How Cloth Diapering Can Create a $10K+ College Fund

Ryan and I were trying to decide if cloth diapering would be beneficial or should I say worth it.  When I thought of cloth diapering I thought of grossness and me gagging. However, I started to research how they worked and what were the pro’s and con’s.

How Cloth Diapering Can Create a $10k+

There were three things that stood out to me in my research.

1)      Chemicals in disposables: Some chemicals that are in the disposables have been proven to cause health issues. Although it is said there is not enough in the diapers to cause issues why risk it?

2)      Environmental factors: There are concerns with how many diapers go to the landfill. Not only that, but the production and transportation of the diapers as well.

3)      Cost: The amount of money America spends on diapers just to trash them is outrageous! Today we are just going to be looking at cost factor alone.

Now before we go on I want to assure you cloth diapering has changed over the years. When I told my mom and mom-in-law we were planning on cloth diapering they both cringed. After explaining and showing them how the system works they both replied with, “Man, cloth diapering has come a long way!”

There are no more safety pins and plastic covers (well there are, but there are better ways now)!

cloth diapers


It now looks something like this. Easy, snapable, leak proof.

cloth diapers


First, let’s start with the cost of disposable diapers.

Different sites have slightly different numbers, but I chose to use Baby Centers Baby Cost Calculator. However, I first needed to know the average age kids potty trained. According to this University of Michigan study the average for complete potty training for girls took place at 29 months and boys 31. Therefore, we will use 30 months.

Stick with me here as I play the number game.

Cost of diapers per month $72

Cost of wipes per month $20

Which brings us to a total of $92 x 30 months = a total of $2,760

Additional costs may also include a Diaper Genie, refills and pull-ups but we won’t add that in.

Second, Let’s look at how I purchased our cloth diaper stash for under $250

Warning: You can spend a lot of money on cloth diapers. You must remember you are doing it to save money and not get caught up in all the cute patterns and designs. Buying used diapers are perfectly acceptable as long as they have been taken care of properly.

$107 for 20 new diapers w/liners, small wet bag and 1 training pants from Green Bees (Who was having an awesome sale! And has local pick up so no shopping!)

$5 for 1 used diaper w/liner at Just Between Friends Sale

$5 for 5 extra used liners at Just Between Friends Sale

$18 for 3 new diapers and small wet bag (These were from a local co-op)

$15 for used large hanging wet bag

$26 for 48 new reusable wipes from this Etsy Shop (Including shipping. If you have sewing talent or have a surger you could make your own cheaper.)

That brings me to a total of $176 dollars for 24 diapers, 29 liners, 2 small wet bags, 1 large wet bag, 1 trainer pants and 48 wipes.

Just for good measure I am calculating the cost of our cloth stash at $250 because I expect to have to buy some additional liners for when the baby gets bigger and a few more training pants.

What about cost of washing the cloth at home?

Baby Center also said that it cost $19 a month to wash at home for water and detergent expenses.

$19 x 30 months = $570

So let’s compare

Disposable cost for 30 months: $2,760

Cloth diapers cost for 30 months: $250 for stash + $570 for washing = $820

Your savings: $2,760-$820=$1,940

Now, let’s put that money to work for you!

Simply by putting that $1,940 you were already going to spend in a mutual fund that gains 10% interest (which ours has averaged that the past 5 years) over the next 18 years of your child’s life you will have an end amount of $10,786.22. That is if you invest no other money for the entire 18 years. That is just the money you were already going to spend that was going to the landfill! Your child now has a college fund!

Cloth diapers

Let’s take this a little further. Cloth diapers are durable and can be used for more than one child so on child number two you have no additional diaper expenses, but just the washing expense. Which means you have $2,190 to invest for their college fund. Same scenario: 18 years with no other contributions at a 10% interest rate your second child now has a college fund of $12,176.23.

Cloth Diapering

In conclusion

To diaper two children you spent approximately $1,390. Saved $4,130 which you invest. Then, earn a total of $18,832.45 on interest! I understand with some peoples set up they just do not have the time and energy to do cloth diapers. As parents we each have to do what works best for us. For Ryan and I, we decided that cloth diapering was doable. It may not be the easiest solution, but we feel it will be most beneficial for our child and for us. We have decided cloth diapering is beneficial and so worth it!

Note: Keep in mind you have to actually invest that money for this to work out. And you must invest it all up front for these numbers to become accurate. If you invest monthly payments in replacement of diapers the total amount in 18 years would be closer to $8,000. Use Dave Ramsey’s Investment Calculator for assistance. 

Until Next Time- Truly Love,


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  1. YES!!!! I love this post, Cassie!!!

    You laid the information out beautifully, Cassie! I think this will be a very helpful post for a LOT of people!

    I will absolutely consider this when Matt and I start a family in the future.

    • I am glad you enjoyed the post, Laura! To us and with our set up the little bit of extra work is worth that money in the end! I hope it proves to be helpful to others as well!

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