Budgeting for Twins: Tips to Save Money
Your beautiful, little newborn twins might cost you a pretty penny. Here’s a financial and practical guide to bringing up twins on a budget.
Matthew Brennan, MD
You have almost 10 months to prepare for your twins' arrival. Just think of all the fun things you need to buy: a stroller, cute little outfits, and toys of all shapes and sizes -- not to mention diapers and formula. In the excitement of their arrival, you may want to shower your twins with the newest and best of everything.
But before you spend a dime on baby expenses, stop and think about how you'll budget. All those purchases will start to add up -- fast. A little preparation now can help your budget grow to meet the needs of your growing family. Read on to find out how you can raise your little ones while keeping your wallet intact.
Making Sense of Your Baby Dollars
Do a little investigating -- how much will you be spending on your babies each month? While your costs may vary depending on where you live, you can use these numbers as a guide.
- Day care costs can run about $1,200 a month, depending on your location. When you compare the annual cost of day care vs. the after-tax salary of one parent, two kids in day care can equal about $30,000 in annual salary. Some couples decide that it's cheaper for one parent to work part time or stay at home full-time to care for the kids.
- Check with your doctor to see how many visits you can anticipate, being sure to include visits when your children are sick. Multiply that by your insurance co-pay to find out what you can expect in medical expenses.
- Consider how much you'll be spending on baby supplies each month. Diapers alone can cost you $1,500 to $2,000 in total by the time your twins are out of them.
- Add up additional food costs, including any formula and baby food.
All told, baby expenses can run a family about $2,000 month. So spending wisely is the key to raising twins on a budget.
Oh Baby, What Savings!
Now that you know what your budget will be, it's time to see where you can save. With a little thrift and ingenuity, you can cut your costs, stay in budget, and still provide everything your new little ones will need. Here are some ideas.
Ask about samples and coupons. Many manufacturers give hospitals samples, coupons, and freebies for new parents. Before you come home, ask the nurses or hospital staff if they have any available.
Don't buy everything at once. Think about your immediate needs for your newborns, and purchase just what your babies will need in the first few months. For example, when your babies first come home, they can sleep in cradles or bassinets in your room. This means you can hold off on that crib purchase until they get a little bigger. You also won't need a high chair right away. Just be sure you have your car seats purchased and installed before you go to the hospital.