i.e....."soxthecatrules you could sell the Peg Perego highchair (bought at deep discount, could sell for nice profit) sitting in your dining room to help fund the DS' carseat purchase".
Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 , DD 07/09 , and DS2 06/11 . Feeling more and more blessed with each day!
We started with an infant seat that was handed down from my brother's family. We purchased an extra base.
When that seat was outgrown, we had a roundabout in one car and nothing in the other (i was home on maternity leave then). that roundabout was a gift at the baby shower from my parents.
then, when I was starting back to work/school, we purchased our next seat--a boulevard.
When the roundabout was outgrown, we used either part of my tax return or a mileage reimbursement check from work (can't remember) to purchase the Regent.
We need a new seat now to replace the Boulevard, but I am hoping to hold off until I get my tax return.
But, that being said, there are seats out there that are more affordable, and good, safe options. But, by spending a bit more money up front, you should be able to get away with fewer seats in the long run, thus either coming out even in the end or, hopefully, saving a little money.
By going with our Regent, we should only need to purchase a low back booster when our son has outgrown the regent, rather than having purchased a cheaper seat and potentially needing two or three more to get him to age 8.
found a way to fit car seats into the budget when they were needed, including 2 Britax seats years ago. With four kids, we have bought over 12 car seats (I bought new infant car seats each time) and either saved up, or knew ahead of time they were going to be needed and came up with a plan. I'd sell other stuff (including diapers) if necessary. Like, I know I am going to need a new car seat when our Marathon expires the end of this year, so I will plan for it or buy it early when we have extra funds.
ETA: oh, and you don't need high-end, expensive car seats. There are decent priced, just as safe versions available.
I am real and live in a real life, so I am not understanding the tone of your post.
ETA: If we do not simply have the extra cash for a large purchase, I plan ahead and put money aside out of the monthly budget until it is funded
Joyful mother to DS born 11/07 and DD born 04/10 (an unexpected HB)
Car seats haven't been an especially problematic part of our post-child budget. I could buy 5 Roundabouts per month for what I pay in child care. And it's not like the seats were a surprise expense. We budgeted for them. We'll reuse them all for at least 1 other child.
When pregnant, I saved up money for various baby items (plus I got a few gifts.) When toddlers/older kids outgrew carseats, I saved up the money for a new seat, starting when the child started to outgrow the old one. I've never had one of those super-expensive carseat brands; when DS was outgrowing his infant seat, I went out of my way to locate the least expensive convertible seat with a 5 pt harness (at that point, the overhead shields were still popular) and ended up purchasing one in a skanky big-box store that I didn't normally shop in.
When he outgrew that convertible seat (nearly age 5), I purchased the Graco Turbo Booster, which I plan to keep him in until he fits into the vehicle seatbelts. I did spend extra to NOT put him into a backless booster (which frugal friends had suggested to me) but, at the same time, I didn't think it was worth an extra $200 to keep a 5yo in a harness. Had he outgrown the convertible at age 3, I might have financed a Britax (ie: put it on a credit card and taken 6 months to pay it off.)
I was flabberghasted when I traveled with a friend, and she put her 2yo in a HBB and her 4yo in a backless booster. Yeah, both kids fit the height and weight requirements of the seats, but I'd thought they'd BOTH have been harnessed at those ages!
Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
Planning seems to be the key.
And carseats are pretty much the only thing I would never buy used. I would rather a $50 Scenera than a carseat who's history I did not know firsthand.
I also think Michelle has a good point, I'd pay out of pocket for a homebirth even if it meant selling things or saving for years. Carseats are of equal importance to me.
Alison: BFing, BWing, ERFing mama to KidA (12/25/07) and KidO (6/26/10)
dd (9) ds (7), ds (4) & ds (1)
I watch for sales and coupons when I can. For dd's marathon I had a 20% off coupon for BRU that we used. For the new baby I just watched sales and did lots of froogle searches for the seat I wanted and managed to find it on sale with a 20% off coupon to go with it. That..was a very nice find From a totally obscure site that I'd never heard of in my life (sells medical supplies, so not the kind of place most would go looking for baby items) but froogle is *awesome*
I did get an used car seat from a trusted friend that is infant so I don't have to buy. One of the items on my baby list was the britax marathon with the notation... clearly this is expensive but very important to me to have a good quality car seat... if you did give me any gift cards, etc... at babies r us/toys rus.. this is what I'd buy.
I ended up getting 125... and I'll spend the remaining after the next 15%, etc comes around on car seats from the store. I wish I had done that the first child around... I overspent the marathon easily between all the car seats I bought because frankly I found they didn't last or didn't fit the entire weight range specified very well. Also.. I commute and I choose to have child care closer than farther than work so it's inevitable that sometimes we're eating/drinking in the car. The marathon is completely and easily washable. All fabric comes off and you can hose down the rest. Unfortunately, I just got rid of my first marathon to my sister in law/brother before i found out i was unexpectantly pregnant. It easily could have lasted another child.
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)
Plan ahead (tax refund etc)
Plan long-lasting seats.
We have gotten our seats mostly on year end clearance sales, which makes the price of two marathons easier to swallow.
Also, we only have seats for my car, just switch them if needed
C.- WOHM, CPST Instructor, and all around busy Mama to A.- 02/04, I. 01/07,E. 09/10 and
expecting the surprise of our lives Fall 2012!
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.
Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel & Delaney 5/12/08 & Beethoven & Gizmo
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.
Wife of one Uber-Geek: Homeschooling mom of Bubs -12 :, Buggy - 7 :, and MonkeyButt - 5 :
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.
Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
Trying to build up my house, not tear it down . Got 3 wonderful kids , blessed with a wonderful husband and have the privilege of staying home full time to enjoy it all!
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.
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.
DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!
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