Raising twins can be an opportunity to quickly expand your family and create a built-in buddy system where your kids always have a companion. Hopefully, your twins will entertain each other and can share toys and friends and stay busy. But that doesn’t mean raising twins is financially feasible for families on a budget, and even for parents who make a healthy living.
According to reporting from WebMD on stats from the USDA, average, middle-income parents can expect to spend $25,880 on twins in their first year alone. The USDA estimates middle-income families will spend $490,680 to raise twins born in 2013 through high school. And that number doesn't even include college costs for two.
But the ongoing expenses don’t have to crush your household budget. You can raise twins and multiples on a budget without breaking the bank or compromising on quality. Here’s how to get started.
Choosing generic products probably already crossed your mind in terms of skimping on brand names in your food budget. But there are plenty of generic baby products that still have a quality reputation and consumer reviews. Target sells its own brand-name formula and diapers that are a fraction of the cost of their big name competitors. And Amazon sells its own branded wipes in bulks that can dramatically reduce your costs.
Find a Roomy, Reliable Vehicle
Finding the right vehicle takes more than just piling car seats into a minivan. A truck might not immediately come to mind as a roomy option for multiples, but it can be a perfect fit for families who value reliability and durability. A Chevrolet Colorado features an extended cab with enough room for multiple car seats. It features a V6, four-cylinder gasoline engine or four-cylinder turbo diesel engine and four-wheel drive. Your kids can spread out in the Chevy Colorado's extended cab while you haul new bouncers, cribs or big kid beds in the back cab. And as they get older, you can use the truck to go off-roading and camping on road trips.
Leverage Coupons and Rebates
Think ahead to the type of products you’ll regularly use with multiples or the ones you are already in your own home. If you buy formula on a regular basis, sign-up for newsletters to receive coupons and rebate offers. Diapers, toys, wipes and baby food manufacturers often offer discounts to loyal customers. And believe it or not, you can also resell your coupons. eBay allows you to sell up to 25 coupons in a single listing. Although you probably won't get rich in the process, you can earn some money simply for passing on savings for products you can't use.
Save Money on Subscriptions
Today’s online marketplace comes with money-saving features like subscriptions. Amazon Primeusers can choose to sign-up for a subscription on everything from diapers to baby shampoo and save. You can also put your household on a subscription plan to squeeze more out of your budget like paper towels and snacks. And there could be a hidden side benefit. When your go-to products come to your front door like clockwork, you never deal with running out and making a late night run to an all-night drug store with marked-up prices.
Reconfigure Your Childcare
According to 2016 Care.com member data, the average cost of center-based daycare for infants is around $10,468 a year with prices fluctuating up to $20,209 per child. That cost can feel staggering when you consider multiplying it to cover your costs for twins or triplets in daycare. Re-focus your efforts and look at how to reconfigure your childcare situation. Consider a nanny share with another family for reduced costs or look to switch to freelance and contract work where you can hire a nanny or retired neighbor to watch your child. And if your schedule is flexible, you can offer to take turns watching each other’s kids to carve out enough time to get your work done.
With the right strategy, raising multiples doesn't have to break the bank. You just need to stay proactive and creative about how to maximize your budget and stay on track.