how to afford twins/raising twins on a tight budget
Finding out you’re expecting twins is joyful but without a doubt shocking and even a little bit scary. How to prepare for twins financially was one of the first questions I had (including will I ever sleep again?). Preparing for twins on a budget is challenging, but doable. I’ll walk you through everything you need to know so that you can focus on enjoying those babies.
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Preparing For Twins on a Budget
Medical Costs for Twins
The first thing you should do upon finding out that you’re having twins (after the shock has worn off!) is to call your insurance company to see what kind of copay you will have. You should also ask about their coverage for a breast pump if you plan to breastfeed or pump.
If you have a high deductible you will need to start setting aside money immediately to cover costs. Many hospitals offer payment plans, as well as financial aid plans. Hospitals will sometimes lower your bill depending on your income and the size of your family. You might be surprised at the amount of money you can earn and still qualify. We qualified for financial aid with our first and it was something crazy like a 75% reduction. It doesn’t hurt to find out this information in the beginning so that you can budget accordingly.
If you have an option through an employer to put aside money into an HSA or cafeteria plan, it is definitely worthwhile.
Childcare Costs for Twins
One of the biggest factors in preparing for twins financially is to figure out childcare costs if you work full time. In many cases, the cost of childcare for twins (and especially if you have other children) is close to or more than a full-time salary. You need to decide if it’s worth it for both parents to continue to work and see what adjustments need to be made.
When my twins were born, I also had a two-year-old but was fortunate enough to be working part-time hours, opposite as my husband. Had I been working full-time, we would have had 3 children in daycare. The going rate for a decent daycare in our area was 250 per week per child. That’s $39,000 a year. FOR THE LOVE. I was so thankful that this was something I didn’t even have to consider.
What to Buy When Expecting Twins
I used to book Baby Bargains while preparing for our singleton and preparing for twins on a budget. I cannot recommend it enough! It has in-depth reviews as well as good better and best ratings for every item you could possibly think of.
While it’s tempting to buy the latest and greatest for your babies, if you’re on a budget, I would advise against it. Your babies aren’t going to notice if they’re in a Pottery Barn crib! The truth is, when you’re buying two of everything, it’s hard, even when you buy things that are inexpensive.
Check out this post for my complete guide to your twin registry.
Preparing for Newborn Twins: What You Actually Need
- two cribs and mattresses (or a safe place for babies to sleep)
- two car seats
- a few bottles
- a couple outfits
- about 2 million diapers
These items are the only true essentials. I mean, there are other ‘essentials’ such as a stroller, toys, swaddles, changing pad, etc…. but these above items are the only ones that are literally essentials for the safety of your babies. If you’re on an extremely strict budget, start with these items I listed above.
You DON’T need:
- Specific changing table
- Fancy swing
- Wipe warmer
- Baby bath (the sink is fine to start with)
There are definitely other things you need and products that will make your life easier. The importance of these items depends on your lifestyle and just how tight of a budget you actually are on.
Related: my friend Kim has a fantastic post on Everything You Need for Twins Under $1000
Preparing for Newborn Twins: Getting Items For Cheap, Discounted, or Free!
You don’t want to go into debt or put too much on credit cards to prepare for your little ones to arrive. I suggest getting as many things donated as possible- then you can save your money for after they are born for diapers, formula, etc.
Many local churches have programs for new parents and provide some essential items such as diapers, wipes, baby clothes, etc.
WIC and SNAP
I don’t know much about these programs… however, I do know that your babies don’t need to be born to count as part of your family. There is no shame AT ALL in asking for help. You can plan and be responsible all you want, but nobody plans for twins. That extra financial aspect can be really challenging for some.
I am a big fan of purchasing items second-hand. Check local consignment stores, kids sales, Facebook marketplace (you can browse from the comfort of your own home!), yard sales, etc. If you have a local twins group, that is the best place to start! I found our snap n go stroller and twinz nursing pillow from our local twin group.
The only items that I wouldn’t suggest buying second-hand are car seats and cribs. With car seats, you never know if they have been in an accident or if they are expired. Second-hand cribs can be missing parts or the screws could be wonky and you won’t notice until you put it together.
If you have family members or friends that aren’t currently using baby items, they might let you borrow them. If you know the person and trust them, it’s fine to borrow or accept a used car seat or crib from them.
Make Your Own Baby Food
I know this probably isn’t even on your radar, but making your own baby food is cheap and easy. You don’t even need a fancy blender- we used this immersion blender with our first. We then froze the puree into ice cube trays and dumped them into Ziploc bags when they were frozen.
Baby led weaning is also a great option and doesn’t require much prep work! You can read about whether or not baby led weaning is a good option for your family in this post.
Target is a great place to get baby items. They have frequent sales and if you use the Target Redcard you can get an additional 5% off.
Cloth diapers, while a bit more work than disposables are a great way to save money. Using the subscribe and save option through Amazon is a great way to save money on diapers. We alternated between cloth diapers and using the Target Up & Up brand. The Target brand diapers worked awesome for us and are super affordable, so they were my go to when I eventually stopped cloth diapering.
Breastfeeding is a great way to save money because it is free. However, many women struggle with nursing. I breastfed my singleton with no issues but had a failed experience breastfeeding my twins. You can plan on breastfeeding, but you never know what can happen. You should be prepared with a few bottles just in case!
Discounts for Multiples
If you’ve come across any other resources or have found something that’s helped you, please share it so I can update this post with more information! And as always, please reach out if there’s anything I can help you with.
P.S. Follow me on Instagram for loads of twin cuteness!
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