How much should you budget for twins

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There’s no real way to dance around the subject — babies are expensive, which unfortunately makes twins pretty pricey bundles of joy. When you find out you’re having twins (usually between 10 and 14 weeks), after the initial excitement or shock dies down, one of your first thoughts probably is, “How am I going to pay for all of this?” or “Do I have to buy double of everything?” 

From doctor’s appointments to cribs, prams, clothes, toys, and nappies, it can be downright overwhelming (and a little depressing) thinking about how much babies cost, especially when there is going to be more than one! But knowing what you really need and setting your budget early on is going to help cut through the overwhelming feeling — plus, a few money-saving tips definitely won’t hurt. 

How much do you need to budget for twins? 

It can be hard to really find out just how much it costs to raise a baby because so much of it depends on each family and child. However, in 2018, the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that the baseline cost a child adds to the weekly expenses is between $140–$170, which adds up to between $7280–$8840 a year. 

Pre-delivery 

But before this, there are also costs associated with pregnancy and delivery. Things like doctor’s appointments, blood tests, ultrasounds, birthing classes, educational resources — though you often will be able to get Medicare rebates or insurance claims back on these — as well as other costs from practical things like maternity clothes to more fun things like baby showers or decorating the nursery. 

Another choice which will greatly affect your budget is if you choose to go public or private and what type of medical insurance you have. If you decide to birth your twins in a public hospital as a public patient, all the basic costs are covered by Medicare. Whereas if you choose a private hospital with your own obstetrician, Medicare covers only part of the cost. 

If you have private health insurance before or as soon as you fall pregnant, call your fund to see what medical expenses they cover and what the claiming process is like. 

Does it cost more to deliver twins? 

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on a lot of different factors. In Australia, the actual delivery shouldn’t cost you more for a twin delivery. However, twins are a higher risk pregnancy, which does mean there are often extra associated costs. 

For one, it is quite common for twins to be born prematurely and require some time in the NICU. If this is the case: whilst the NICU stay won’t cost you anything, if you live far away from the hospital, then you may want to stay in a nearby hotel in order to be close to your babies. Also, often with twins, there is a need for more frequent ultrasounds and blood tests, which can add to the costs as well. 

After your babies arrive 

When preparing for the arrival of your babies and once they arrive, there are a few key areas where your money will be going. 

Clothes 

While you are going to need double the clothes for twins, avoid buying them too far in advance or buying too much of one size. You won’t know the size of your babies until they are here. Plus sometimes, one twin is bigger or smaller than the other! Not to mention, it is quite common for newborns to have sudden growth spurts. So if you are feeling excited, feel free to buy a few cute things here and there, but it is best to wait until they actually arrive before you buy a whole wardrobe. 

Plus, double the clothes also means double the washing. So as cute as it is to dress your twins up in matching outfits, if you are trying to budget, not over-spending on clothes is a good place to start. 

Nappies

Yep, with twins, you are going to be going through nappies at a very quick rate. Before your babies arrive, it can be a good idea to do the maths about how many nappies you are going to be going through and the cost of the nappy brand you want to buy. 

For example, the typical newborn goes through 8–12 nappies a day. So if we double that for twins and multiply it by 7, that’s 112–168 nappies a week (maths is scary). A pack of newborn nappies usually has around 40 nappies, whereas a newborn nappies box has around 164. So you’ll basically be going through a big box a week. 

Research different brands and what price points they sit at and then calculate how much this adds to your weekly budget. Some parents will opt for an option like cloth nappies, which have a bigger upfront cost but a cheaper weekly cost in the long run. 

Childcare

Many of us are lucky to have partners, friends, or family members who can help out with childcare. However, if this isn’t an option for you, or if you are thinking about returning to work, it is important to budget for the cost of childcare

Look up local daycares and childcare centres near you and compare their prices and how many days you can work into your budget. 

What do you need double of for twins? 

Figuring out what you need two of is a good thing to work out early on as you can prepare your budget for it. Also, some of these big-ticket items you can put on a baby shower registry, or let people know you are saving for something if they want to do a cash donation as a gift. 

While you will be able to get away with having only one of some things, like a changing table or play mat, there are definitely some things you will need two of. Here is a list of things you are going to need two of: 

  • 2 x Cribs  (and mattresses!)
  • 2 x Car Seats 
  • 2 x Bassinet (not necessary, but nice to have) 
  • 2 x Feeding supplies (like extra bottles and a twin nursing pillow) 

For many parents, instead of buying two prams, they will buy a double stroller instead. 

While it’s impossible to put a single dollar amount on how much you should budget for twins, planning ahead for these costs will make your pregnancy and parenting journey much smoother in the longer run. Creating a family budget is a great way to provide peace of mind in your pregnancy and it will also help you figure out what you really need to buy versus what can wait a few months. 

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