What Should Your Budget for Twins Look Like

The moment I discovered I was pregnant, I started pondering over what the budget for twins should look like, given the intimidating statistics about the $1 million needed to raise a child. When the news broke that I was expecting twins, it seemed inevitable that financial concerns would become a persistent part of my life.

Fortunately, the USDA anticipated 2017 that middle-income households with children born in 2015 would spend around $233,610 from birth to age 17 (prior years fluctuated by about $10,000), so the million-dollar estimate is way off. Even though it’s a lot less than a million dollars, the sum might still be shocking to families with more than one child, especially when the annual cost breaks down to $12,980 on average.

Does this mean that a family expecting twins accepts the reality that they will spend over $26,000 a year on necessities like food, clothing, education, and insurance? Certainly not! But these projections serve as excellent incentives for establishing and sticking to a household budget.

Think about your income as a starting point. If both you and your spouse have jobs, your combined income should be the first figure in your budgeting document. Next, classify your costs by kind, such as “food and entertainment,” “clothing and household,” “diapers and child care,” and so on, and record the total amount you spent, or the monthly average, next to each category.

CFP and founder of True Worth Financial Planning, Rachael Burns, advises looking into budgeting applications if making a spreadsheet doesn’t feel natural. “I tell people to try to find the best choice for them and keep track of how much they spend so that if they need to cut back or save money, they know where to get it from,” she adds.

Insurance, food, nursing and formula, diapers, child care, education, clothing, and gear are just some of the costs that should be factored in when planning a budget for twins. A breakdown of the factors to consider for each subheading follows.

Health Insurance

Despite its importance, insurance is not a particularly exciting conversation starter. Costs will differ from person to person based on factors including where they reside, the coverage they select, and whether or not their employer subsidizes their plan. Employer-provided PPO coverage results in annual healthcare expenses of $28,256 for a family of four, according to research from the 2021 Milliman Medical Index.

Based on their research, MMI estimates that a hypothetical family might possibly pay close to $12,000. According to eHealth’s August 2021 ACA Index Report on Unsubsidized Customers, the average yearly premium for a family of four with unsubsidized healthcare was $16,776, and the average annual deductible was $8,440.

Parenting guide author Natalie Diaz argues that the necessity of insurance does not imply that all policies must come from the same provider.

Diaz explains that her family has different health insurance for the children than she and her husband do since “kids are so much less expensive.” She says her family can save $800 every month by thinking outside the box.

There are further methods to cut costs. Copayments, prescriptions, first aid kits, and even sunscreen can be paid for with pre-tax funds from health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of up to $7300 and $2850, respectively. In addition, the Affordable Care Act mandates that insurers pay for a portion of the cost of breast pumps, lactation consultants, well-baby checkups, and tests for gestational diabetes. Make sure you know if your treatment is required by law.

Diaz claims she and her family have decided to go in different directions. According to her calculations, it’s around $800 cheaper than if they were all on the same plan.

Diaz recommends that, in addition to health insurance, families “figure out if it’s possible to have a life insurance policy.” She continues, “That ought to be a deal breaker in terms of finances.”


Having more than one child might seriously drain your financial resources. While monthly food costs might add up quickly, Burns assures us that “there are a lot of strategies you can use” to keep them under control. To begin, she warns about becoming caught in the “bulk trap.” You should only buy in bulk the things you use frequently, and even then, you should compare prices to be sure you aren’t missing out on a better deal elsewhere.

Get to know the cost of the things you use most often at several different supermarkets. A careful shopper knows to stock up on staples from a bargain supermarket and only buys specialty items from more expensive establishments.

The temptation of a single-serving snack is something else to keep an eye on. Consider what you can make ahead of time, such as purees, and save the prepackaged convenience products for when you really can’t be bothered to make something from scratch.

However, Diaz stresses the need for parents to be honest with themselves about their abilities and preferences when it comes to spending. If you don’t like cooking and don’t want to spend a lot of money on food, then buying merely four rotisserie chickens from Costco is fine.

Diaz also suggests that if you have trouble sticking to a grocery shop budget, purchasing a gift card is a simple way to impose a restriction on yourself.


There are never enough diapers for parents of multiple, whether they use cloth or disposables. There were days when we made twenty diaper changes for my newborn twins. Big Diaper is aware of your predicament and is willing to charge you more because of it. Diaz claims that families with twins may expect to spend $7,800 on diapers for their children from birth to age 4. This assumes that the parents do not use the most expensive diapers.

Parents should weigh their options and do their homework when it comes to diapering costs because they might range greatly. While cloth diapering may appear expensive at first (upwards of $600 for all supplies), it may end up saving you money in the long term. If you go for cloth, you’ll need to figure out whether you’ll do your own laundry or use a laundry service. Choose between regular, unscented, sensitive, and biodegradable disposables if you must use them.

Choose a strategy that fits your family best, and set aside a little bit more money each month than you anticipate needing to care for your infants. Prepare wipes in the same way. Diaz argues that bulk diaper purchases make economic sense.

Diaz suggests trying a hybrid diapering technique for parents who want to save money and occasionally use a disposable diapers. You can save a lot of money by using cloth diapers, even if only during the day, and switching to disposables at night.

Formula and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding, contrary to popular belief, does not come at no cost. Breastfeeding is an enormous time commitment that necessitates careful planning and organization, especially if you have other work or other responsibilities. Make sure to account for bottle-feeding necessities like milk storage bags if you plan to do so. Breast pumps and nursing bras are examples of uncommon or occasional purchases that can probably be skipped. If you need a breast pump or a lactation consultant, make sure to check with your insurance company to see if they cover these expenses.

Remember that you will need to keep up a good diet to sustain your supply if you are breastfeeding two or more children, as breastfeeding one child burns about 500-700 calories per day. Before my twins started eating solids, I noticed a monthly increase in my food costs.

Formula-feeding parents should expect to pay $310-$360 monthly, as reported by Twinthusiast. Still, there are options for cutting costs. Buying in bulk, using coupons, signing up for loyalty programs, and even asking for free samples from your child’s doctor can all add up to significant savings over time.

Diaz suggests that, like with diapers, parents can save money by combining formula and breastfeeding. Even if parents just breastfeed once a day, they could save money.


Families need to carefully assess their childcare options and the associated monthly expenditures in light of the government’s inability to provide universal childcare and pre-K. The Center for American Progress estimates that the annual cost of care for a single infant is $1,230, and that care for a single toddler is $910.

Burns claims that hiring a nanny was less expensive than sending both of her children to daycare, despite some daycares and preschools offering discounts for siblings. Insurance and taxes will also need to be included in your monthly budget if you decide to hire someone to help out around the house.

Family that anticipates high childcare costs “should contribute to a dependent-care account,” advises Alex Williams, CFO and Certified Financial Planner at FindThisBest. He further notes that many firms offer access to these tax-free accounts.

Apparel, Equipment, and Toys

Kids outgrow their clothes, toys, and other necessities at an alarming rate, making it difficult to keep up. The constant barrage of advertising that parents endure doesn’t help them stay organized or within their budget. Stick to the bare minimum each month in terms of what you spend money on.

Swaddling blankets, footed onesies (because you’ll feel like you’re always changing diapers), hats, bottles, cribs or bassinets, and burp cloths are all examples of what you could need to get ready for a baby. Investing in transitional pieces that toddlers and older children can wear across seasons is a great way to save money and alleviate the daily burden of getting them dressed. Boots, jackets, waterproof clothing, and caps are weather-appropriate essentials.

Remember that “there is literally no reason not to get hand-me-down clothes,” as Diaz puts it. The monthly cost of raising children can be reduced, high-quality new gear can be obtained, and new friends can be made by participating in a clothes and gear exchange at work, in the neighborhood, or by shopping at consignment stores. You can always splurge on specialist things if your budget allows.

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