So you go get an ultrasound and surprise, you are having twins! When you have recovered from the shock; you realize that your budget for baby has now taken a different route.
All of the planning you have done for one bundle of joy has suddenly turned into preparing for two little bundles. You might think to yourself that your budget may not have room for two. But, relax, take a deep breath and realize that you can budget for twins. All you need is some proper planning and you will not have ot spend that much more than you would on a singleton.
Adjusting Your Budget—and Your Mindset
When you realize that you are having twins, you do have to start thinking about your life in a different way, and it is very important to get all of your finances in order. You have to think twice about what your wants are as opposed to your actual needs.
You and your partner will really have to sit down and re-examine your baby budget before the bundles of joy arrive. Look for ways to start saving money now and eliminate unnecessary or frivolous expenses; that way you won’t have to abruptly adjust your spending later. Some examples of saving money include: eating at home more often (especially your lunches), buying a used car rather than a new one, using coupons and rebates, and planning how you will begin university funds for your little ones.
Learn to enjoy the simpler things in life; instead of spending lots of money on fancy outings, go to the beach, the park, or take advantage of free local events. These are the sort of habits that are good to start with while you are still pregnant, and your family will benefit from these even as your little ones grow.
Just because you are expecting twins, it doesn’t mean you have to double your budget. If you think creatively, you will be able to cut corners to pare down your expenses. No doubt you will definitely feel a pinch on your pocketbook for a while, but use these money-saving tips so that you can have a little more financial breathing room. Remember that even though it may not feel like you are saving a lot with some of these individual tips, the small things will add up—and if you are strict about cutting costs, you will be able to come out ahead in the long run.
Save from Day One: Even before you leave the hospital, begin saving money. Also remember to collect as much free stuff as possible while you are in the hospital. Stockpile on everything they will give you for free and request more. Sometimes, you can get samples of lotions, powder, diaper cream, diapers, formula, and more. Don’t be shy about asking for more.
Buy Second-hand: This may be the best tip ever. Second hand stores, garage sales, and thrift stores are all great places to check fantastic deals on baby items. You will probably be able to find cute, almost brand-new baby clothes at super low prices and used cribs and other furniture that is typically expensive (just be sure to check for any recalls on used products before you make your purchase).
If you have friends or family members with older babies, ask if you can borrow baby gear from them. This way, you can still just buy one of each item rather than spend double the money. Of course if you already children, using their hand-me-downs can save you load of money.
Discounts for Doubles: If you have twins, find out if your paediatrician will help you out with a two-for-one year of unlimited doctor visits. Also, some daycare or childcare providers will offer discounts for parents of twins. After you find quality childcare for your twins, ask for a break on cost. And also remember to ask your employer if your company offers reimbursement for childcare expenses.
Deals on Diapers: Consider using cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. They may seem like a pricey investment right away, but you will save much more money in the long run. If you are worried about all the washing you will have to do with cloth diapers, you can always hire a diaper service. However, if you are still keen on using disposable diapers, then always look for coupons online as well as check out your weekly flyers to see which store is offering disposable diapers on sale.
Buy in Bulk: Another great idea is to buy things in bulk. You can buy diapers, diaper covers, baby wipes, even food items at wholesale clubs.
Budget Your Baby Food: Breastfeeding is great for your babies and it’s free. If you opt to use formula, you can purchase used bottles and just buy new nipples. You can even make homemade baby food by mashing bananas and other soft foods yourself, rather than buying the expensive, pre-packaged food.
Find Freebies: Being a diligent researcher can pay off as a new parent of multiples. There are tons of free samples, baby items, and coupons available for parents all over the place, from magazines to formula and diaper companies, to going online. Also check the grocery flyers for coupons that can help you cut the expenses.
Downplay the Nursery: If you really want to save lots of money, then having a simply decorated nursery will help. You can spruce up the babies’ room with a fresh coat of paint; add nifty coloured borders, murals or stencils to the walls. You can always find those at thrift stores as well as garage sales. Cut out items that are simply unnecessary such as wipe warmers, fancy comforters, fluffy pillows or high priced lamps. Your babies will be happy with a safe, clean room and a comfortable crib or two.
Just because your neighbors went all out for their baby’s nursery does not mean you have to do so as well. You can easily make a nursery look fantastic without breaking the bank. First off, cut out those items that are simply unnecessary such as wipe warmers, fancy comforters, fluffy pillows, or high-priced lamps; your little ones will be happy with a safe, clean room and a comfortable crib or two!
Share and Share Alike: Some things your twins will be able to share. For example, you can purchase one crib and crib divider. Voila—one crib now serves two! This works particularly well as multiples are usually smaller than individual children. While your babies may outgrow this divider option at some part, it can be a great way to save money at the expensive start of parenthood. The same goes for strollers. Purchasing one double stroller is relatively cheaper than buying two single strollers.
Keep It Simple: Your twins will enjoy banging on pots and pans just as much as the latest expensive toy. Look for classic, inexpensive toys to stimulate imaginations. Find creative ways to turn everyday items into toys: a few coins into an empty film container (taped tightly shut) make a fun musical shaker, and measuring cups and spoons are perfectly entertaining at bath time. Remember, buying the most expensive toys will not automatically turn your kids into baby geniuses.
Having twins is an entirely different experience than having a single baby, but with planning and sacrifice, you can raise happy, healthy babies that both get the most out of life growing up with you. And remember that yes raising kids costs money, but they don’t need anything to be super fancy. They need love, encouragement, and understanding. Everything else will fall into place.