How do you finance your carseat purchases? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-24-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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Angela: it's not just a hindrance to homeschool - could you imagine trying to get your kids to public school without a car? it might be ok where *I* live since the school is 4 blocks away, but you can't carpool without a car, and I rarely see school busses! I sure don't know how most parents would do it unless they have a car. (but this is just supposition, since we homeschool)
Exactly. If we used our neighborhood school I don't know HOW I would get kids to school (fwiw our district does not bus kids to neighborhood schools, only magnet schools)

Our zoned elementary is across W T.C. Jester from us. *I* don't feel comfortable crossing that street, much less with kids.

-Angela
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:02 PM
 
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I didn't follow the posts in the thread but to answer the OP,

(1) we don't have cable TV
(2) we didn't purchase a crib or stroller
(3) we cloth diaper
(4) we hardly eat out
(5) we hardly buy clothes for our DS because we fortunately got a lot of hand-me-downs (we only bought birthday and Christmas outfits)
(6) DH and I hardly buy anything for ourselves (no major purchases, not a lot of clothes/shoes purchases)

I think the amount of money saved on what I mentioned above makes it possible for us to have a decent tax return which we buy our DS' car seats.
And really, we've only had to purchase 3 seats. One was the SS1 with 2 bases and 2 Radian80s (for each vehicle). I believe that the Radian80 will last
us a few years after which he might need a HBB.

So in all, we've spent under $700 for close to 3 years and counting.

The next baby will be in DS' old SS1 since it hasn't been in an accident and hasn't expired yet by the time he/she comes out.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:29 PM
 
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Eh- I don't really buy that. Dh and I both grew up here and have ALL our family here. Moving elsewhere- far enough to make it to a place we wouldn't need a car- would FAR outspend a car-cost on travel to see family. Never mind moving costs....

I really think that's a false "choice"


We live in a rural area, with no public transit to speak of. We also live paycheck to paycheck.

We *could* choose to move somewhere where we didn't need a car, but we don't have the money to invest in moving expenses. And even if we did, living expenses in a suburban or urban area would be out of our price range. I'm sure there is some way we could change our lives so that we didn't need a car (move to the city and work three jobs to afford living there and pay back moving expenses that we'd put on a credit card, hah!), but there is no way to do it that makes any sense personally or financially .

Now, we do choose to get the best carseats we can and sacrifice other things in order to do so, but in many parts of the country going without a car is not a reasonable option.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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All of our car seats have been gifts from some one who prefers to pay dollar because it is "safer."

If we didn't receive them as gifts, I probably would have purchased the same models myself under the same flawed reasoning. It would have been within my budget to do so; I just would have watched the spending that month.

It is actually reading these boards that has shown me the more expensive car seats are not always the best choices.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:02 AM
 
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IMHO, I think the main theme from this whole discussion is that we should all really stop and think about how our day to day decisions as parents are affecting our children. FAR TOO FEW parents do this (myself included). I personally have put more thought into my decisions since coming to MDC than I did before. I don't care whether the issue at hand is carseats or no-vaxing or homeschooling or whatever. Are you SURE you can't afford certain things or are you CHOOSING not to afford them. To be sure there are families who truly can not afford high-end carseats or organic foods, etc. But, life is all about choices and when it comes to your children you better be sure you have their best interests at heart and try your best to provide what is best.
Yep yep! That's exactly it.

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Eh- I don't really buy that. Dh and I both grew up here and have ALL our family here. Moving elsewhere- far enough to make it to a place we wouldn't need a car- would FAR outspend a car-cost on travel to see family. Never mind moving costs....

I really think that's a false "choice"
No, really, it's not. It may be an easy choice to make, because the alternative is extremely unappealing for one reason or another, but that doesn't mean it's not a choice. And for some folks, the stuff they're not thinking about (the increase in their car insurance because their commute is longer, for example... or the cost of carseats... or the extra hour of childcare because they have to cover the commute time... or any number of things) makes the choice a lot closer than it seemed at first glance.

I don't doubt that everyone has really good reasons for rejecting the alternatives. Like many folks on this thread, DH and I have stuck to the place we grew up in. I live two miles from the house I spent my first 18 years in, and my mom still lives there. His parents are a 20-minute drive away. But, while I can't imagine living anywhere else (well, I *can*, because I did spend six months in England, but you know what I mean) I do fully realize that we *could* choose to live elsewhere. Every so often, I think about how much more house we could buy with a much smaller payment in most of the country (or even in other countries... a friend of mine is sailing her family off to Mexico now that she's been laid off). But I don't choose that. I'm aware of the choice I'm making, though.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:43 AM
 
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No, really, it's not. It may be an easy choice to make, because the alternative is extremely unappealing for one reason or another, but that doesn't mean it's not a choice. And for some folks, the stuff they're not thinking about (the increase in their car insurance because their commute is longer, for example... or the cost of carseats... or the extra hour of childcare because they have to cover the commute time... or any number of things) makes the choice a lot closer than it seemed at first glance.

I don't doubt that everyone has really good reasons for rejecting the alternatives. Like many folks on this thread, DH and I have stuck to the place we grew up in. I live two miles from the house I spent my first 18 years in, and my mom still lives there. His parents are a 20-minute drive away. But, while I can't imagine living anywhere else (well, I *can*, because I did spend six months in England, but you know what I mean) I do fully realize that we *could* choose to live elsewhere. Every so often, I think about how much more house we could buy with a much smaller payment in most of the country (or even in other countries... a friend of mine is sailing her family off to Mexico now that she's been laid off). But I don't choose that. I'm aware of the choice I'm making, though.
Sure, and I could *choose* to jump off a bridge. Absolutely. But I don't think I'm actively choosing NOT to jump off a bridge every day- ya know?

And I'm in a position where, I suppose, theoretically, I could "afford" (with substantial debt, etc) to move. There are people (LOTS of people) for whom that is NOT a choice. The money simply isn't there. Neither is the credit. Though I suppose you could say they could *choose* to rob a 7-11 to finance their move I think it's a wee bit absurd and a lot elitist to say that everyone is making an active choice about such things.

-Angela
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:05 AM
 
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Hmmm, it also should be acknowledged that there are areas where one DOES need a car.

I live in a huge city. In a fairly urban-close-in area (not suburbia by any stretch) and we need a car. Further- we need TWO cars. Yes, need.

Dh's job requires him to drive between clients several times a day. He must have a car- no question.

Public transit here is nearly non-existent. I could not go anywhere during the day except one or two parks (each a mile or more- therefore really unsafe to walk to in the heat of the summer with kids)

As we are homeschooling, that would leave me and the kids stranded at home every day for a long time to come. That is not practical or a feasible option. (it would also make my part time job completely impossible)

Is there somewhere else in town we could live and rely on public transit? Not really. Houston has embarrassingly useless public transit. There is nowhere we could live in this city without being SIGNIFICANTLY handicapped by having just ONE car.

Cars are a necessity in many parts of the US. That is a fact of life.

-Angela
Yeah, that!!!! We NEED two cars, given where we live. No other options. We could get by for a very short time with one but it would be a great hassle and inconvenience.

Still a sleepy mama to my fabulous 2 year old girl
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:05 AM
 
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We need two cars here, too. DH's is out of commission for the moment and we are going nuts scrambling to compensate. I work 3 nights a week and go to school 2 nights a week, and he goes to school 4 days a week and works 2 days. Right now we're doing this crazy routine where he drives to school (50 mile drive), comes home from school (50 mile drive), picks me up and drops me off at work (same 50 mile drive), drives back home (another 50 miles), sleeps, picks me up from work (again, 50 miles) and I drive home (50 miles) and sleep. You can see how many miles we put on our car and how much we spend on gas!! And we canNOT afford living in town close to work and school, because rent is at least $450-500 more expensive in town and we are very barely paying bills as it is.

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:54 PM
 
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Sure, and I could *choose* to jump off a bridge. Absolutely. But I don't think I'm actively choosing NOT to jump off a bridge every day- ya know?

And I'm in a position where, I suppose, theoretically, I could "afford" (with substantial debt, etc) to move. There are people (LOTS of people) for whom that is NOT a choice. The money simply isn't there. Neither is the credit. Though I suppose you could say they could *choose* to rob a 7-11 to finance their move I think it's a wee bit absurd and a lot elitist to say that everyone is making an active choice about such things.
Few adults currently live in the home they grew up in. At some point, they chose a place to live. That choice included certain factors that they may not have taken into consideration, such as what kind of carseats they'd need for the cars they need to live in that location (at the point that they have children).

If you change jobs, because the new job has a higher pay rate, but then it turns out that there's no health insurance and health insurance out-of-pocket costs MORE than the increase in pay, now you can't afford health insurance. Should you have taken that into account when you switched jobs? Well, yeah. It was part of the decision.

So, unless you've never moved out of your childhood home, you did at some point choose to live where you live. At that point, you chose to need a car. It was part of the decision, whether or not you actively considered it at the time.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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Few adults currently live in the home they grew up in. At some point, they chose a place to live. That choice included certain factors that they may not have taken into consideration, such as what kind of carseats they'd need for the cars they need to live in that location (at the point that they have children).

If you change jobs, because the new job has a higher pay rate, but then it turns out that there's no health insurance and health insurance out-of-pocket costs MORE than the increase in pay, now you can't afford health insurance. Should you have taken that into account when you switched jobs? Well, yeah. It was part of the decision.

So, unless you've never moved out of your childhood home, you did at some point choose to live where you live. At that point, you chose to need a car. It was part of the decision, whether or not you actively considered it at the time.
Again, I don't buy it. When we got our first duplex and both moved out of our parents' houses, there was no way we could afford to move as far as it would take to not need a car. Cars are a fact of life here. Heck, neither of us could have gone to college without cars- we were both commuters who lived at home.

I can acknowledge that if you are somewhere near an area where you wouldn't need a car, you can choose to need one. Realistically however, there is nowhere in the whole state of Texas that you don't actually need a car. SO- we would have had to *choose* (with what means and money, I don't know...) to move to another state and major metropolitan area. Well, my degree was in education and my teacher certification was for TX, so I guess I would have needed to choose that before college. There was NO way for me to afford to go out of state for college... so back to square one.

-Angela
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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So, we do have 2 cars. But before we decided that 3 kids was ok, we looked at our cars and asked ourselves the hard questions: can we do it with the cars we have, and can we afford the investment? the investment was the cost of birth + the cost of car seats + the future cost of education. When you think about it, the cost of the car seats was insignificant compared to any other cost incurred on behalf of a child. But it's amazing to me that the people (not here) who complain the loudest about car seat prices are the ones with more than 3 kids.
Keep in mind, though, that not everyone with 3 kids CHOSE 3 kids. I love my kids to pieces, and wouldn't give them up for the world, but I didn't choose to have 3 of them. I chose to have 2-- the third one jumped the turnstile, so to speak.

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Old 02-25-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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I finaly had to decide that I we are doing the best for our children that WE can do. Colton's infant seat was a hand-me-down from my older sister and he was little so he fit in that for a year. We have since used: A Scenara which has been given to our nephew now, A Cosco Summit still in use, a Cosco high-back booster (given to us by the car seat safety class that our county social services conducted...if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me), and a Graco CarGo Harness Booster. My parents also have an Evenflo Chase high back booster, with harness, and my babysitter uses a ComfortSport or a Cosco high back booster. In EVERY one of his car seats he is harnessed. Every single one of his car seats has been installed by ME after taking a car seat class, and has been checked, or by my babysitter, and checked by me. I do the very best I can to keep my children - Colton and Mona, who is eleven and was in a booster till age 8 and 80 pounds - as safe as I possibly can. I have given up feeling guilty and like less of a mother because I don't have the fanciest baby crap around. Boy did I used to feel that way though. Now my attitude has changed. I keep up on recalls, I drive safely - and yes, I know that I can't control the other drivers on the road, I routinely check the seats and straps, I do my best. I guess what I am trying to say is you don't have to feel like you HAVE to have these high-dollar seats. We have to have several car seats because he rides in several cars, and I don't want to constantly be moving seats around because of the margin for installation error then, so each vehicle gets its own seat. I couldn't afford that many expensive car seats. Or perhaps that's wrong, I might have been able to over the last three years, but to be honest, I've chosen not to. I buy seats that pass the tests and work well for us, and I use them safely.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:55 PM
 
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so i only skimmed this and I'm not going to get into the "do I need a car thing" (I don't drive) We have one carseat. I bought the one rated 2nd best by consumer reports (i kinda love consumer reports, because they don't have advertising, we check it for EVERYTHING).

I wouldn't buy a 2nd car seat even if we had a 2nd car it could go in. I would rather spend the TIME to move it than the MONEY to buy it. :
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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so i only skimmed this and I'm not going to get into the "do I need a car thing" (I don't drive) We have one carseat. I bought the one rated 2nd best by consumer reports (i kinda love consumer reports, because they don't have advertising, we check it for EVERYTHING).

I wouldn't buy a 2nd car seat even if we had a 2nd car it could go in. I would rather spend the TIME to move it than the MONEY to buy it. :
That might not work for everyone, especially families with two cars, two woh parents. For example, my sister and her husband both have car seats in their cars, and it would be impossible for them to take the 'time' to switch them- her dh drives dn to daycare in the morning, she picks up in the afternoon. Actually they technically have three- one in our mom's car, because she takes her home several days a week. I guess now that I think of it, my dad has a whole separate set of seats in his van for my kids.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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That might not work for everyone, especially families with two cars, two woh parents.
Yep. Heck, we have 2 vehicles and while I SAH, sometimes DH takes the kids in his vehicle and we don't have time to move 3 seats before he has to leave. Plus, every time you uninstall a seat, you're creating the potential for error when you reinstall it. Is it guaranteed that you'll make a mistake? Heck no But it can happen. I'd rather our seats all stay installed, perfectly, and have 2 sets of seats. But that's just the way it works best for us, I guess.

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Old 02-25-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Well I got an Alpha Omega for $90 so I don't know if I count here. But we tried Britax (even the roundabout), Evenflo triumph and eddie bauer. None of them installed well enough to settle my mommy feelings.

I swear a couple hours after she was born I thought to myself "OMGsh she weigh 11lbs I need to save for a carseat" lol

The ILs gave us a GC for Christmas so I used that. If they hadn't, I would have put money aside every paycheck and waited for the spring clearance.

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Old 02-25-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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I wouldn't buy a 2nd car seat even if we had a 2nd car it could go in. I would rather spend the TIME to move it than the MONEY to buy it. :
oh, no - I also disagree. it pains me to move the seats because it's almost always done in a rush. and you can have the best seat around, but install it sloppy, and it's no longer safe. to be honest, i don't even trust the seats in Nana's car.

we have 2 cars, and 2 seats for the older girls in each. the baby only has one seat, and i will not move any of the 3 seats out of my car unless it's an emergency. (they are 3-across, small car, arrangement inspected & approved) i'll drive instead of letting my kids ride in another car.

just my opinion.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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I wouldn't buy a 2nd car seat even if we had a 2nd car it could go in. I would rather spend the TIME to move it than the MONEY to buy it. :
Sounds good except when you're actually IN the situation where you have to move/install heavy bulky seats wiht not much time & not much room - it takes me a long time to install our seats to make sure they are REALLY in there right & well. I don't want to do it on the fly.

Not to mention its not always practical when you have one parent driving kids to school, another picking up, etc.

We have 2 cars, and the less optimal seats installed in DH's car, because they RARELY ever travel in that car (we switch cars when he's taking the kids), but its nice to have the back up seats in the event that we need them (like when we got in a major car accident & couldn't drive my car away, but weren't going to drive home without carseats!)

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Old 02-25-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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so i only skimmed this and I'm not going to get into the "do I need a car thing" (I don't drive) We have one carseat. I bought the one rated 2nd best by consumer reports (i kinda love consumer reports, because they don't have advertising, we check it for EVERYTHING).

I wouldn't buy a 2nd car seat even if we had a 2nd car it could go in. I would rather spend the TIME to move it than the MONEY to buy it. :
Phew sorry no way! I am currently saving to get a 2nd seat for Grandma and a 3rd seat for DH's work car. That sucker isn't moving after I put it in!

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