Having one child is expensive enough, but if you have twins or triplets, you’ll – obviously – pay a lot more. How can you save money if you have twins or triplets?
Where the extra costs arise
When I first wrote this article, I asked dozens of mums of twins where the extra costs added up. This is what they told me:
- Nappies and everything that goes with disposable nappy changing. Re-usable fabric nappies are just not a sane option with twins.
- Formula milk. Very few mums are able to breast feed beyond three to six months, so you may find you spend a lot more on formula than mums with single births.
- Furniture, such as cots and child beds. Because you can’t let one child inherit from their older brother or sister you’re forced to buy both at the same time.
- Heating costs. Twins born earlier than 40 weeks are classed as premature so you’re likely to be more aware of keeping the heating turned up in the first few months.
- Equipment, such as pushchairs. Child car seats, pushchairs or prams are more expensive if you have twins.
SAVVY TIP: Ask for discounts if you’re buying new. It might make sense to try and do as much of your shopping as you can in one go as some stores give you a discount if you spend more than, say, £200. Some shops are more sympathetic than others. You can also read the article How to save money on pushchairs, prams or child car seats.
- Child care, including nursery places. It’s not more expensive in absolute terms than for anyone with two kids but it’s hard to always have to pay at the same time. Childminders may not accept twins so that slightly cheaper child care option is unavailable. One mum of twins who works part time has a nanny three days a week, but she still has to pay a higher hourly/daily rate than if she only had one child. On average, this is £10-£20 per day more so over a month or year, it can add up.
SAVVY TIP: While nursery costs will be double you may be able to get a discount for a second twin. It may only be around 10%, but it’s worth asking for.
- Childcare costs on holiday. These can be high. One mum was offered free child care costs for her older child but ended up paying around £300 for her twins to go to a crèche three hours a day for a week.
- Activities. With some activities, such as swimming lessons, you may need to pay someone else to go with one of your twins if your husband or partner isn’t able to go with you.
Money saving tips from mums with twins
You won’t be able to overcome all the extra costs of having twins or triplets, but you should be able to cut the amount you have to spend. Try these:
- Have a baby shower. Don’t make your friends feel like they have to buy something, tell them it’s a “hand-me-down baby shower” to which everyone should bring bags of used baby clothes and anything else their kids have finished with, either as gift or a loan. Mothers who don’t have twins will respond to an expecting twin mother as a deserving charity!
- Breast feed for as long as you can. Wean your babies onto cow’s milk (if medically suitable) as soon as they are one year old to reduce formula costs.
- Buy nappies and wipes in bulk. Look out for supermarket offers or investigate your local cash and carry.
- Cook baby food from fresh in bulk for freezing. It’s far cheaper and healthier than packets/jars.
SAVVY TIP: You might not have time to do this for all meals, but there will be times when you can cook your babies’ food alongside your own with little extra effort.
- Go second hand. Don’t be afraid to buy second-hand: twins clubs and NCT sales are a good source. Join Tamba (the twins and multiple births association) to get a card that will give you a discount at certain retailers.
SAVVY TIP: Sell everything as you stop needing it. One mum sells all her old baby kit and clothes via her local NCT and regularly makes £200-£250 per sale.
- Buy an annual family pass to your local soft play centre. It’s a bigger upfront outlay but it’s far cheaper than paying per child, per visit.
Twins Online: a twins and multiple births support group.
Twins Club: you can also find twins clubs near you.
Tamba: Twins and multiple births association.
Babybudgeting.co.uk: Not aimed only at mums of twins, advice on how to save money from a mum of two.
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