felt a lot of social pressure not to admit this was the case) got married at a younger age, and consequently could really use a lot of these life-starter items.

The one thing that young couples who already live together (and even those who don’t) often don’t have, and really, really need: money.

Cash money guarantees that you will give a happy couple the most bang for your buck.  The newlyweds can use that gift for wherever the need is greatest.  Perhaps it can help pay for a honeymoon.  Responsible young folks might use it to jump start a housing down payment.  At the very least it can offset the costs of a wedding.  (Although your wedding costs and honeymoon will be well within your budget after you read the rest of our wedding articles right?)

How to Remain Tactful While Asking for Money as a Preferred Wedding Gift

It’s weird how the same culture that came up with the money dance considers it a social faux pas to communicate to guests that you would prefer money if they wish to give a gift.  While most people I talk to that are under 35 sort of get “it” when it comes to modern wedding gift giving, I think it’s fair to say the most popular belief or social norm out there is that asking directly for money from your guests is tacky. 

So, like so many weird conventions these days, you need to be particularly tactful navigating this potential minefield.  The last thing you want to do is offend your great aunt right?  The strategy I’ve seen used the most effectively is to shamelessly use your wedding party and maybe sympathetic immediate family (feel out where your parents and siblings stand on this) to quietly disperse the information that you’d really prefer cash to another set of towels.

Then you can use your official wedding invitation to say something along the lines of “no gift needed – your presence is your gift”.  Truthfully, because I’m a super weird economics geek I don’t mind people not giving me a gift one bit!  After all, I invited you to my wedding as a guest, there should be absolutely zero expectation of a gift.  However, if you are going to use your hard-earned money to give me a gift, I want it to generate the most amount of good possible!

Cash Wedding Registries

There are a few sites that do cash wedding registries.  This means that your guests can pay for their wedding gift online and the money gets transferred to your bank account when you want to “cash out”.  For many of these sites, you can create a page where you could explain where their cash gift is going towards (e.g. a honeymoon, or a down payment on your new home, a renovation).  You can even decorate it all nicely with your engagement photos and explain how you met etc. etc.  Again, I’ve noticed a bit of a generational divide here where young people think this is a great idea (who doesn’t want to feel like they were part of sending the happy couple on a great honeymoon?) but it can rub some of the more traditional crowd the wrong way.

  •  Wedistry Their slogan is “for wedding gifts outside the box.” They are Canadian based. You can personalize your website by adding details about the wedding day, add some photos… all the good stuff.  Of course they’re making money off you but how much?  They take 5% off the top from any gifts (but no extra charges to guests) to you and charge you $25 when you “cash out.”  So, let’s say you have 150 people and each gives $100 to Wedistry.  It will cost you $750 but you’ll have $14,250 instead of a toaster, a blender, an iron….
  • Cash Wedding Gifthas a slightly tackier title.  They’re seen on The Knot and are part of the Better Business Bureau (so they must be good).  The gift givers get charged $4.99 processing fee and an additional 3.9% of the gift they’re giving.  They use an example of it costing $108.89 for a $100 cash gift.  You can include a wedding registry video.  For this reason I don’t think I’ll be using it if I ever get married lol (the idea of talking in front of a camera scares me!)
  • Our Wishing WellPerhaps the most tactful name -this website isn’t unique to weddings but can include other events like birthdays, babies, fundraisers, housewarmings.  The good thing is that the guests don’t have to pay a fee.  There is a “cash out” fee when you withdraw and it’s a tiered system depending on how much money you withdraw.  The unique thing about Our Wishing Well is that it’s not money specific and has gift cards etc. that you can ask for.  The other “plus” of this company is that they accept most major currencies.

I’d like to reiterate that the goal of asking for money as a wedding gift shouldn’t be to soak your guests for as much as you can, or to convey you don’t appreciate the thought behind another gift if they choose to go that route.  It’s more about communicating the reality of most weddings and marriages today.  Young adults have towels, pots & pans, and a TV.  Want they don’t have (but likely really want) is money for a down payment, or to help make student debt disappear.  At the end of the day, couples shouldn’t demand a gift of any kind – that’s the truly tacky part!  However, if you do wish to give a gift, the aim is likely to give as much happiness to your loved ones as possible right?  If the most efficient way to do that is currency, why should that carry such a stigma?

Readers, do you think asking for money is tacky or do you think it’s just common sense in the face of a rapidly changing tradition?

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March 2017 Net Worth Update: $464,400 (+2.1%) http://youngandthrifty.ca/march-2017-net-worth-update-464400-2-1/ http://youngandthrifty.ca/march-2017-net-worth-update-464400-2-1/#comments Wed, 05 Apr 2017 13:46:42 +0000 http://youngandthrifty.ca/?p=17183 This is a very special and sentimental ‘net worth update’ for me because it’s going to be my last update, on Young and Thrifty. It is also a special update because we are expecting a baby in the summer! It was a pleasure creating this website way back in 2009 and wonderful to have the […]

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This is a very special and sentimental ‘net worth update’ for me because it’s going to be my last update, on Young and Thrifty.

It is also a special update because we are expecting a baby in the summer!

It was a pleasure creating this website way back in 2009 and wonderful to have the opportunity to continue writing for Kyle and Justin as they took over the website.  Time flies!  Given that personal finance blogging/ writing has been such a large part of me and I really do enjoy trying to be accountable with myself while blogging, it’s something I might continue in the future.

So, it’s not goodbye, but see you later! Hopefully in some different form…perhaps in between diaper changes!

Best of luck to you all in your own personal finance journey and it has been an honour to read your comments and share with you in your personal finance journey too!

My personal finance goal for 2017 is to reach $475,000 by January 2018, and I have about $10,600 left to go for the rest of the year.

Okay, so here’s the breakdown for March 2017: $464,400 (+$9720)

ASSETS:

March 2017 Net Worth UpdateCASH: $65,750 (+4.0%)

  • Once I deplete the cash in my non-registered account (yes, there is more cash in there) I will start moving this cash into investing accounts.  It is nice to keep it here for an emergency fund anyway.
  • I added up my chequing and savings accounts (High Interest Savings Account). I automatically deduct money from my chequing account and have it siphoned to the HISA account (paying yourself first)

Non-Registered: $84,600 (+1.3%)

  • These are stocks that capture the “moment in time”, including unrealized gains or losses in my BMO Investorline and Questrade accounts.

RRSP: $70,300 (+4.9%)

TFSA: $69,700 (+1.6%)

HOME: $272,000

  • This is the approximate purchase value
  • Am planning to rent it out in two years or sell it.  I think am leaning more towards selling it.

CAR: $15,625 (0.0%)

  • I updated it for 2016-2017 with the Canadian Black Book price, will update it again in July 2017 with the depreciated price

LIABILITIES:

Credit Cards: -$550

  • I just have my MBNA World Points World master card right now as I cancelled the other cards… I’ll be looking for more cards again with the goal of travel hacking my way to trips.
  • I use Mint.com account but I only added my credit card (this is helping a bunch so that I can keep track of my spending)
  • I’ve redeemed $300 for 2017 so far with my MBNA World Points World master card and it went towards my upcoming trip
  • I pay off my full amount every month (and folks, it’s VERY important you do so otherwise you’re losing out on a 19% return!) but include it in my net worth update so I have an accurate picture of my actual net worth. I sort of think “If I were to sell everything right now, what would my net worth be?” I guess I shouldn’t put it in the liabilities column since i pay it off regularly, BUT in mint.com it’s under the liability column so I’ll do the same.

Mortgage: $113,000 (-1.0%)

  • I pay an extra mortgage payment a month
  • I usually put $20,000 annually on top of the extra mortgage payment per month but haven’t decided what I’m going to do this year, I will probably not put in $20,000 so I have more liquidity
  • My intent is to rent it out in a little while (see above). In order to offset future rental income, I chose to acquire a mortgage instead of paying for the majority of the condo, and would rather not put all my eggs in one basket (e.g. real estate).

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Cost of Baby’s First Year http://youngandthrifty.ca/cost-babys-first-year/ http://youngandthrifty.ca/cost-babys-first-year/#comments Mon, 03 Apr 2017 01:49:03 +0000 http://youngandthrifty.ca/?p=17187 There are big changes in my household to take place in 2017! We are expecting! Since we are expecting our first baby, it is a prudent idea to think about the costs of the baby’s first year and then budgeting for this. There are already so many decisions to make, and narrowing them down according […]

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There are big changes in my household to take place in 2017! We are expecting!

Since we are expecting our first baby, it is a prudent idea to think about the costs of the baby’s first year and then budgeting for this. There are already so many decisions to make, and narrowing them down according to a premade budget makes it much easier (hopefully?) to plan for and to pay for. Perhaps it is somewhat similar to budgeting and planning for a wedding but actually less costly than a wedding!

When you are expecting for the first time, you welcome a lot of anxiety into your life, worrying about whether the baby is doing well, worrying about your caffeine intake, or your sushi intake, or your weight gain, or whether you can hear the heart beat!

One of the first purchases of many first time moms is buying “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. Of course, you can save money by not buying “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (which costs around $20-25 by the way) and just downloading the plethora of pregnancy apps out there, such as Baby Centre, or Ovia, or The Bump, which say the same thing pretty much as the aforementioned book without all the unnecessary detail.

Now for the rest of the costs for baby’s first year:

BabyCenter.com has a great modifiable calculator that can help you estimate for your baby’s first year and what it might cost. Bear in mind, the website is American, so for those of us in Canada who have the luxury of maternity leave for a year and not necessarily needing to pay for childcare before the baby is 12 months old, the costs can be a bit different. Childcare is obviously, the most expensive expense for your child that you will have to pay.

Diapers: Cloth or Disposable?

Cost of Babys First YearCloth or disposable, the perpetual question. I grew up on cloth diapers and I don’t even think there were cloth diapers laundering services at the time. Talk about dedicated parents!

Squawkfox has a great post on whether cloth diapers are worth it. If you buy a set of cloth diapers and launder them yourself, yes it is as you can also resell the cloth diapers for anywhere from 50-70% their value, where the total cost is about $550 until your child is potty trained. The plus side is you’ll be sparing the environment on thousands of plastic diapers that take more than a lifetime to decompose.
For disposable diapers, the approximate cost, according to Squawkfox, is $2350.

However, the caveat is laundering them yourself.

If you choose a diaper laundering service (if you live in a big city like me, this service is available), the cost per week is about $20+taxes but also including diapers. The total cost for this (for 30 months of diaper changes) is about $2400, which makes this option the most expensive, but perhaps the least guilt inducing.

However, keep in mind this is for 30 months, and that’s more than two years of cost, spread out over two and a half years, it’s not that bad.

BUDGET: $550-$1200 for diapers depending on what option you go with

RESP Contributions

Registered Education Savings Plan is an initiative created by the Canadian government that encourages parents to save for their children’s education. In return, the government gives you free money until your child reaches the age of 18 (really, you shouldn’t ever be saying no to free money, especially from the government). The maximum lifetime contribution is $50,000.

The free money is in the form of a CESG (The Canada Education Savings Grant). The government matches 20% of the first $2500 contributed annually to an RESP until the age of 17 and the maximum that the CESG will provide is $7200 per child.

The RESP, like an RRSP, is a tax deferred savings plan, so any interest or gains that grows inside it is tax free (for now). When it is withdrawn, it is then taxed. However, the student usually has little income so money will not be taxed at a high rate.

So, for the first year of your baby’s life, budget $2500 if you can, because that means the government is giving you $500. With that, you’ll be off to a good start when they reach their post-secondary years.

BUDGET: $2500

Food

You’ll be advised by health care professionals and others that ‘breast is best’ but if breastfeeding is difficult and not working out, don’t be hard on yourself (the pressure to be a perfect mother can add to the postbaby blues or post partum depression).

If you breastfeed for the first six months to a year, the cost obviously is $0.

If you are planning to use a breast pump, add $150-$400 to this cost, because these things are expensive!

For formula, anticipate spending about $15-20 a month.

For solid foods introduced at 6 months, plan to spend about $50 a month.

BUDGET:
$300 for breastfeeding and solid foods (not including cost of the pump)
$540 for formula and solid foods (not including cost of bottles etc.)

Childcare

If you’re planning to return to work before the 12 months of maternity and parental leave and planning to use childcare, the expenses can vary depending on if you are using a “home day care” (less licensed, less stringent, and fewer children) or if you are going with a more licensed and professional daycare.

Nonetheless, especially in a big city like Vancouver expect to spend anywhere from $800 to $1400 for daycare per month. Usually it’s even higher because childcare costs are higher for infants since they have higher needs than older children.

BUDGET: $800-$1400 per month of daycare before the child turns a year old

Miscellaneous

A stroller, books, baby clothes, bassinet or crib, a car seat, diaper bag, front carrier, high chair, bottles… the list goes on!  Trust me, it is overwhelming for me too and I consider myself a pretty organized person.

Expect to spend anywhere from $2000 to $5000 for these items, depending on how high end you go. Many stroller options are over $1000 these days, which is basically half of the low-end budget. Of course, if you buy used, or get clothes or other baby items donated to you, you will save a ton.

Baby stuff won’t last very long and you won’t need to use them for very long, unless you are planning to have another child.

Of course a lot of these items can be resold which reduces your budget.  Or you can borrow from a lovely sister in law like I plan to do.

BUDGET: $2000-$5000.

What’s the Total Cost for a Baby for the First Year?

So expect the total cost of baby’s first year (for a baby who is breastfed, not using childcare for the first year, and having the full $2500 contributed towards their RESP for post-secondary education) to be around $8000.

It can be difficult not wanting to spend a ton of money on your new baby; after all, it’s your first baby after all! However, just like your wedding, think about the important things, if it is going to only last 2 months, don’t spend that much on it! Don’t spend $50,000 on a wedding knowing you’ll be in debt because if you’re planning to have children you’ll have another $8000-$10,000+ to budget for!

Readers, what has your experience with the cost of your baby’s first year been? Was your baby’s first year more expensive or more economical than you had thought?

Cost of Baby’s First Year first appeared on Young And Thrifty

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