Welcome Baby On A Budget
You may have seen her over the years on CBC and Canada AM. This month, we have mom extraordinaire Samantha Kemp-Jackson of Multiple Mayhem Mamma joining us as a guest blogger to describe how she managed to keep her household on budget by buying goods through the second-hand economy as her family grew.
It’s a time of excitement, joy and, often a time of anxiety for expectant moms. With the news that baby is on the way, the excitement around a new bundle of joy is frequently accompanied by fears about expenses related to the costs of getting baby ready with everything she needs.
- How much is a stroller?
- Are playpens expensive?
- How many sleepers should I buy?
These are just some of the questions that cross the minds of soon-to-be parents.
As a mother of four, including identical twin boys, I completely understand the anxiety associated with raising children. Kids are expensive! When my husband and I found out that we were expecting twins, the first thing we said to each other (after we picked our jaws up off the floor) was: “How are we going to afford them?” While we were thrilled with the news – babies are precious, after all – the practical reality of managing finances was on the forefront of our minds.
Of course we were excited about the prospect of bringing two boys into the world, but we were also aware that the reality of our newfound status as “twin parents” would mean that we’d need to buy everything for our boys twice. And that was a scary prospect.
Thankfully, there was a solution.
As a fan of all things digital, the first thing I did was go online in search of deals. Researching what was needed for the twins was important, and, once a list of must-have items was in place, the stage was set: I knew what was needed for the twins; now I just had to find the best possible deals and value for my dollar. After all – my husband and I knew that staying within a budget would be a challenge while meeting the needs of not one, but two babies!
“Who knew that you could find childcare, arrange house-cleaning and set up playdates with just a few clicks?”
It didn’t take me long to figure out that Kijiji was the one-stop-shop for all of the baby-related items that would be needed to care for my twin boys. From sleepers to blankets, from playpens to strollers, everything that was needed was just one click away.
My anxiety about having to purchase double of all baby items was quickly quelled by the incredible choice and range of goods that could be found on the site.
“Babies grow out of things fast, so it makes sense to buy gently-used items – often they have barely been worn or used so they’re in great condition but a fraction of the price of retail clothing.”
It was a pleasant surprise (and a relief!) to learn that, not only could I get baby necessities on Kijiji, but the intangibles were there as well! Along with the must-have items such as baby clothes and furniture, I was pleasantly surprised to find the services on the site as well. Who knew that you could find childcare, set up playdates and have your house cleaned with just a few clicks? Certainly not me – until I checked out Kijiji’s range of listings.
As a frequent provider of parenting advice to new and not-so-new moms, there are a few themes and parenting philosophies that I feel are both practical and important:
Don’t Spend More Than You Have To!
It’s always in your best interest to look at ways of saving money that will allow you to stretch your family dollar as far as possible. Why pay retail prices for items that you can get almost new? Do your research, make a list and check it twice, then hop on to Kijiji and watch your savings increase.
Reuse, Recycle and Relax
The second-hand economy, supported by sites such as Kijiji, makes it easy to get the most value out of baby-related items, ranging from clothes to furniture to car seats and more. Outfitting your child through Kijiji is not only economical, but also environmentally smart, as reusing items can make a huge difference in decreasing waste.
It Takes a Village
The spirit of community is alive and well and living online. Kijiji is the perfect example of community members helping and supporting one another, whether through the exchange of clothes or household goods, or through the provision of much-needed services (photography, anyone?).
The second-hand economy supported by sites such as Kijiji makes it easy, economical and fun. One-stop shopping was never this great!