Being a full time mother usually stretches your budget and takes up most of your time. Add to that the workload of a college schedule and you probably do not have two dimes to rub together or any spare time for yourself. While we cannot expand the clock, we can help you find ways to save a little while also making sure your children get what they need to stay safe. Car seats are important, and they are required by law, so having one that will serve both your needs and that of your little one is crucial. Luckily there are several options out there that can help without breaking the bank.
Which Type Of Seat Should I Get?
For smaller children there are two types of safety seats to consider. Infant seats are great for carrying your child or for using with a stroller. They are light weight an less bulky. This makes them easier to get in and out of the back seat without disturbing your child. However, they can only be used for a couple of years before your child will outgrow them. At this point you will have to go out and get a new convertible car seat.
Convertible car seats are able to handle infants as well as bigger kids. Smaller children are secured in the seat and it is faced to the rear of the vehicle for maximum protection. Once your child is big enough you simply face the seat forward. Since these types of car seats can handle kids of varying sizes they can be used for longer. This means that you will only have to purchase one seat and can use it for a number of years until they are ready for a booster seat. There are even some convertible car seats that can be used as a booster seat, so you will only need to buy one seat for your child. This gives convertible car seats greater versatility and for anyone on a tight budget this is going to be a smarter investment.
Budget Seat Options
Now that we know one of the main advantages of a convertible car seat is their long term savings, let’s look at some of the more cost effective models currently worth consideration.
At first glance this does not seem like that much of a bargain. It currently goes for between $200 and $300. But when you consider that it can be used as an infant seat, booster seat, and convertible seat, you can see why this can make sense in the long run. It has an incredible 10 year life span. It is currently ranked as the best convertible car seat 2017. This may be the only seat that you will every need and from a financial stand point this is a terrific option. It also has some of the best ratings from parents.
We know that it does have a high initial cost. It may be nearly impossible to come up with $200 or more when you can barely afford to eat. Don’t fret, there are other convertible seats that may better fit the bill.
Evenflo Symphony DLX
This is another All In One convertible seat that will provide many years of service. It can handle children between 5 and 110 lbs. This means that you should be able to get many years of service and protection for your child with just having to get one car seat. Evenflo is known for making affordable and quality child gear. The Symphony DLX is very highly regarded with parents and it has many safety and comfort features that make it quite appealing.
It is not as expensive as the Graco 4Ever and it will cost you between $150 and $200. This is still a steep up front investment for a lot of students but it is worth the cost if you can afford it. Over the course of your child’s first few years of needing a safety seat it will more than make up for it.
Evenflo Tribute LX
This is a more doable option for those with more serious budget constraints. This can usually be found online for under $100. It is not an all in one seat so it does have some limitations. While it does provide excellent protection and safety features it is only rated for kids 5 to 40 lbs. You are not going to get as many years of use out of it as the models above and you are going to have to get another convertible car seat at some point. The lower cost however will let you get something now and buy some time to save up for another seat in the future.
Being cheap doesn’t mean that it will not protect your child either. It has been tested and meets the minimum requirements for child seats for various safety standards. This is an excellent choice if you are in a pinch.
Saving Where You Can
These are just three different options that will let you save a little while also allowing you to get a car seat that you will feel good about having your child ride in. To safe the most in the long run a convertible car seat is going to be your best bet and luckily there are plenty of models that are high quality that will not be too harsh on the wallet. It is hard being a student and being a parent and saving money is something to take advantage of when you can.