Don’t Break Your Budget Buying Baby Stuff

Written by dad - 6 Comments

Awhile back we received an e-mail from a reader asking about the “real” cost of raising kids. In short, she’s heard a lot about the high cost of raising kids, and was wondering if it’s really as bad as people make it out to be. More than anything, this question seemed to have been born out of angst over what it takes to be financially “ready” to start a family.

While we’ve never really kept tabs on exactly how much having kids has added to our expenses, we learned a number of tricks for keeping the costs down. After all, when we first started having kids, we were on a shoestring budget. I was a graduate student, and my lovely and talented wife dropped from full-time to half-time employment.

Perhaps the biggest thing we did to stretch our dollars was to avoid dropping big chunks of change on baby stuff. Rather, we combed the flea market and local garage sales for barely worn bargains. And no, we weren’t scraping the bottom of the barrel — this was nice stuff. Nicer, in fact, than we would’ve been able to buy if we had bought everything new. And since babies rarely wear things out, our flea-market finds later became hand-me-downs.

In many cases, we threw down pocket change in return for nearly-new, high quality, name brand outfits that survived all four of our boys. And in some cases, the stuff was still in such good condition after going through all four boys that we ended up re-selling it in a garage sale of our own. We even found a barely used crib in the classified ads that served us well through all four kids, and which we were ultimately able to sell for nearly as much as we paid for it.

Published on August 24th, 2007 - 6 Comments
Filed under: Money
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. This is so true! It’s hard not to get sucked into wanting the newest & coolest accessories when it comes to kids….but I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I treasure yard sales 🙂

    Comment by FENICLE — Aug 24th 2007 @ 9:56 pm
  2. I love that you got stuff second hand. I also love that it’s consignment sale season again, which makes it really easy to do just that!!!

    Comment by Angie at Baby Cheapskate — Aug 24th 2007 @ 10:23 pm
  3. You can go broke if you try and buy everything new. We found that taking hand me downs, flea markets and craigslist got us the same stuff for about 80% less.

    Comment by come clean — Aug 29th 2007 @ 11:27 pm
  4. Nice post! I agree, babies are not “hard” on clothes and gear. Typically, you can get some great deals for the little guys.

    Comment by Kyle — Sep 8th 2007 @ 10:24 am
  5. I haven’t found any flea markets, do you have a lot of luck garage sales or craigslist?

    Comment by Livingalmostlarge — Sep 14th 2007 @ 11:40 am
  6. Garage sales can be effective, but are less efficient because you have to travel from one to the next. Never used craigslist.

    Comment by dad — Sep 14th 2007 @ 11:43 am

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