We're also TTC and I've been thinking about the whole financial aspect (my other half lets me worry about the important things - how kind). I don't know how much you get in Oz from the State but here in the UK it's a pretty sad affair - everyone (regardless of income) gets around £17 per week (approx. $42 I think) but unless you're on the bread line you don't get much help towards childcare and I have savings which we'll use if things get really tight, but obviously this will stop me from getting state handouts, even though it's for emergency use and I really really don't want to have to use it the first year, as we're also renovating part of the house and I like to keep it aside incase there's problems with the house, extra bills, repairs, etc. etc.....

But, having said that (and I think this point has already been raised) you CAN do it on a budget - my future sister-in-law didn't buy ANY baby clothes as everyone went mad in the baby department and showered them with gifts! Plus, my fiance's mum has always said that she'll buy each of her grandchildren a pram / buggy, and I shop at op-shops all the time and wouldn't hesitate in snatching up a bargain - they're all clean and in good condition - this also applies to toys, books, etc. when the kid is older.

Plus, I'd like to try towelling nappies and see how I get on, although I'd definitely keep an "emergency" stock of disposables incase I get too squeamish! hehe ;-)

And the first 6 months will hopefully be free as far as formula is concerned as I want to breastfeet (shift some of that weight that I'll be carrying around!), although I know lots of people have infections / mastitis etc. so we'll see...

So good luck with your finances and just remember that very few people can ever afford to have a baby when they sit down and do the sums, but no one I know is starving and the kids are always fed and clothed and a mum always manages to find the money somehow :-)

take care,

neat x