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To feel for my friend who is very anxious about how she will afford twins.

(135 Posts)
BobDylansUnderpants Sun 26-Mar-17 17:34:16

My friend is due twins in the next few months the and she is beside herself with worry about how her and her DH will cope financially. She would never have aborted as that was never an option for her for religious reasons.

She lives in what i would consider a small house with her DH and 2DCs. The DCs share a room and there is a small box room which would just about fit a single bed. The fact her house is too small is the least of her worries.

She says she just about can manage the mortgage payments and living costs with just the 4 of them and has little left over for savings. They hardly go on holiday and live within their means.

She is really worried about how she will manage with paying for the gazillion nappies, milk, baby clothes every few months and the general cost of kids.

She told me that she has just missed out on tax credits which she won't get anymore for the twins as the government only pay for 2 kids. She could have got an additional 5k a year which she says would have really helped alot. ( Not sure if the figure is correct)

I don't really know what to suggest for her and wondered if anyone has had similar experience of unexpectedly having lots more kids and how you managed financially. It feel such a shame that the government have stopped the tax credits as it would have really helped her family and no doubt others in similar circumstances.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 26-Mar-17 18:08:06

The government has stopped tax credits in order to save paying families like hers an extra £5k pa. I'm not unhappy about it as a policy (although the proof of rape issue is concerning). 2 children is plenty. There are greater priorities for public spending then subsidising people who want a big family.

That sounds unsupportive of your friend. I suppose in her shoes I'd be looking at joining one of the multiple birth organisations/charities to see how other parents cope.

BobDylansUnderpants Sun 26-Mar-17 18:11:47

She didn't plan for the twins. She was happy with 2. The government is probably going to put alot of families in poverty because of the tax credit limit to 2 kids.

HelloDeer Sun 26-Mar-17 18:13:37

Will she still be able to get child benefit or does that stop at 2 children too? If she is able to claim child benefit then it will cover the cost of nappies/wipes/milk for the babies.

My other suggestion would be for her to sell as many of their unwanted items on Ebay/Gumtree/FB as possible to build up a fund to then buy secondhand baby equipment. Or perhaps she will be able to get handmedowns from friends and family?

Nquartz Sun 26-Mar-17 18:15:24

It may be harsh but if they can't afford more kids & she wouldn't abort why wasn't she more careful with contraception? We don't want any more & I manage to avoid getting pregnant

expatinscotland Sun 26-Mar-17 18:16:14

Well, she has some months to do some planning, scour round for second hand stuff, maybe look at breastfeeding and cloth nappies at first and do some costings.

Moaning about not getting £5k handed to you by the government for having more kids is by the by because it's been known that policy was coming into effect for some time. That's by the by, they won't be getting more money.

They'll have to cut their cloth like everyone else and either earn more or cut back.

Direct her to the multiples board here and the credit crunch and money saving tips boards they are excellent.

Perhaps look into equity release so they can extend into the loft or see if selling and moving to a cheaper area is an option.

beanzie99 Sun 26-Mar-17 18:17:16

It's really easy to not get pregnant if you can't afford any (more) children. Your friend has made her own bed.

SpitefulMidLifeAnimal Sun 26-Mar-17 18:17:20

She would never have aborted as that was never an option for her for religious reasons

Maybe she should chat to the officiant at her regular place of worship? They might be able to offer assistance.

watchoutformybutt Sun 26-Mar-17 18:17:27

Second hand clothes/hand me downs from her existing kids. Breastfeeding would be free. There's lots of support groups for mums feeding twins. It may not work out for her but it would be worth a good shot particularly if she's concerned about money.
The tax credits situation is what it is, She can't change that so she should focus on the things she can have some influence in. They'll manage because they have to so they will find a way. Could her husband pick up a second job?
I wouldn't "feel bad" for her, people are in far, far worse situations. It's just about getting creative to support themselves. We'd all love an extra 5k but life doesn't work like that.

Babyroobs Sun 26-Mar-17 18:17:54

We had 4 kids within about 6 years, not entirely planned. We did get a small amount of tax credits for them for a few years but for the vast majority of their childhood we were just over the limit.
I guess the way we managed was to both work around each other, so my dh had a more or less 9-5 job and I worked nights/ weekends and evenings whilst he looked after the kids. It wasn't ( and still isn't) ideal but it meant we could earn enough to feed and clothe them and pay for a large enough house and not have to pay for childcare. I now quite a few families in our locality with 4 kids and they all seem to work around each other In this way.
The tax credits for two kids only is unfortunate for your friend however she should still get help with childcare for them all I think and of course child benefit for 4 which will add up to almost £250 a month. the real problems with having a large number of kids close together come when they are teenagers ( as we are experiencing at the moment), as they cost a lot more. When they are little you can pass clothes down ( obviously not so easy with twins) andbuy good quality stuff from charity shops, but when they get older it's a different story and you also need to think about Uni/ college/ bus passes/ drivng lessons and all those things that parents like to help their kids with.

expatinscotland Sun 26-Mar-17 18:18:06

'The government is probably going to put alot of families in poverty because of the tax credit limit to 2 kids.'

How is it the government's fault that people have more than 2 kids after knowing this policy is in effect? The government already provides free contraception via the NHS and free MAP/terminations. You can even be sterilised on the NHS in a lot of areas if you push hard enough. My h was. The result is no more children for us.

ThomasRichard Sun 26-Mar-17 18:18:11

It's always horrible to be worried about money. The great thing is that her family is living within their means. I'd try to help her make practical decisions about keeping costs down while she's on maternity leave: go to a reusable nappy library with her to check out the various options and see what might suit; support her to breastfeed, if possible; go to an NCT nearly new sale for bargains on baby clothes and equipment; hunt on eBay for good second-hand clothing bundles. Maybe help steer mutual friends in the right direction if they're thinking of getting her a present?

MatildaTheCat Sun 26-Mar-17 18:19:07

This happened to a friend of mine. Space did become a major issue and eventually they did do a loft conversion but the downstairs was far too small really...but they managed.

She should definitely contact a multiple birth charity and seen support and suggestions on coping both practically and financially. I'm guessing she will get child benefit at least? And perhaps she could ask family members for clothes and baby supplies for gifts if they offer. You sound like a nice friend,that sounds a great support.

ahamsternest Sun 26-Mar-17 18:23:32

Has she considered abandoning a religion that would see her entire family thrust into poverty for the sake of denying women reproductive rights?

Dawndonnaagain Sun 26-Mar-17 18:23:47

It's really easy to not get pregnant if you can't afford any (more) children. Your friend has made her own bed.
How much easier would it have been to have said something kind, or not said anything at all.
Oh, and accidents happen, other than abstention, no method is foolproof.

RainbowsAndUnicorn Sun 26-Mar-17 18:24:54

The government is probably going to put alot of families in poverty because of the tax credit limit to 2 kids.

No, the parents may put their children in poverty (relative not absolute) not the government. They didn't make her have more children and provide free contraception for those that don't want children.

They can cut expenses, work more hours etc if they want more money rather than expecting it for free.

Canyouseethis Sun 26-Mar-17 18:28:12

Is the child tax credit as much as £5k per year? confused

Babyroobs Sun 26-Mar-17 18:28:19

There will always be contraceptive failures though. And a contraceptive failure resulting in twins must be especially difficult on a family's financial situation.

MaudGonneMad Sun 26-Mar-17 18:28:43

So much empathy on this thread hmm

Babyroobs Sun 26-Mar-17 18:28:56

It could be a lot more than £5k a year if a family is on a very low income.

sweetkitty Sun 26-Mar-17 18:30:35

I really do not like the stopping at 2 children thing the Government wants everyone to do, the average family size is under 2 and is actually lower for people on benefits so this having children for benefits has been exaggerated.

What isyou have one child and fall pregnant with twins?

I have four children and can easily afford them but what if my DH lost his job or became unwell? Why shouldn't children suffer if their father becomes unwell?

ChrisYoungFuckingRocks Sun 26-Mar-17 18:32:11

Exactly what Rainbows said.

ColourfulOrangex Sun 26-Mar-17 18:32:40

OP has she looked at the surestart maternity grant? I'm sure you can get if for multiple pregnancies but not 100% on the criteria

harderandharder2breathe Sun 26-Mar-17 18:33:24

She didn't plan twins but she presumably planned a third child (or didn't use contraception properly which is basically the same thing).

They will have to go from "hardly" going on holidays to not going at all. Skip treats like meals out.

I have sympathy for people who's circumstances change meaning they can't afford the kids they have. Much less for people who make choices they can't afford.

SillySongsWithLarry Sun 26-Mar-17 18:34:21

I heard recently at work that when twins (or multiples) are born, tax credits will disregard the first born as they were planned, but pay out for the rest of the multiples as they could not planned. I don't know how true it is but I work in a sector where when it is discussed by management it is usually pretty accurate. It may not be as bad as she fears.

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