Tuesday, July 5, 2011


In Saturday’s business section of the Sydney Morning Herald was an article about cashed-up mums and dads and how much money they waste on their newborns.
I wish they’d interviewed me. I could have debunked the entire article.
Then again, I don't think Gregory and I qualify as cashed up.

The business section is not an area of the Herald I usually find myself in, but I’m glad I did. It made for some very enlightening reading.

Apparently some people buy nappy wipe warmers.
Would anyone actually admit to doing that?
Firstly, it’s Australia. It doesn’t get that cold. 
Secondly, if you’re really that concerned, do what my mother-in-law does in the middle of an east coast US winter, and nuke ‘em for 5 seconds in the microwave.

Other people purchased a bath thermometer.
Whatever happened to sticking your elbow in and seeing if it burns? Worked for my Grandma.

It also says that in the affluent areas new parents can spend up to $7000 on their baby.
Seven thousand dollars people. That’s a serious amount of dosh.

I’ve always lived by the theory that if you don’t know how much something is, it’s not that expensive. I never check my credit card statements, or what the bottom line is at the grocery store, I just blithely sign my name and wish the checkout person a lovely day.

But that's also because I abide by the policy of nonessential items and only purchase things I really need (apart from scarves, where I seem to think it is necessary to have one for every day of the year) thereby counteracting the fact that I never look at what I spend.

If I only buy what it essential and have a healthy fear of anything over twenty bucks, I reckon I’ll be ok.

Still, I decided to test the accuracy of my theory and tried and remember how much we spent before the arrival of Little Miss Q.

·               Cloth nappies – ok serious purchase here of over $700. I nearly gagged. BUT, we’re doing our bit for the world and saving money along the way. Consumer reports reckon we’ll be saving approximately $2000 not using death-to-the-environment disposables.
·               Mountain buggy -  these guys (who used to be owned by Kiwis, but now are not) are doing a serious business in the groovy inner-west of Sydney. And my buggy gets a brutal workout. From home to the local café, to the Woolies for soft cheese that I’m now allowed to eat again, back past the café via the organic grocery store, with a short detour past Adriano Zumbo's for a pastry of great deliciousness. Actually, I’m too impatient to stand in his queues, but my buggy does work hard for its five hundred dollars. I have a ten k run around the inner city that I take it on (with Miss Q strapped safely inside) and load it up with groceries at the local farmer’s market. Totally trendy shopping I know, but the style Gregory and I have always been partial to – know your food source and support local growers. But I won't get started on that rant today.
·               Two fancy-pants cots – that we found out the front of a neighbouring house. When we asked the guy why they weren’t selling them (they still had the packaging and instructions and all the bolts were safely packed away in their original containers) he said they couldn’t be bothered. We have it on good authority that they are the you-bute-passionfruit brand. So Miss Q has one with us and one at my parents for when she’s old enough for a sleep over. My parents can hardly wait.
·               Everything else – clothes, toys, books, serious aluminium framed running pram, bed linen, highchairs, mobiles, baby fences, room decorations (hardly necessary since she doesn’t have her own room) have all been given. Donated to team Llewellyn Hart as we grow our first human. Honestly, the generosity of parents one step ahead of you is unbelievable. Perhaps they are so ready to rid themselves of anything reminding them of the trauma of potty training, baby led weaning and everything else new humans have to learn, that they’re thankful to get it out of their range of vision. Their purging is to our great benefit.

So sure, you can spend $7000 if you like. Or you can save it for your child’s private school fund instead. But that is different blog entirely and best saved for another day…

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