Review: I’m sure this book is useful to someone. After all, as stated on the cover, it was featured on “Oprah.” However, having had a baby before, it wasn’t at all useful to me. Now on the one hand, you might say, “Well, you already had a baby, so you’ve already made all these decisions, so of course it wasn’t useful to you. That’s not the book’s fault.” On the other hand, I don’t think I would have benefited from making any decisions differently if I’d read this book first and that I actually might have ended up spending more money. The introduction does make the point that this book is not for do-it-yourself-ers. It’s for people who like and want nice things, they just don’t want to pay a lot for them. So if you’re someone who really wants to have a brand new Italian stroller and a top-of-the-line coordinated crib/dresser/changing table set, then this book might help you save money. However, I’m more of a not-do-it-at-all-er as opposed to a DIYer as far as babies are concerned and this book would not have helped me one bit. Personally, I don’t see the need for things like cribs and changing tables, while this book takes for granted the fact that these items are necessities.
The bottom line is that for the 2010 edition, which is the one I read, the book claims that they will cut the cost of raising a baby for the first year from $7,040 to $4,149. That just sounds crazy to me. Sure if you consider everything you might possibly ever need or want for your baby and try to get it all cheaply you might “save” $3,000 compared to retail prices. However, that’s the entirely wrong attitude in my opinion. One should start from the other end and ask the question, “What do we really need in order to get this kid to their first birthday?” If you decide that there’s something that you don’t REALLY need, but would be nice to have, get it used at a garage sale or consignment store. That’s a better way to save money if you ask me. (Personal Rating: 4/10)