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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Multiple Money Matters - Financial Cost of Raising Twins
Multiple Money Matters - Financial Cost of Raising Twins

Often the joy of expecting twins or triplets can be overshadowed by the financial implications. How much will it cost to raise twins? How will we afford them? Won't it be twice as expensive to raise two children together? Do I need two of everything? How will I mange to pay for childcare if I want to go back to work?

Raising twins and triplets is no doubt an expensive business but just because you are having twins doesn't necessarily mean you need twice as much, but, you do need the right advice on the best way to make the most of your money.

Research by the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society found that the average cost of raising one child for the first 5 years was around 46,695 and the cost to raise a single child to age 21 has soared to 201,809 - the equivalent of 9,610 a year or 800 a month - and that's just for one child!

Unfortunately for parents of twins or more, two, three or four babies simply cannot live as cheaply as one and with maternity leave, pay and entitlements remaining the same as if you were carrying one baby, raising twins or more comes at a high cost. The estimated average cost for raising twins is at least 50% higher at around 1200 a month and for parents of triplets, there is an even heavier burden!

The research indicated that new parents face a 9,152 bill during the first twelve months of their new baby's life, taking into account expenditure on equipment such as buggies, cots and prams etc and for toddlers, between the ages of one and four, the costs are around 13,014 per year for one child. Given parents of twins, triplets or quads do not often have any hand-me-downs from previous children, the costs of twins can be 50% more and can escalate enormously when larger purchases are considered like a bigger car, larger family home and when childcare and education related costs are take into account.

As a multiple pregnancy can be more physically demanding, it is recommended that you start your maternity leave earlier at around 28 weeks. This, combined with the fact you are preparing for more than one baby, can present a financial dilemma. If you take maternity leave, your joint income may drop by around 25% but you now have to also pay out for all the baby-related items you are going to need this can add a real strain to any family budget. Be aware that there is also an enormous emotional strain that goes with parenting twins and multiples, so it' s important to talk to your partner (or someone for support) about how you will budget for the arrival and upbringing of two or more children.

Theres a common misconception that if you are having twins then you need two of everything, whilst this may be true for some things, there are many items where it's important to use the right product - this may be one, two or more but as experienced parents of twins, we will help you through the maze of nursery equipment to find the best products for you.

One of the best ways new parents of multiples can economise is by knowing what are the 'multiples-must-haves' and therefore not wasting money on unecessary items. Our New Parents Equipment Checklist will help you identify the important 'twinstuff' but here are a few tricks of the trade to make the most of your money:-

  • Join TwinsUK - benefits include Tamba 10% discount, Double Loyalty Points, Multi-Buy Discounts, Special promotions and Member Only Offers
  • Join your local twins Club - get practical advice, support and trade items
  • Have a Baby Shower - don't be shy about asking for specific gifts
  • Share & Share Alike - twins can share some items like cots, playpens, toys
  • Eat inexpensively - breastmilk is free, puree big people food and freeze
  • Buy in Bulk - buy wholesale on everyday items like nappies/wipes
  • Cut the Coupons - stock up when items are on offer, use online discounts
  • Seek Free Help - trainee Nursery Nurses/Nannies look for placements
  • Dress them Differently and double your childrens wardrobe
  • Double Discount - ask for discounts and take advantage of offers
  • Don't Duplicate for birthdays, ask for different toys or a larger joint toy
  • Know your Rights - Maternity/Paternity Benefits and entitlements
  • Plan Ahead - babies, childcare and schooling costs are significant so start saving now!

For working women who would like to continue a career, the costs of childcare can be staggering. Nurseries charge up to 35 per day per child and even with discounts, can still be 1000 plus a month for twins. Nannies are a good alternative as the cost is per family and there are nanny-share schemes. Pre-school clubs cost around 17 per child per day and childminders can cost from 3-5 per hour per child.

Delyth Raffell, Founder of TwinsUK, says your childcare management needs to remain flexible. "As a working mum, I struggled with finding the right work-life balance, but, in the early years, I found a nanny proved the best option and then pre-school nursery. Now my twins are at school, I use the after-school club once a week and a childminder in the holidays. It a juggling act every week but it just about works!"

Realistic financial planning is very important and a first step before deciding to return to work is to weigh the income gain against all expenses, including the hidden costs such as the stress of managing a career and children. You must also consider the positives of working on your self-esteem by not completely losing yourself to motherhood as not all benefits are financial but can be rewarding.

One way of easing the strain in later years is to start saving as early as possible, even before they are born! Put a little away each week and it will soon mount up. Another way of saving is to pay in all the monetary gifts you receive into a bank account or child trust fund - if you're saving for university it will probably take many years so by the time you have to pay for their college education, you should just about have saved enough!

The average costs of raising a chil are based on calculations carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research for LV=, and on research using a sample of 3,953 adults.

Looking for more information, then you may also be interested in our Practical Help & Financial Factsheet

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