I have it circled on my calendar. July 10. One of the days I am most looking forward to. Yes, it will likely be warm and sunny outside (looks pretty good at the end of winter in the Midwest). My baby girl will be seven months and she’ll probably be able to sit up on her own. We’ll be eating fresh, colorful veggies from the farmer’s market instead of pink tomatoes and tasteless berries. Yes, July 10 looks great for many reasons – but there is one specific reason why I can’t wait for that day.
July 10 is the day that my cloth diapers will start saving me money.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I suggested to my husband that we cloth diaper this baby. I was initially most excited about the impact we’d have on the environment, and as I started to read about the other benefits to the baby’s health, the cuteness factor and the money it would save us, I was completely sold. But being a very analytical, straightforward, “numbers-guy,” my husband only wanted to hear the facts when I was attempting to talk him into it (he’s heard more than a few harebrained ideas from me in the past, so he approaches these conversations with a healthy dose of skepticism). I seriously think he was only half-listening when I went on about the landfill waste we’d prevent, the smaller number of garbage bags going out to the curb, etc… but when I mentioned saving thousands of dollars by switching to cloth diapers, his attitude shifted and he was on-board 100%. (I think he was also just a tiny bit excited not to have to hunt down the last diaper in the house buried deep in a diaper bag just to “get us through the night until I can get to the store to buy more.”)
Saving money is something I get excited about too. I may not be very good at it, but now every time I put a reusable diaper on my baby girl, I think about saving that one disposable diaper from the landfill AND putting those pennies back into our bank account. Right now, those pennies go toward paying ourselves back the money we’ve invested in diapers and accessories, but come July 10, those few dollars per day will all be savings. She will be about seven months old at that point, so if she stays in diapers another two years, we’ll have saved upwards of $1,000. One thousand dollars saved on something that is a total necessity, something that many people consider a “fixed cost”. Saving so much money is a very tangible result of our decision to choose cloth. And if we decide to have another baby (jury is still out on that one) the savings will go into our pocket from the day he/she is born. Cha-ching!
I do have to admit these calculations are pretty rough. I’m no math whiz, but I basically took the average per-unit price of disposable diapers and disposable wipes, multiplied it by the number of diapers and wipes we use in one week, then took that number and divided it into the amount we already have invested in cloth diapers (anyone else’s head spinning?). That gave me a number of weeks it would take to “pay off” the cloth and then I counted the weeks on the calendar until I got to the right number. Now as my husband – remember my “numbers guy”? – reminded me when I told him about this post, this does not reflect the increase in our utilities from washing and drying diapers every day or so or any additional diapers I may or may not decide to buy between now and then. So if I’m being conservative and that adds another couple of weeks, so be it. I will still be crossing into the black by August 1.
Maybe Mama will get a new pair of sandals on August 2!
Am I crazy or does everyone else know their “date” too?!!
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday. Learn more about Sarah here.