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How do you finance your carseat purchases? - Page 2

post #21 of 110
We bought them one at a time paying cash. The baby is still in the Infant seat (peg perego) but she is fast outgrowing it. We have been putting off gettng my son the nautilus (he will be 5 this week but is very little still....only 34 pounds) but because of shortage of cash.

Right now the two oldest are in Evenflo Triumph DLX. They have been great seats. Not expensive, but not cheap either. I think I paid $130 for them each.
post #22 of 110
I am blessed with a friend that owns a baby store so I was able to get our Marathons at cost ($140ish) and when we were done with them and wanted to try a different seat we saved and sold. I've also found some great return deals at Target - I got my older DD a Britax Parkway for $40.

Seriously though, I'm cheap and pay cash so I'm always looking for the best possible deal. DDs Nautilus was the first seat we've paid full price for in a very very long time but we sold our Radian to get it and it more than covered the price.
post #23 of 110
I paid cash for all ds's seats, never used credit cards for one (actually, it's like that with EVERYTHING in my life... if I don't have the money, I don't spend it). His infant seat was a hand-me-down from my mom (I have a little sister who was 14 months old when my ds was born and the carseat was new for my sister). He quickly outgrew that (by like 3-4 months old) and I bought him a Graco ComfortSport for about $100. I wanted a Britax for him but couldn't save up enough money (he was born way bigger than I planned and grew way quicker than I imagined he would!). I moved that one between my car (during the week) and my dad's van (on the weekends since we mostly traveled with him on weekends). It was a pain in the butt! A few months after that I had enough saved for a Britax Marathon. I bought one (paying cash) and put that in my car and the ComfortSport in my dad's van. When ds outgrew the ComfortSport (at about 3 years old) I had saved up enough for a Britax Regent. I put that in my car and the Marathon in my dad's van.

When ds was 3 1/2 we moved to Kentucky. Now the Regent is in my car and the Marathon is in dp's car. Last summer dp's mom was insisting we needed a carseat for her car ("in case of emergency"). She wanted one for quick trips around town or whatever. She was looking at booster seats and was insisting they were fine and we should get one for her car. I refused. DS is nowhere near mature enough to ride in a booster (or big enough, but that's another story.... he's not even 40lbs fully dressed). I ended up finding the Graco Nautilus on sale plus I had my sister with me (who worked at that chain of store so could get a discount) so I ended up getting one since it was a good deal. It now sits in dp's parents garage BUT I no longer have to hear multiple times a week about how they are going to buy a booster for him. LOL! When ds outgrows the Marathon (probably 1 1/2 to 2 more years) we'll put the Nautilus in dp's car.

I was a single mom until ds was 3 1/2. I had NO help buying carseats (other than the infant seat I borrowed for about 3 months), not even from ds's bio-dad. I saved every single penny my hands came across to pay for them. I went without a lot (I never bought new clothes/shoes/whatever for me and never ate out) so I could save for them. Thankfully we've never had to "test" them, and I pray we never do, but they are worth every penny I spent on them. And I'd do without again in a heartbeat if it meant buying something to potentially save my child's life.
post #24 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by soxthecatrules View Post
I totally respect the fact that you're trying to keep your children as safe as possible. But, I read post after post about these high-end carseats and to be quite honest no family I know of IRL can afford this. So from a practical standpoint how were/did most of you come up with the funds to pay for these?
We work & spend money on things we need. I don't know what kind of answer you're expecting. It's really not more complicated than that.

It's almost like the tone of your post is questioning the legitimacy of folks who would spend their money on high end car seats?
post #25 of 110
Thread Starter 
Questioning legitimacy? If you want to put it that way then that's fine I can handle that. I truly was wondering how people could afford all these seats. It was an honest question. From the tone of the posts it sounds like most people planned for MONTHS, if not years, for these purchases which gives you the opportunity to squirrel away $5 here, $10 there. We also work and spend money on things we need but finances are tight around here (as they are in a lot of homes). Squeaking out the money at a drop of the hat for a $250-$300 carseat isn't happening around here and doesn't appear to be what most on this board have done. Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you want to look at it) I've learned more about carseats in the last month or so than I ever had. Didn't know that there was so much to think about. I was one of those I referred to earlier about going to WallyWorld and picking a seat off the shelf and calling it good. My thought process was LO is in a carseat and that will protect him. Now I know there's more to think about. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation were we will need to buy a new seat and don't have a long time to save. That makes us different than a lot of the posters on this board.
post #26 of 110
Sure families "in real life' could afford a decent seat. How many families buy an infant bucket with travel system for like $300, then a convertible for another $100, then a toddler seat for another $150 or so, then a booster for maybe $50....

We used a bucket that was a gift. Now we use a TrueFit that I bought for $160. It will likely last her until she is 6 or so if we don't have more kids. So, 6 years of use for $160. That's less than $30/YEAR. My windshield wipers cost more. Most people spend more than that on getting the car washed. I consider it a cost of car ownership.

Also I make it a general policy to research things that are expensive or that I plan to use for several years. So it did helpe that I was already looking into seats when DD outgrew her bucket. It's precisely BECAUSE it is a major purchase that I did my homework, not because we're so rich we can just throw around money at whatever seat is most expensive.
post #27 of 110
Thread Starter 
Ks Mama....I thought of something else. My original post was partly made out of frustration...the type of frustration you have when as a parent you want to provide what is best for your children but maybe unable to do so (while being embarrassed about not doing it right to begin with). In my case the situation is magnified b/c not only am I contemplating carseat purchases but also other lifestyle changes primarily as a result of participating on this message board along with additional research. All of this costs $$$. I must remember than you can't go from mainstream to crunchy or even partially crunchy overnight that its a gradual change over the course of months and years. This is one of the bad parts of my personality!!! I want to do everything at once and you can't.

Sooo....the carseat will obviously trump some of the other changes. I will plug away slowly.

TheGirls..."Sure families "in real life' could afford a decent seat. How many families buy an infant bucket with travel system for like $300, then a convertible for another $100, then a toddler seat for another $150 or so, then a booster for maybe $50...."

You are correct. I think this is a mistake MANY make. Although I do believe that many families skip over the toddler seat and go straight to the booster. They do bucket, convertible, booster. Not many people pay attention to the weight/height requirements on seats. I would have been one of them if I had not read lots of posts on this and other boards. My DS would have been left in his ComfortSport long after he should have been removed. And, very few and I mean very few people consider ERF. When I bring it up in conversation now (we will ERF DD) people look at me like I've gone off the deep end.
post #28 of 110
With savings.

We have 2 marathons but we didn't purchase them at the same time. We got them about 1 year apart and I got them for free shipping and at Albeebaby.com for $200 each.

If you break it down, over the year by saving about $3.85 per week, you could buy one.

It's all about what we want more and telling ourselves "no" to some wants and prioritizing funds for savings for when big purchases come up. Hugs.
post #29 of 110
Well, we are a "real family" and have two Marathons, a True Fit and an Evenflo Triumph Advance, all bought with cash on a tight budget.

We got the Marathons last summer when they were on clearance for $120 at Target. We got the True Fit for $99 for being part of the consumer buzz group for First Year and got the EFTA on deep discount at Target as well.

We had the money because we squirrel away 1% of DH salary a month (so $30ish dollars) into a "slush fund" for large and unexpected expenses (that aren't really emergencies) e.g. car seats or clothes we will need in the future on great clearance or buying therapy equipment that one of DS1's therapist insist that we "need." Having the slush fund allows us to buy things when they are cheep rather than paying full price down the line and keeps little unexpected expenses from affecting the budget.
post #30 of 110
We prioritize. It's important that our kids are safe in the car and not so important that I get that pea coat I've been lusting for or that we go out for dinner or that the kids are signed up for swimming lessons when I can teach them myself.
For both our seats (and we have the disadvantage of being in Canada where car seats are extremely over priced) I watched for sales, used online coupons etc.
For the Nautilus, I lucked out by finding it for $30 off, I also returned an expensive snow suit that DS2 got for Christmas but definitely did not need and I used an online coupon. Brought it from $249 down to $150 including shipping.
Considering how much time DS1 is going to spend in this seat over how many years, it makes it quite inexpensive.
post #31 of 110
Begged, borrowed and stealed.

When we bought dd2's Radian I took money out of savings, put some on my credit card and borrowed a bit from my parents. Dd1 is in an Olli Clek and I used my stbx's work bonus for that one.

Poor guy!

You've got my empathy though. Dd1 was in a useless Eddie Bauer seat because that's all we could afford a while back. Plus in Canada, six years ago - the options were a lot more limited.
post #32 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I watch for sales like crazy.

We don't have extra seats (didn't even have a seat for dd in the other car until she was 4yrs old)

We don't buy many other big ticket "baby items" (no crib, no bassinet, no crib sheets, no nursery stuff, high chair $40 from IKEA, swing was a gift, etc)

Save ahead.

Plan ahead (tax refund etc)

Plan long-lasting seats.

-Angela
Yep, same here. Really, the car seats were the only baby gear we bought. Other than a stroller when DD was about 6 months old. In a way, this question is as perplexing to me as comments about how I can afford to cloth diaper ...
post #33 of 110
Also, if an -all-of-a-sudden- carseat need came up (like you realizing a seat is outgrown) I would have no problem putting it on a credit card.

-Angela
post #34 of 110
Thread Starter 
I can definitely see how my question was perplexing and making you scratch your head!! Once again, its a matter if you do things correctly in the first place (which we did not) and not have to back track then you could be money ahead and/or plan for big ticket items.

Speaking of cloth diapers....that was another mistake I made...not using them. Now we're at a point where I'm not 100% sure if its worth the investment at this point. DD is 7 months old now. Don't know much about the subject. Need to start reading some of the CD posts!
post #35 of 110
We have 3 britaxes and 2 sceneras. 2 of the britaxes were gifts, the other one we got during an awesome sale. The sceneras are cheap and were only $45/each. And now, we're at a point in our lives, where $3-400 here or there isn't going to break the bank for which we are very grateful.
post #36 of 110
We saved and planned ahead for the most part. Plus shopped sales. With ds1 we started out with a bucket and an old Evenflo Triumph that were gifts. When he outgrew the triumph rearfacing before a year (I could tell he would a few months before), we bought a Marathon in the Britax Fall sale. At the time the Britax seats were the only HWH seats. When I got pregnant with #2 we knew we'd need another convertible at some point, so we saved and bought ds1 a radian and passed down the Marathon. When ds1 was close to outgrowing the triumph in Dh's car (we used it ffing as a backups seat for a while) we could tell it was coming, so I looked for sales and ended up snagging a nutilus for $114 on sale and with a coupon. And when ds2 outgrew the triumph rfing in dh's car (his seat in there) we knew it was coming and ended up going with a hbb (graco turbobooster for $40 at Costco) for ds1 in that car, moved the marathon, gave ds2 the radian now rfing in my car and moved ds1's nautilus in my car. With #3 on the way, we had about 8 months notice so we saved for a new true fit that we will use from birth.

So, saving, sales, and lots of car seat rotation between kids. We never bought more than one at a time, and never spent more than about $210 for any car seat (and that was the Marathon).
post #37 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by soxthecatrules View Post

Speaking of cloth diapers....that was another mistake I made...not using them. Now we're at a point where I'm not 100% sure if its worth the investment at this point. DD is 7 months old now. Don't know much about the subject. Need to start reading some of the CD posts!
great point to start. can probably use the same size from here on out for most babies (unless yours is really tiny...)

-Angela
post #38 of 110
While I use a Britax for DD and I think there are many advantages to getting one of the more "expensive" seats (mainly in the long run they are a better deal, better quality, you an use them longer, ect.) that doesn't mean that the seats your friends are buying at Wally World (not sure what this is, guessing it is like a Big Lots?) aren't "good" seats. If they are new seats, that are not expired and are used correctly- well then, they are serving their purpose.

I think the problem often times isn't the seat itself (although it can be) but more peoples attitudes. They don't use them correctly and I think cheaper seats lend themselves to this more easily.

As for buying one of more expensive seats, catching them on sale is a great way. I have found at most times if you google "Britax Sale" you can find a Britax for a pretty good price. It might not be the cover you want but that is really irrelevant. I also agree it is good to remind yourself that in the long run you save money.

The other good news is that some good seats have come on the market that don't cost an arm and a leg. Like the True Fit which I believe I have heard fits newborns well. So say you are pregnant, you save up for a True Fit and get it on sale. By the time your child grows out of that they can go in a Nautalis which will last them until they are ready to be out of a seat.

I also agree with Angela that I would absolutely put a car seat on a credit card if I really needed it right away. My childs safety would be worth the interest, even if it were high.
post #39 of 110
I'm glad somebody's brought this up. Some of us genuinely struggle to keep food on the table and shoes on our kids' feet. Not NICE shoes, mind you, just shoes. My DD1 has one pair. That's it. ONE pair of shoes that fit. I have about a hundred dollars a year to spend on clothing for each of them, and they grow fast.

So yes, it can be extremely difficult for us to imagine dropping a few hundred dollars on high-end carseats. I've been lucky in that we've had help from family and friends, but even so I could never have afforded anything like what some of you folks use. And I'm fairly well-off compared to many, many people. I entirely respect that you make it a priority, and that you'd rather see the money go on safety than anywhere else. But that's assuming the money exists, and for some folks it really honestly doesn't, and it's hard, because sometimes I get to feeling like some kind of horrible neglectful parent because my kids are maybe in an Evenflo instead of a Britax.

I just think it's a conversation worth having, considering why ALL available carseats aren't made as safe as possible, so that ALL kids have an equal chance at living to grow up.
post #40 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by soxthecatrules View Post

Speaking of cloth diapers....that was another mistake I made...not using them. Now we're at a point where I'm not 100% sure if its worth the investment at this point. DD is 7 months old now. Don't know much about the subject. Need to start reading some of the CD posts!
I think if you use prefolds with covers it would still save you money.
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