This question comes to us from a dad. He and his wife are expecting twins, and he’s a little bit worried. He asks, “Do you need to get a job, a new job, to afford twins?”
Well the answer to this, of course, is that it depends; it depends on a lot of factors: your current job, how much you make, your current expenses as a family.
Budgeting for Twins
Without a doubt, if you do not adjust your spending, twins will raise your expenses across the board. We’ve talked about this in the past, expenses such as new clothes, diapers, formula, and more. And if you’re not able to breast feed, all of these expenses add up in addition to any healthcare costs that you may have.
If you have not already done so, create a budget with your family to see how money you have coming in and what your current expenses are. Are you giving up one of your two incomes? That is, if Mom and Dad are both working right now, will Mom not be working after the twins arrive? How will that impact your budget?
You can cut expenses enough to offset the loss of an income, but it will take some creativity. It will take some thrifty changes in your habits and mindsets, but it is possible. You need to question every expense that you have: all of your utilities, your cable, your eating out, the type of car you drive, your payments that you have there. And definitely you need to assess every expense, through the lens of, “Is this a need, or is this a want? Can I do without this?”
If you’re in the U.S., definitely look at your current health insurance coverage. How much will it actually cost to have your twins delivered? What will be your out-of-pocket expenses? And if you were to change employers to a different company, how would these costs change?
You also need to consider non-monetary factors. Does your current job offer the flexibility to take time off to help with the twins or with you wife? Do you have any leeway with newborn twins as you are going to be extremely sleep deprived and not be as productive as you have been in the past? You may also want to consider other options to make some extra money on the side. Perhaps you can do something around the home or something around the neighborhood to bring in some extra cash. Or you can work overtime in your current position, or maybe there is something that you can do to get a bonus at your current job to help augment your income.
Decide as a Family
So do you need to get a new job to afford twins? Maybe. But the first step is to get hold of your current budget and expenses, and try to get the most out of that before you go switching jobs. You are already going to have a lot of change going on in your life with your family, and switching jobs will add extra stress to that situation. And that being said, if you run the numbers and you have your budget and it’s not going to work financially, then yes, you need to be able to support your family and you should pursue another job. But you need to go to that job with eyes wide open knowing that when the twins arrive it’s going to be a game changer on your ability to work effectively for several months while the twins are newborns.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 59: Crawling Twins, Flying While Pregnant, New Job to Afford Twins.
Picture by Roberto D’Angelo.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)