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What It Costs to Have and Raise Twins

Your Twins' First Year: $23,900

That's how much the average middle-income couple spends to raise two babies for one year, according to U.S. government figures from 2010. "Middle income" is a combined gross income of $57,400 to $99,390.

Spending nearly $24,000 a year for two tiny children may sound a little overwhelming. For most U.S. families, that comes out to about $1,950 a month. But it includes the cost of a bigger house or apartment, child care, and transportation. If you stay in your small apartment during your babies' first year, and don't use child care, you'll spend much less.

Here's how the yearly expenses break down for a middle-income couple:

  • Housing: $7,740. Includes expenses like mortgage or rent, utilities, and appliances
  • Food: $2,700.
  • Transportation: $3,080. Includes costs like monthly car payments, gas, and maintenance
  • Clothing and diapers: $1,480.
  • Health care: $1,640.
  • Childcare: $5,480.
  • Miscellaneous: $1,780. Includes items like books, toothbrushes, toys, personal care products, and entertainment.

 

Expenses for Raising a Family

The overall cost of raising a family differs depending on how many children you have, where you live, and whether both parents work.

  • How many children you have. Some costs, like housing and transportation, can be shared. Others, like health care and childcare, are separate for each child. 
  • Where you live. It isn't just the cost of living in your area that affects baby expenditures. Health care and transportation expenses tend to be higher in urban areas.
  • Whether you need childcare. If only one parent works, or if you have free family childcare, you'll probably spend much less on childcare, the highest single expense after housing.

You can figure expenses for your part of the country – and plug in your own yearly budget expenses if they differ from average – at www.cnpp.usda.gov/calculatorintro.htm.

Raising Your Twins: $406,300

Wow. That's a scary figure. The U.S. government estimates that middle-income families will spend about $406,300 to raise two children born in 2010 through high school.

If your income is lower, you'll spend about $297,840. If it's higher, you may spend $673,880.

Whatever your family's lifestyle, it's important to know that price tag does not include college. So take a hint: Start a small college fund for your twins today.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Matthew Brennan, MD on October 02, 2012

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