This is how you save big with a big family

Let’s face it; kids are expensive. The more kids you have, the more money you spend. Everything from baby clothes to furniture to games, toys, movies, sporting equipment, shoes…the list is endless.

In big families, it’s only natural to pass down second-hand items from child to child and to look for value in everything you buy, but recently I discovered that this is a much larger trend too. Canada overall is also doing an amazing job of trading, buying and selling second-hand goods between friends, family, and like-minded communities.

In fact, in 2017 alone, Canadians bought and sold $28.5 billion dollars worth of second-hand goods!

I can see why. Since I personally have a large family with two girls and two boys, which make up four very different personalities and interests, there is a lot of various sporting and hobby gear that we have sourced over the years. Some of it has seen limited activity, like the child’s size fencing mask and jacket I have in my front hallway, while other items are simply outgrown.

Of my four kids, we have three snowboarders and one skier. We have a boy with big feet, one with smaller feet, two girls with similar size feet and everyone has totally different fashion senses! This mean buying completely different boots, boards, skis and more.

With everyone growing or developing new interests, we have sold many no-longer-needed items out of necessity on Kijiji, as our kids enter, participate, and then leave, an endless amount of sports. Buying and selling used equipment and other household items was needed to give us more space, but it turned out to be fantastic way to keep our family ‘in the game’ without breaking the bank and offering a ton of savings to us when it mattered.

While I know my family has benefited a lot from participating in the second-hand economy, I’ve learned that the average Canadian is also putting almost $2,000 back in their pockets just by buying and selling second-hand. To put it another way, that’s more than the average annual pay raise for a full-time employee in Canada!

I was giving myself a decent raise every year, without even knowing it.

So how can you get the most out of the items in your house that the kids have outgrown?

  1. Do some research and find out what comparable new items are selling for. Be realistic in assessing how old and/or used your equipment is.
  2. Determine the value of similar items being sold (with over 6 million listings online at any time, you’re sure to find something that is a close match.)
  3. Clean up your sporting equipment, make sure it’s in good and safe working order.
  4. Take a good picture of the equipment, in a great setting. Lighting is key.
  5. Post your item and wait for offers to come in. Establish an acceptable lowest price before you place the item online.
  6. There are many accessories associated with different sports, including the proper clothing and clips, bindings, bags, etc. Don’t forget to list those as well, or include as a bundled package with the main sports equipment.

The seventh step? Take the money you’ve saved and start investing in the next sport your kids are going to be into. I hear curling is going to be big this year!

Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!

Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!

If you’ve bought or sold used items, swapped, or donated, you’re already an active contributor!

Learn more

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