Monday, September 1, 2014

How Much Time Does it Take to Cloth Diaper - Quantifying the Savings

Last week I posted my breakdown of how much extra time it actually takes to use cloth diapers over disposable diapers but being a CPA this information has more use for me when expressed in dollars!  My study found that on average someone could expect to spend about an hour extra each week using cloth diapers over disposables.
Assess the Factors
First to determine how much out time savings are worth we have to assess the cost per month of using cloth diapers and of using disposables:
Cost of a Cloth Diaper Stash (per month)
The average child will potty train around two and a half and I would say that the majority of cloth dipaerers will use their diapers on at least two children, therefore to be conservative I will say that the diapers will get 5 years of use. You can cloth diaper for almost any price point and I have provided suggestion for diaper stashes at $200, $400 and $600 so the price of your stash will definitely affect the per hour savings. I think a very reasonable expectation is about $400 for your cloth diapers for 5 years (60 months) so $6.67 a month.
Cost of Utilities (per month)
Based on my post from last year about determining cost savings of using cloth diapers I determined that it cost me about $150 a year in extra water, electricity, detergent, etc. to use cloth diapers.  Therefore the monthly cost is about $12.50
Therefore the total estimated cost per month of using cloth diapers is $19.17.
Cost of Disposable Diapers (per month)
The cost of disposables is of course affected by the brand you buy but I think 25 cents a diaper is reasonable and at approximately 300 diapers a month the cost per month is about $75.
Therefore the savings each month of using cloth diapers over disposable diapers is $55.83 a month and if you assume approximately 4 hours a month (1 hour a week) then you are essentially paying yourself $13.95 an hour.  Not bad! If someone told me they would pay me $14 an hour to put adorable diapers on my daughter, keep away diaper rash and help the planet all at the same time I would consider that a pretty good job!
So overall I found this little experiment really interesting. I am more than happy to sacrifice an hour a week so that we can continue cloth I just have to find my husband to collect my $14.
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