Think differently – How can we afford it?

With Baby T2.0 due in a month or so, Mrs. T and I have been getting ready for the new family members arrival. It’s hard to imagine what our lives will be like with two little one. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to hold a newborn. We are all very much looking forward to our new baby. 🙂

With two little ones in the family soon, one of the key items that we had to make a decision about was our stroller. Before Baby T1.0 was born, we tested out many different strollers and decided on the UPPAbaby Vista because it came with both the bassinet and the toddler seat. We ended up purchasing a used Vista 2010 model through Craigslist. The 2010 model is a single child stroller as it does not support using the bassinet with the toddler seat, however you can use two regular seats at the same time without any seat tilting. The UPPAbaby team must have realized this short coming, so they updated the design in 2015. The new UPPAbaby Vista 2015 model now supports multiple seat configurations including the combination of bassinet with the regular seat, which is what we have been looking for (It’s best for new born to lie flat rather than sitting in a seat).

Since we only have one car and I use it for my daily work commute, it is important to have a stroller that can fit a toddler and a new born so Mrs. T can go out and get things done, like grocery shopping and other errands such as mom group meetings etc. It is also important that the stroller is expandable for the future, such as having two energetic toddlers lying down to sleep in it (i.e. tilting both seats). We really liked the new Vista and thought that we might be able to find a used 2015 model on Craigslist. Unfortunately that was not the case. After evaluating many different strollers again in multiple baby stores, we decided that the Vista 2015 model is the right choice for us. None of the other brands could live up to our expectations.

We bit the bullet and purchased a brand new 2015 UPPAbaby Vista the other day. Total cost was $1174.99 + taxes. Before purchasing the stroller in the store, we read the recommended reviews of top double strollers, we shopped around online and found that the price is identical in all the different stores. Since a Crocodile Baby store is close to our house, we checked out their online store to see if we can get some online discounts. We were able to find a $15 online coupon and were surprised to see that the online store only applied 5% GST (federal tax) and no 7% PST (provincial tax). But a $30 shipping is charged for online order. I thought it was silly to pay for shipping so we went to the physical store to place the order. When we were about to pay in the store, the sales lady told me that it would be $1174.99 + GST and PST. I halted her on the transaction and told her that the online store only charged GST. Confused by my statement, she told me that stroller sales always include GST and PST. So I showed her on the store website to make my point. She eventually called the store manager to get more details. After about 5 minutes on the phone, she told me it was a system glitch as PST would be applied at the end when we enter our shipping address. To please me, she agreed to give us a 5% discount. So the cost of the stroller went from $1,315.99 to $1,250.19, a small saving of $65.80.

Since we always make sure that we pay our credit card amount in full each month, we had to make sure that we had the money to pay for the stroller. This is where Craigslist came in.

Thanks to work travels, I received a few passes for Air Canada airport lounge access. Through Craigslist, I was able to sell them for $150. I’m a part time photographer and have a some camera gear laying around in the house. Since I do mostly portraiture and weddings nowadays, one of the lenses, Canon 17-40L F4.0 ultra wide angel zoom lens has been sitting on the shelf the last few years. So I posted it on Craigslist and sold it for $600 this past weekend. I was pleased to see that the Canon L lenses hold up their values quite well, considering I paid $680 for the lens 7 or so years ago. We are also in the process of selling the older model Vista for $450. With savings that we’re putting aside for Baby T2.0, we will have more than enough money to cover the brand new stroller. 🙂

Initially when we considered buying a brand new stroller for over $1,000, I felt nauseous and disgusted. Why do we want to spend so much money on a piece of baby equipment that we will only use for a few years? There must be an alternative and cheaper solution. Can’t we just keep using the existing stroller and find something else for Baby T2.0?

Lesson learned here?

Stop saying the phrase “We can’t afford it.” Stop focusing on the limitations. Instead focus on “How can we afford it?” and “How can we get this to work?”

When you start thinking creatively, things will happen. Life is about the different possibilities, not the limitations. If we only focus on limitations, we’ll only see limitations. Focus on the different possibilities and our lives will be a lot more interesting.

I promise we’ll get back to investing related posts soon. 🙂

Get update via email:

You Might Also Like

31 Comments

  • Reply
    brian503
    February 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Ouch that’s an expensive stroller. I like to forget the amount of money we spent when our son and daughter (twins) were born, but you want functional and safe gear when it comes to the kids. Nicely done selling some stuff to cash flow the new purchase.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 4, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      It is but it’s way cheaper than buying a car. 🙂

  • Reply
    Generation YRA
    February 4, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Your lesson learned is a fantastic one! Creativity is infinite, but limitation is jarring. I do not know much about baby equipment/clothes/gear yet, but I know soon in the future it will be very relevant. It is nice to learn that you may be able to find some things via Craigslist! We also have Facebook groups in the area where moms swap/trade gently used items. Baby T2.0 is almost here, how exciting for you and your family!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 5, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Hi Generation YRA,

      We got lots of things via Craigslist and passed down. There are also lots of moms groups around that you can get used items for cheap. We’re definitely getting very excited about Baby T2.0’s arrival.

  • Reply
    Matt @ The Resume Gap
    February 4, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I love this line of thinking — plus, if you take good care of it, the stroller should still be worth plenty if you go to resell it in a few years. We’ve made a few painfully large purchases of camping and backpacking equipment over the past couple months in preparation for our trip, but I’ve been trying to offset that cost as much as possible by selling things around the house. So far, I don’t miss any of it!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 5, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Hi Matt,

      Exactly, in a couple of year’s time we’ll be able to sell the stroller and get some money back. Camping and backpacking equipment cost a bit of money too (believe me I have tons). A great way to save is to look at used gear or ex-rental gear. I don’t know if REI have rental gear sales. Here in Canada MEC used to have semi-annual rental gear sales. I’ve gotten lots great deals from these rental gear sales.

  • Reply
    ambertreeleaves
    February 5, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Great use of an every day life situation to make a strong point! Most people tend to focus on the problem. I also find it much better to look at a problem as a challenge and then to look for solutions. It is off course harder to do ad you need to inform yourself, you might need to read a book or so, be creative,get rid of old stuff and habits,…

    When we went from 1 to 2 kids, it changed a lot… But to ve honest, the transition went very smooth. The major pitfall: dont forget tospend quality time with your partner, just the 2 of you…!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 5, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Hi ambertreeleaves,

      Great to hear that the 1 to 2 kids transition went very smoothly. That’s what we’re focusing on right now as well. 🙂

      Good point on spending quality time with just Mrs. T.

  • Reply
    Dividend Monster
    February 5, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Tawcan,

    My wife and I will be at the point of trying for kids in about a year and I must admit, the cost of a child is what really makes my head spin. I don’t want to say that I don’t know how we’re going to make it work because at the end of the day we always find a way to make it work but it’s a tough thought thinking forward on. Our health insurance as it stands currently would run us $2,000 or a little more to just have the baby delivered in one of the nearby hospitals. How on earth do people afford to have multiple kids? I kind of awe struck by it.

    Your article only further drives home the point of how expensive it is when you add in the extras: stroller, diapers, formula, etc. I guess the only step now is to look forward and stash money away like an animal preparing for a harsh winter!

    Thanks for the article,

    -DM

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 5, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Hi Dividend Monster,

      Raising a kid costs a lot of money but the joy you is something I can’t put down in words. It fills me with joy to be with Baby T1.0. Instead of focusing on the issue, focusing on the possibilities. Here in Canada child birth is covered as part of our health coverage so I’m not sure how it works in the states. Maybe home-birth would be cheaper?

      Kids items will cost money but you can find ways to save by buying used (don’t buy car seat used though). If you breast feed exclusively then there’s no need to buy formula. Here are some tips I wrote on how to save money on baby items – http://www.tawcan.com/ways-to-save-money-on-baby-items/

      Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    seattlegirluw
    February 5, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Very nice! I think it’s a balance of “we can’t afford it” and “how can we afford it.” I try to start with the idea that we can’t. If it’s deemed important enough, then I’ll start scrambling to find a way to find it cheaper, get rewards, find discounted GCs… Whatever it takes.

    But clearly in this case, just saying no wasn’t really an option. So pat yourself on the back. (It’ll get you ready for baby burping soon enough!)

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 6, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      It’s all about balance in life but rather than just simply say we can’t afford it and move on think of the other possibilities.

  • Reply
    Maggie
    February 5, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I hadn’t read this article yet, but hilariously, it seems like we were channeling them same things this week! And yipes on the stroller, but we each make the decisions as to what is worth it for us. We have two cars… and that’s way more expensive than the stroller! It’s all about finding balance. I’m very excited for you guys – another baby changes everything. In mostly good ways. 🙂

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 6, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks! Finding a balance is important. 🙂 For us it just doesn’t make any sense to have two cars, hence for the stroller decision.

  • Reply
    Thias @It Pays Dividends
    February 5, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    It is amazing how expensive baby items can be but sometimes it is worth the expense to get something that saves you time and energy. I love the mentality of challenging the idea that you don’t have the money to obtain something. There are always options if you are willing to work for it. Hope your wife is surviving the last few weeks of pregnancy as comfortably as possible!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 6, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Thias,

      Although some baby items are expensive, sometimes it’s worth it to buy the high quality items rather than going for the cheap ones as you probably need to replace the cheap ones faster.

  • Reply
    Dividend Diplomats
    February 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Love the conclusion. You can afford anything you want, it just isn’t always now. If you really want something, you will kick, scream, and claw your way to earn some extra money or find an alternative (like Craigslist) to get it for a price that works for you.

    I haven’t said it yet, but congratulations on baby number two coming soon! I’m sure it will be double the fun now….

    Take care!

    Bert

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 6, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Bert,

      Thanks, it’s what drives us. If you really want something you’ll find a way.

  • Reply
    Roadmap2Retire
    February 6, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Its a great way to approach your financial hurdles…didnt know you were expecting a second one. Congrats to you and the Mrs T. When is Baby 2.0 arriving?

    Best wishes
    R2R

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 9, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Baby 2.0 is coming in about a month. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank
    February 6, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    That is a nice perspective, Tawcan! It feels so encouraging whenever I ask myself “How can we afford it?” and offers lots of opportunities and means to get it. Congrats! Nice! Baby 2.0 is coming!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 9, 2016 at 11:38 am

      It’s a great way to think how to solve a problem rather than seeing the limitations.

  • Reply
    Team CF
    February 8, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Hey Tawcan,
    Nice move on finding a smart way to purchase the stroller. We hope it lives up to the expectations, it better for that kind of money! Now we do realize that you will get a portion of the money back in a few years time once you have sold it again. But I don’t think we would have found the courage to buy it in the first place 😉 We would have searched for an alternative (cheaper) solution/version or bought a “bakfiets” (google that for images), but the latter would not work well around Vancouver with all the changes in topography.
    Good luck with the upcoming addition to the family.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

      We have the old Vista and it has been awesome, that’s why we decided to purchase a new one. Believe me we’ve looked for a used stroller but there was nothing available that we wanted.

      Bakfiets looks similar to the Danish version of Christiania bike from Denmark.

  • Reply
    Mr. SSC
    February 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    When we first started stroller shopping 4 years ago I test drove some, and our friends had an Uppa Baby Vista, and I was floored by the price, then only ~$600. When I tried it in the store, I was sold! I said, if we spend high dollar on one thing, it is this. Like you we found the online vs in-store prices the same, so we “bought local” from our in-town store. We still have it and use it and it’s been all over and offroading and handles great, even now we still take it to the zoo and wherever we go!
    That’s a great way to come up with the funds for that stroller. We recently sold some leftover baby gear, and I’m all about passing things along for free or selling them if friends aren’t interested in the “donation – I just want it out of the house” type of items. it’s amazing how quickly some of these things go.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 9, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Hi Mr. SSC,

      Vista is about $800 in US. If the Canadian dollar was stronger it would make more sense for us to buy it from Amazon but unfortunately that’s not the case. As a fellow Vista user I think you understand why it’s such a great stroller. 🙂

  • Reply
    our next life
    February 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    I love this post, Tawcan! So true that “we can’t afford it” is a problematic phrase. And often, what we really mean is, “That’s not a priority.” But if the latter is the case, we should just say that. There’s tons of stuff we don’t spend our money on, because we don’t value those things, but then other sources of spending that probably seem extravagant to some people, but are worth it to us. And in those cases where something stretches the budget, but IS a priority, like with your stroller, focusing on the possibilities is the only way we’re going to get what we want, not by lamenting the lack of something.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 9, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Hi our next life,

      I think if something is a priority, saying “how can we afford it” will allow you to see the different possibilities. There are infinite possibilities out there for us, it’s up to us for accepting them.

  • Reply
    The Personal Economist
    February 10, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    We did the same, had 2 kids within 18 months (eek!) and did not have this brand but a similar multiple seat configuration which was not cheap. We only had one car too and I used the stroller multiple times a day so it s well worth the investment. The scooter attachment was a favourite of both kids. We sold ours now our kids are older so remember you can do that too. One last tip: make sure you take the kid in underneath part out first otherwise it topples over. Mmm yes speaking from experience …. Oops … don’t worry they are both still here to tell the tale.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      February 11, 2016 at 11:05 am

      We haven’t looked into scooter attachment but will take a look once Baby T1.0 is a bit older. Good tip on which kid to take out first. 🙂

    Leave a Reply