**This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kijiji Canada. All opinions are my own.
Baby Scarlett is 3 months old now and it’s been one heck of a ride. We’ve been fortunate in the sense that she hasn’t been too fussy of a baby, but as any new parent will tell you, it’s a steep learning curve.
One of the hardest things I’ve found so far is just managing my time. Everything now revolves around Scarlett’s schedule which leaves limited time to do my own thing. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means my wife and I need to be efficient with our time.
One thing I have focused on these last few months is saving on baby accessories through my partnership with Kijiji in my “Side Hustle” challenge. In my last update, I had saved $275.43. I’m excited to share now that I saved an additional $251.15, bringing my savings to a total of $526.58.
Maximizing my use of Kijiji
I’ve admittedly spent more time on Kijiji in the last two months than I probably have in my life. The timing of the #KijijiFind challenge couldn’t have been better since my wife and I have been looking to cut back on costs while we’re on a single income (plus EI).
This month I saved $251.15 by picking up two things. The first was an Ergo baby carrier and an infant insert. Those two items retail for about $275 + HST ($310.75) so I was pretty shocked to find them going for about $75 – $100 on Kijiji. This was an incredible deal, but what was the catch? There was none. I think some parents were just hesitant to buy a carrier that was used by another baby and parent. I reached out to a seller who was asking for $100. She emphasized that the carrier was gently used, in good condition, and she had washed it before taking the pictures. That sounded good to me, so we met up at a nearby coffee shop where I confirmed the condition and completed the transaction.
The second item was a Ring Sling. While I was looking up baby carriers, my wife mentioned that she was interested in a Ring Sling that would be helpful since she could do things at home while the baby clung to her. Although they retail for $80 + HST ($90.40), I found one pretty quickly for $50. This seller also emphasized that it was in good condition and that it had recently been washed. That was good enough for me, so I picked it up right away.
I personally found that by taking the following steps, I was always able to secure items I wanted at a reasonable price.
- Research the going rate of the second-hand item I was looking for
- Contact the seller, offer a fair price, and arrange a quick pickup
- Keep the buyer updated if there are any changes to the meetup
What I found most surprising during this challenge was how easy it was to save money on baby accessories. There were multiple sellers for every item I was looking for. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised; baby clothing and accessories are the third most exchanged products within the second-hand economy. By being realistic with my expectations, and showing sellers that I was a serious buyer, it wasn’t very hard to make a deal.
Putting the savings towards an RESP
Just because I’ll be saving a decent amount of money by sourcing things on 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 will 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 and has a lifetime total match of $7,200. That means if I were to invest the $526.58 I saved during the #KijijiFind challenge into Scarlett’s RESP, I would get $105.32 from the CESG for a total of $631.90.
It may not sound like a lot but think about it long term. Canadians are saving an annual average of $843 with the second-hand economy. A 20% match from the CESG would give me another $168.60 for a total of $1011.60. If I invested that amount every year with a 6% return; Scarlett’s RESP would have $34,165.11 when she’s 18. That’s one heck of a return I’ll be getting just by taking part in the second-hand economy every year. I’m not only able to save on what Scarlett needs now, but am able to earn for what she will inevitably need in the future.