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Mrs. Maroon

January 19, 2015

Could I Pay for College With Diapers?

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As I changed not one, but two, diapers in the 4 o’clock hour this morning, my brain tailed off into crazy thoughts. Through the amazing, uber-convenient Amazon Mom, we get diapers and wipes delivered directly to our door each month, at a discount. I’ve comparison shopped for the same brands at other discount retailers… Sometimes the prices get close, but then again, who can beat the minimal effort of opening the front door to be fully stocked for such an essential need? Knowing me and my sometimes scatter-brained-ness (yes, I stand by that as a word), I’d end up running out of diapers, only to realize it in the middle of the night, while Mr. Maroon was out of town, and both Minis were sick. Okay, maybe the circumstances wouldn’t be quite that extreme, but certainly a dire situation if I’ve ever thought of one.

 We might be prepared for the diaper-pocalypse!

We might be prepared for the diaper-pocalypse!

Anyway, we average about $0.25 per diaper between the two Minis. So going back to 4:00a this morning… I thought I was getting smart in that I would wait to change Mini Maroon #2’s diaper until after she had eaten her midnight snack. I get a bit irked when I change her diaper for her to immediately, and often loudly, fill it again as soon as she starts eating. So, using my highly advanced deductive reasoning skills (we are still just talking about diapers after all), I decided to delay the diaper changing event to near the end of the feeding. I chose to give her a little more to eat in an attempt to expedite her return to dreamland… Yep, you guessed it, she filled that brand new diaper once again. So I decided I was basically taking a quarter and tossing it in the trash with the brand new, but very well-used diaper.


Then a thought crossed my mind – what if I put a quarter in a jar every time I changed her diaper? Then at the end of each month, I took the coins and invested them for her. If I continued this for the multiple years that she would be wearing diapers, how much would we have in 18 years when she wanted to go off to school??

 This might last three days...

This might last three days…


First off, we’d have a lot of quarters – which brings back very fond memories of my childhood. My grandparents owned a vending company. Since my parents also worked there, I spent a good bit of time hanging out too. Hands down, the very best part of it was counting the money. A vending business generates LOTS of cash. I graduated from sitting on the desk to count the ‘green money’ for my grandfather to running the whole operation over the course of my school years. Some days I wish I could go back to such a simple job.


But more importantly, with the power of compounding interest over time, we could turn each quarter into something much more. Now, in the daylight hours, with the magic of Excel at my fingertips, I realize that my total would not really make much of a dent in college expenses. With some quick approximations, I expect I’d spend about $1,350 in quarters, which would give me a little over $4,000 at the end of 18 years at a modest 7% growth. But, as that same grandfather used to say, “it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!” I still tripled the initial outlay of cash!!


Perhaps it’s best that my experiment shows me that my middle-of-the-night musings wouldn’t pay for college – for Mini #2’s sake at least… Can you imagine the humiliation of your parents boasting to all of your friends about how they paid for college with quarters while changing your diaper?!?


Do you come up with crazy ideas in the middle of the night? How do they change once the sun comes up?


~ Mrs. Maroon

A Breeze-Fall
December 2014 Update
  1. Comment by Mrs SSC — January 19, 2015 @ 9:08 AM

    Yes I have crazy middle-of-the-night ideas that make no sense in the morning. But, then again I have some great ideas that DO work out! I think I have a 20% good idea rate.

    Yeah – diapers are a pain and a drain on the finances. I tried some cloth diapers for a while, but just wasn’t a huge fan, although I still use them on occasion. They may work great for Mini #1, especially overnight, since he is older. At some point, I sucked it up and decided I like the convenience of diapers, and they do cost a bunch, but its just for a short while.
    Mrs SSC recently posted…Decisions, decisions…My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    A 20% success rate is fabulous to me. Mine is hovering around 0% I’d say. At least it does present some humor for the next day!

    I’ve concluded diapers are just a necessary evil as part of kids. The convenience of disposable is hard to beat. But I had never considered cloth as an option for just growing out of the overnight ones. Sounds like a pretty good idea!

  2. Comment by Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom — January 19, 2015 @ 4:25 PM

    It would be nice if something like this worked. We’re down to just night diapers and I’m so excited to be able to stop buying them completely. Thankfully I don’t need to wake up with her in the middle of the night anymore, so I don’t have any recent crazy ideas to share with ya.
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…Why Do You Want a Budget?My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Glad to hear you are sleeping all night again! Her brother was sleeping all night by this point. But, I am quite sure I will look forward to the time once she starts to day care next week. A quiet, dark house with no one else awake can be serene.

  3. Comment by Mr Ikonz @ Project Ikonz — January 20, 2015 @ 8:11 PM

    Love the simple idea! A great way to save money, without massively impacting your hip pocket every day/month.

    Have you also thought about investing the calculated difference between what you pay for the Amazon Mom delivery and comparable prices? e.g. if you calculated that you save $5, can you also set that aside?!
    Mr Ikonz @ Project Ikonz recently posted…How to live large in the USMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    That’s a great idea! We look for discounts and rock-bottom prices all the time, so taking the savings and putting it towards investments is very appealing. We actually do that by just minimizing our spending and make sure every extra cent gets invested. Less research to do – more time to talk to y’all!

  4. Comment by Holly@ClubThrifty — January 21, 2015 @ 7:19 AM

    Hey, I think that’s a great idea! As long as you could remember to do it each time. Of course, you could always figure our your monthly diaper cost and transfer that amount to a special account or something! =)
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Travel Hacking to St. Maarten (With Pictures)My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    There are definitely much more efficient ways to accomplish the same goal. I’m not sure I have the muscles to handle that many quarters. Scratch that… I’m positive I don’t have the muscles!!

  5. Comment by Anne @ Money Propeller — January 21, 2015 @ 10:49 AM

    I think it’s hilarious that the kids could boast their school was paid for with diaper money!
    If you won’t miss the quarters at the time, why not do it? It still adds up to a solid amount.
    Anne @ Money Propeller recently posted…I Have a Compulsion to Fix Things, in Other People’s BusinessesMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    My hair-brained scheme actually does add up to a respectable investment. We do have a solid plan in place to save for our children’s college. One that I’m going to advocate keeping so that I don’t have to haul around the quarters! I love that this example demonstrates how even small changes can add up.

  6. Comment by Petrish @ Debt Free Martini — January 22, 2015 @ 3:59 PM

    I remember going through the diaper stage and I couldn’t wait until my child was potty trained to get rid of that expensive. I love the way your mind works, and you are showing proof of the mother’s sleep deprivation syndrome side effect that brings brilliant ideas to your mind such as this. Hey….I’m done let’s do it.
    Petrish @ Debt Free Martini recently posted…5 Reasons Why I’m Addicted to BloggingMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Mother’s sleep deprivation syndrome?? I’ve never heard of it, but am totally on board. Though I’m now thinking that it might negate my claim that the baby stole my brain. I still stand by that one to excuse my forgetfullness, even after delivery…

    Mini actually slept all night the past two nights so I fear this super human power for brilliant ideas may be eluding me soon. I will just have to return to relying on over-caffienation for future inspiration!

  7. Comment by Erin @ Journey to Saving — January 23, 2015 @ 8:47 AM

    I think it’s pretty neat you thought of this idea! I love seeing the savings methods people come up with. It’s the thought that counts. =) I like the idea that Holly had, this way there’s no hassle with the quarters.

    I don’t think I tend to have crazy ideas at night. I’m a night owl to begin with, so staying up until 3-4am is pretty normal for me. That said, I do tend to think of things (like blog post ideas) as I’m trying to fall asleep!
    Erin @ Journey to Saving recently posted…Let’s Catch Up: Blog & Life UpdatesMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Night owl indeed! My 31-year old self can’t handle that any more! I guess we are all just different in how the creative juices flow. The most important part of that is to keep them flowing 🙂

  8. Comment by Christina @ Embracing Simple — January 23, 2015 @ 1:02 PM

    Haha this is funny! I have similar thoughts during middle of the night feeds too! Although I have to admit, I especially change diapers right before I think my little babe will fill them, otherwise we risk a blowout.

    Dealing with a blowout and having to wash clothes and potentially having to give a bath in the middle of the night is enough to make me not care about the money saved lol. Not very frugal of me, but sometimes sleep prevails!
    Christina @ Embracing Simple recently posted…Inspiring Ideas – Weekend ReadsMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    No, the prospect of giving a middle of the night bath wins out EVERY single time. No questions asked there.

  9. Comment by Tawcan — January 23, 2015 @ 2:39 PM

    That’s a great idea! It’s funny how your mind works early in the morning when you’re sleep deprived. We use cloth diapers on our son and they work great.

    I often have crazy ideas when I’m about to fall asleep. Weird. 🙂
    Tawcan recently posted…Weekend ReadingMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I’ve thought about cloth diapers. Convenience factor wins out most of the time. But it could be a huge cost savings if you have multiple children.

  10. Comment by Even Steven — January 26, 2015 @ 9:44 AM

    My crazy ideas usually come on the train rides to and from home, that and having more coffee than one normal human being should consume get’s me going as well. I really do like the quarter in the jar for the kids for changing diapers……..I’m happy to report I am also currently going to use your idea and plan to make $0 this year…..I hope;)
    Even Steven recently posted…Life Insurance: Our Choice as Married Without KidsMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Coffee is the root of all things that are wonderful – crazy ideas and everything else. Good luck with your efforts to make $0 with my venture. Mr. Maroon might be envious and try to join you in that quest… I have other plans!

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