Raising twins is a joy, a challenge, often a circus and it isn’t cheap. I should know — I’ve got a pair. They turn 2 years old in a few weeks and in the past couple of years, we’ve easily spent $17,000 feeding, clothing and keeping our awesome boys geared up. But, that figure is significantly less than what many parents spend with just one kid because we quickly learned how to make the most of the savings out there. If you are interested in keeping your costs down during the first two years with your precious pair, read on.
Join a twin parenting group.
Chances are, there is a community of twin parents near you with a listserv you can join. And don’t wait to join until your bundles of joy are born. Sign up the minute you hear two heartbeats at the doctor's office. The earlier you join, the more you’ll know what to expect, what to spend money on and what you can get for free. Twins groups not only give you the reassuring feeling that you aren’t in this alone, they are also your best money-saving resource. Wondering what kind of stroller to buy? Can’t figure out how many onesies you’ll need? You won’t waste a penny if you just post a question to your twins group. And there is so much stuff that twin parents will gladly give you because twin parents share a fierce sense of camaraderie. Cribs, nursing pillows (yes, you can nurse twins — and it will save you a fortune in formula costs — but you need the special pillow), double-strollers — all of these things have narrow windows of use and do get passed along if you're in the loop.
Have a baby shower, and register wisely.
Yes, everything is so tiny and cute, but do not go adding to that registry willy-nilly. The stuff your friends and family happily shower you with can set you up for six months or more if you're smart about it. So, ask your twin community what you’ll need to get started. And if your guests want to get you something off-list, try to get a gift receipt (or ask for diapers — ask everyone for diapers).
Access free child care.
If you have at least one set of parents and you don’t already live near them, move. If you are lucky enough to have a couple of doting grandparents in your twins’ life, make sure you make it as easy as possible share the joy. Hiring a nanny or part-time sitter is significantly more expensive when there are two to look after, so take advantage of any free child care you can get — you’ll need it.