Becoming a parent of multiples is both exciting and slightly terrifying at the same time. Apart from planning and preparing for a new lifestyle, managing expenses with twins is the biggest consideration for any parent.
Frankly, the cost of having and raising twins mainly depends upon where you live, your total family income, and your way of living. For us, we live in a nuclear set-up in one of the most expensive cities of the country (Mumbai). Also my husband is the main bread-earner. While I contribute slightly through my freelance work, the major part of our expenses is borne by him. So for us spending wisely and saving for the future is not just a concern, but a priority.
Since I am a stay-at-home mom, our kids don’t go to the daycare. So we get to save a lot on that but now that they are growing up the expenses only seem to be increasing. There are certain expenditures that can’t be avoided – like school fee, medical expenses, etc and there are no savings on that. But there are many other everyday expenses that hold a scope of saving, if only we become a little more creative in our way of spending it.
Sharing below some simple ways which we follow (and you can too) that help us manage expenses with twins.
1.Invest only in things of importance – Cut off the unnecessary expenses and invest only in things that seem relevant. Go through your monthly subscriptions and see what you shall be using regularly and what not. We had two TV subscriptions and we did away with one mostly because we knew we won’t be using it much. Likewise any other membership/ subscription that won’t be used much can be done away with .
2. Buy pre-owned wherever you can – Go through the checklist of all the items you require and think about usability. Things that you may require for a shorter time period, can be purchased second-hand. We got pre-owned baby rockers and bouncers for the kids, simply because we knew they will be of use for only a span of six months or so before kids outgrow them. Ofcourse, do the hygiene and condition-check before buying. There are a lot of pre-owned baby goods sites that offer products in good condition.
3. You don’t really need ‘two’ of everything – As I shared in my previous article, there are a certain things that each baby must have (like car seat, baby bedding, etc) but there are many things that can be shared or used interchangeably like rockers, playmats, swings etc. Read more about this in my article – Do You Need Double Of Everything For Twins
4.Do your research on stores and always keep an eye on discounts – There are a lot of stores that offer discounts to parents buying baby products in quantities more than one. Looking out for such stores in your vicinity will help you save a lot. Also many online sites offer regular discounts too especially on baby products like diapers, bath essentials, etc. So purchasing in bulk while the discount is going on is a great idea.
5. Think of exchanging or re-selling instead of discarding old stuff – Kids outgrow things fast and you would find yourself buying new stuff every now and then. Prefer reselling or exchanging old stuff (like rockers/prams/crib, etc) instead of simply discarding them.
6. Do not hesitate to borrow – This is the most practical thing to do. Babies grow up fast and lot of stuff that we buy in the initial weeks look redundant after a few months. So it’s best to borrow, if you have the option. We borrowed a lot fo things from our relatives whose kids were just a year older than ours. So from clothes to toys we borrowed it all (and even returned when we were done with them).
6. Make Investments – This is important as it ensures every month you save a portion of your income (for future contingencies). There are multiple ways to invest – life insurances, FDs/RDs, shares or simply a savings fund . Choose what suits you the best and make a money move that will help you in future.
6. Build an Emergency Fund– Create an emergency fund and use it only for emergencies. With twins, surprise expenses are inevitable (be it medical or sudden emergency travel expenses, etc), so it’s only wise to have a cushion to bear the blow of such unexpected costs.
7. Practice Less is more – One thing that I have learnt with twins is – less is more. Especially in the initial days, we feel like buying everything for the kids and giving them the best but the truth is they really don’t need that much. Kids don’t need thousands of smart outfits, cool toys or gadgets. They will be happy with what we give them. All they need is our unconditional love, time and ofcourse endless hugs.
If you are a parent of multiples, share below how you go about managing expenses with twins? Also feel free to share this post ahead with someone whom you think would find it helpful.