Getting Serious About Saving With a Newborn

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

**This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kijiji Canada. All opinions are my own.

It’s been just a few weeks since baby Scarlett was born and my wife and I are adapting to quite a few things. We’re learning how to be new parents, my wife is recovering from an unplanned c-section, and I’m juggling my return to work with any extra work that needs to be done – like blogging.

As weird as it sounds, the one thing that has been the biggest adjustment for us is our finances. It’s not like we weren’t prepared. We created a budget that reflected a single income and topped up our vacation fund, but it’s amazing what unplanned expenses come up when you have a child.

We’ve spent more than $200 on Advil and Tylenol to help with my wife’s recovery, and I admit to making a few impulse purchases on items that would hopefully help the baby sleep better at night. Oh, we’ve also spent more than anticipated on takeout food as trying to cook with a newborn can be difficult at times. Needless to say, we’ve decided to look for some ways to save money.

Using the second-hand economy to save

Back in March, Kijiji released the 2017 Second-Hand Economy Index Report. The report found that 82% of Canadians took part in the second-hand economy last year with the average participant saving $843 when buying used over new. I’m not surprised at all by these numbers since I personally have purchased second-hand items before including a coffee table, video games, and even kitchenware which has saved me a decent amount of money.

Had I been a bit more organized before the baby arrived, I probably could have saved some money by buying a few things used such as a crib and stroller, which is why I’ve partnered with Kijiji to take part in a “Side Hustle” challenge! Over the next few months, I’ll be searching for some still-needed baby items on Kijiji to see how much extra cash I can save by buying used over new.

Here are a few things I’m looking to secure:

  • High chair
  • Chair for baby room
  • Wagon for kids
  • Bumbo Seat
  • Travel gear
  • Baby jumperoo
  • Mamaroo

According to the Second-Hand Economy index, baby accessories and clothing are the third most exchanged products. This works out great for me since that’s what I’ll be hunting for over the next few months. I’m looking forward to seeing how much money I’ll save.

Putting the savings towards an RESP

Just because I’ll be saving a decent amount of money by sourcing things in the second-hand economy, that doesn’t mean I’m going to blow that “found” cash. My plan is to take any money I’m able to save and put it towards Scarlett’s Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

The reason I’ll be doing this is that I know how valuable an education is and how expensive tuition can be. By starting to save and invest early, hopefully, she’ll have enough money available in the future, so she won’t have to take on any student loans.

Also, by investing in her RESP, I’m able to make use of the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). The CESG offers a 20% match (up to $500 per year) for free, with a lifetime total match of $7,200. As a personal finance expert, I try not to pass up “free” money.

Save with me!

Even though Kijiji is Canada’s #1 classified site with more than half of the country’s online population visiting monthly, I suspect it’ll take me a little bit of time for me to find all of the mentioned items on my wish list. Some of the things are quite specific, and I’m sure there will be other parents looking for these things too. I’ll be updating my progress next month and I’ll have a final post in September with my total tally.

In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter (@barrychoi) where I’ll be sharing live updates on my search. I’ll be using the hashtag #KijijiFind whenever I find something that catches my eye, and I’ll even share with you some tips when purchasing things second-hand. From coming up with a realistic offer to finding the best place to meet, I’ll have you covered.

If you’ve ever bought or are thinking about buying things second-hand, please share with me what you purchased and how much you saved. More importantly, tell me what you did with that money saved. Don’t worry if you blew it on a vacation; I won’t judge you. Every dollar counts!

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies on August 1, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    I so feel you on this one! We were really fortunate to have been gifted most of the big-ticket items that we want/need from family and friends at our shower. We also got a nice amount of gift cards. Still, I am always looking at second-hand items to leave by grandparents’ houses, etc. I also know that most of what we registered for will last us through about 6 months, so we will definitely be looking at hand-me-downs and thrift store finds for when he gets bigger!

    • Barry Choi on August 2, 2017 at 8:22 PM

      I totally should buy a few extra things and keep them at grandparents place.

  2. GYM on August 6, 2017 at 8:39 PM

    I love buying used stuff rather than buying new. We bought our Boon Naked bathtub off of Craigslist and saved over 60% (regularly around $80+ tax) and we paid $30 for it. We had a lot of hand me downs from my nephew too which helped. I’m sure a Bumbo seat is a hot ticket item, so are Stokke high chairs. It’s like a whole new type of lingo, this baby gear stuff!

    • Barry Choi on August 8, 2017 at 3:17 PM


      That tub looks AWESOME! I bought a Fisher Price whale tub but the Boon one looks way more convenient.

  3. Tim Kim @ Tub of Cash on August 8, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    Oh man, Barry, I get what you guys are going through on this as well. I don’t even wanna look at the total we’ve spent so far on our kid. Just diapers alone is probably in the thousands!

    • Barry Choi on August 8, 2017 at 3:16 PM


      I’m average about $100 a month right now, so I’ll catch up to you soon enough.

  4. Newmomtobe on August 19, 2017 at 10:34 PM

    Take advantage of price matching, and rewards programs. As well as if your having a winter baby, summer clothing is on clearance now in most stores buy clothing now for what the will be next summer. 2$ vs 13$ who cares if it’s not the current stuff.

    • Barry Choi on August 21, 2017 at 11:23 PM


      Price matching and rewards programs is something I’ve been taking advantage of even before the baby arrived =D.

  5. Erin on August 21, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    Barry, don’t forget about the “free-conomy” also. I’m an active member of my neighborhood’s “Buy Nothing Group” on facebook, and there are lots of good quality baby goods getting shared around. I saw a Bumbo on offer just two days ago. Find your local group here:

    • Barry Choi on August 21, 2017 at 11:24 PM


      Nothing is cheaper than free! I need to look into those groups.

  6. Elizabeth on August 21, 2017 at 11:20 PM

    We also lucked out with most of our big ticket items being gifted. However, we have also saved so much with Kijiji and Facebook but and sell groups. We purchased a bjorn bouncer with toy attachment for $25. Retail is over $200 and the toy attachment is $50. We also purchased 4 bumbos with trays for under $15 each. I have also been successful selling items that he has grown out of, or have just not worked for us.

    Our other big savings is Amazon. If you sign up for their subscribe and save, you automatically save 20% on diapers. If you sign up for 5 monthly subscribe and saves, you save an additional 15%. Our diapers are under $25 for the biggest box.

    Don’t forget to take advantage of coupons. Nestle, Enfamil and Similac all have new baby packs they send out for free. You get lots of coupons for free items as well as money off toys and baby essentials. I amaze my partner on the regular with how much I am able to save with all my online searching 🙂

    • Barry Choi on August 21, 2017 at 11:26 PM


      We received a lot of diapers as gifts, but as soon as I run out, I plan on subscribing to Amazon.

  7. […] Choi is Getting Serious about Life with a Newborn is and scoring used baby gear off of […]

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