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Double, double, toil and trouble: the true cost of twins

Double, double, toil and trouble: the true cost of twins

Having a baby can be one of the most exciting – and expensive – times in your life. But just because you’re having twins doesn’t mean the price tags should multiply as well.

RateCity research has examined the biggest sources of financial stress for new parents and how you can cut down on expenses while making the most of the help available.

Bigger Car:

For many parents of twins, you may notice that your humble, two-door car is looking rather toy-sized when you consider fitting two car seats and a duel pram in it. That’s why one of the more expensive items you’ll need to buy is a bigger car.

Websites like carsales.com.au or carsguide.com.au are a great resource when shopping around for a car. They also have a huge range of used cars, which would be a more economical choice when you’re budgeting for twins.

It also pays to compare the most economical car loans. Avoiding paying monthly fees or large upfront fees will also save you big in the long run.

Three car loans without monthly fees:


Baby Basics:

If you’re not lucky enough to have a baby shower, or if you aren’t gifted every item your twins need, you will need to buy all your baby things.

It can be tempting to buy everything new, however you can save thousands just by shopping second-hand. Websites like gumtree.com.au or buy, swap sell pages on Facebook can be a safe and reliable resource for savvy shoppers.

Example:
A new Valco Baby Snap Duo Pram can set you back $499. RateCity research found a second-hand version of the same stroller for $220 in great condition on GumTree.

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Loss of income:

One of the scariest parts about having a baby is the realisation that one or both parents will have a period of zero income. Luckily, the Australian government provides families with paid maternity leave and newborn and child care rebates.

And as twins have a shorter gestation period, maternity leave will need to be taken earlier than that of a single child pregnancy. According to the Fair Work Ombudsman:

  • Eligible employees who are the primary carer of a newborn or adopted child get up to 18 weeks’ leave paid at the national minimum wage.
  • These payments are made to the employer first, who then pays them to the employee. These payments can be paid before, after or at the same time as other entitlements such as annual leave and long service leave.
  • Parental Leave Pay from the Australian Government doesn’t change paid parental leave from an employer – an employee can be paid both.

Unfortunately, employers are not obligated to pay employees maternity leave. If you are lucky enough to work for a company that does, this will be stated in your employment contract.

What about dads and partners?

Dads and partners (including same-sex partners) receive 2 weeks paid leave at the national minimum wage.

The Australian government also provides families with child care benefits. These can assist with the costs of approved and registered care, such as long, family or day care, outside school hour care, vacation care, preschool and kindergarten.

According to the Australian Department of Human Services, (ADHS) the current approved care rate for a non-school aged child is $4.30 per child per hour, or $215.00 per week. Payment rates for school aged children are 85 per cent of the non-school aged rate.

You can also receive additional Newborn Upfront Payments for multiple births. ADHS advises that you may receive the following for each child:

  • Newborn Upfront Payment, as a lump sum of $540, and
  • Newborn Supplement, at a maximum rate of $1,618.89 if you are eligible for the whole 13 weeks, even if you already have other children.

Spouse Super Contributions

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Something else to consider is that if you or your partner will be taking time off work, then you will not likely be receiving super entitlements from an employer.

However, did you know you or your partner can make a spouse contribution to the other’s super account, or arrange for contribution splitting?

According to Industry Super Funds, spouse contribution allows the working partner to claim an 18 per cent tax offset on super contributions up to $3,000 that are made on behalf of the non-working or low-income-earning partner. More than $3,000 can be paid, but the working partner would not be able to receive the spouse contribution tax offset.

Contribution splitting is another option you can choose to support a spouse’s super. If the non-working or low-income-earning partner is under 65 years and not retired, the working partner can split their super into their super account. These can only be split at the end of the financial year, and some super funds may charge a fee to do so.

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Learn more about savings accounts

Can you have multiple ING savings accounts?

Yes, you can open up to nine accounts with ING at any particular time. If you’re saving money for various goals, such as buying a car or taking a holiday, you can name each of your multiple ING savings accounts differently.

To get a Savings Maximiser account, you’ll need to deposit more than $1000 every month and make at least five additional purchases. If you also want to grow your savings, from 1st March 2021, you can earn up to 1.35 per cent per annum variable interest on one account with a balance of up to $100,000 when you also maintain an Orange Everyday account.

With ING, multiple savings accounts can help keep track of all your savings goals. All the accounts offer flexible withdrawals where you can withdraw as low or as high as you want without impacting your earning interest rate. However, you can only earn the bonus interest on one account. To apply for a Savings Maximiser account, you can visit ingdirect.com.au.

What is an ANZ locked savings account?

An ANZ locked savings account locks your money and prevents you from spending. You may use a standard savings account as the account where your salary is deposited. You can then withdraw funds when needed, but aren’t able to make purchases with it. However, this account may not grow much as the continual withdrawing of funds will limit the interest you can earn.

With a locked savings account in ANZ, you know your savings will grow because you can’t access the money. You can also qualify for a bonus when you deposit at least $10 per month and don’t make any withdrawals. To help you with this further you can set up an automatic transfer from your regular ANZ savings or transaction account so you don’t forget to make a monthly deposit.

Your ANZ locked savings account offers you a base interest rate of 0.1 per cent per annum plus an additional bonus interest of 0.49 per cent per year. The interest is calculated daily and credited to your account on the last working day of the month.

Should I open a Commonwealth locked savings account?

If you have trouble saving money, a Commbank locked savings account could be a potential solution. A locked savings account won’t let you make withdrawals and as such, it can help you grow your savings balance if you keep topping it up. 

The Commonwealth locked savings account advertises high-interest rates and minimal maintenance fees, along with a host of other incentives that will encourage you not to touch the money. 

The account offers a higher interest rate for each month that you make limited or no withdrawals, as well as regular deposits. 

To qualify for a Commonwealth locked savings account with the advertised features, you will need to fulfil specific criteria such as:

  • Depositing a fixed minimum amount into the account every month.
  • Making a fixed number of deposits each month.
  • Making a minimum or no withdrawals each month.
  • Maintaining a minimum account balance.

What is a Westpac locked savings account?

The Westpac locked savings account (also known as "Westpac Life") can help customers reach savings goals faster through bonus interest. Customers receive 0.2 per cent standard base interest with a variable bonus rate of 0.35 per cent when the closing balance at the end of the month is higher than the opening balance.

There are some conditions to earn the bonus interest on Westpac's locked savings account, though. First, you’ll need to increase the balance each month either through a deposit or not making any withdrawals, and then link it to a Westpac Choice account and make at least five eligible payments using your debit card. Please consult your bank as to what an eligible payment is.