Saturday, December 02, 2006

Baby Gear (budgeting)

So with a baby due in March I thought back in September we should get started buying baby stuff in order to be able to space out the outflow of money. So with the stride of a new Daddy to be I strolled into Babies “R” Us hand in hand with her. I couldn’t believe all the cool stuff they had and I couldn’t believe how much stuff matched. You can get a high chair, stroller, diaper bag, car seat, and Pack-N-Play all the same color pattern. WOW! As we walked around looking at all the miniature stuff (clothing, toys, beds) something else struck me, harder than the color scheme, and that was the prices. WOW!

We talked about all the stuff we needed to get by March and decided that there had to be a better more cost efficient way, at least for us. Garage Sales were the ticket. Let me tell you upfront it takes loads of time and lots of visits and drive bys of worthless sales to find those unbelievable bargains. The kind of deal that when you get in the car and look at each other and you bust out laughing because you got such a great deal. Besides the hours we spent driving around and talking about our future and the baby’s future, well I’m not sure how to put a dollar figure on the time.

But find great deals we did. A Graco stroller (little scuffed but not bad) $7. An almost new Graco Pack-N-Play for $20. Nice 6 speed Graco swing for $20. Two exersaucers, one for $6 and the other for $1, both usable. There’s more but you get the picture. I figured everything we found at garage sales compared to retail saved us about $700 or more.

Here’s my thinking about our baby not having new and matching stuff. If I invest $700 and get a 10% return then in 18 years that’s $3,891.94. In twenty-two years it is $5,698.19. In 30 years the $700 becomes $12,214.58. I told my wife we could give her $3,900 for graduation or $5,700 for college graduation or $12,200 when she turns 30 for a house down payment. With that in mind hopefully she will forgive the scuffs on the stroller. Drop me a comment if you have ever found a great deal on something at a garage sale.

That’s it for today. Focus on what’s truly important and keep your eye on your EveryDay Money


DM said...

I also recommend checking out Craig's List for baby gear. It'll save you the hassle of driving around, looking through crappy garage sales. (Though I have found plenty of nice items at garage sales too....)

I've also had some success at local thrift stores. I have yet to purchase any baby clothing for more than $5.00.

Tag_Ends said...

You are so right about Craig's List. We got a cool toy box for a good price off of there. My wife said it would be awhile before we really need it, but I was in a flow that day. Once the baby gets here we will be looking into the thrift stores and the used baby stores.
Thanks for dropping by.