I’ve got five kids including QUADS and Christmas is always chaos, but this is how I make sure it doesn’t break the bank

A QUAD mum has shared her hacks for budgeting and staying sane this Christmas – including allowing her children to only pick ONE gift each.

Mum-of-five Selina Torbett-Ashe, 31, and her refrigeration engineer husband Kevin, 37, from Winchester, were shocked when they found out they were expecting quads in 2017.

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Having five kids puts inevitable financial strain on nurse Selina and Kevin as hand-me-downs from eldest daughter Myla, six, don't stretch far – so Christmas is expected to be expensive.

To keep costs down, Selina and Kevin have encouraged their children to ask Santa for one present only to make Christmas less of a financial burden. They have a budget of £50 to £100 per child which includes stocking fillers and Christmas tree presents.

The couple have bought a turkey with all of the trimmings and a few bottles of sparkling wine, coming in at under £100.

The couples top budgeting tips for a large family include keeping an eye out for potential Christmas gifts when they are on offer all year round, and making a list of everything that is needed for the big day to ensure there’s not a mad panic close to Christmas day.

The couple also always make sure they spend within their means and avoid buying things on credit.

They are also re-using their tree and decorations from last year which has helped to keep the cost of Christmas down.

As popular influencers on Instagram, the quads have been gifted Christmas clothes including matching elf outfits and pyjamas from leading brands.

We aren’t materialistic so nor are the children. We encourage them to ask Santa for one gift only which they have all done

Mum Selina said: “We aren’t materialistic so nor are the children. We encourage them to ask Santa for one gift only which they have all done.

“This makes Christmas manageable and means we can fulfil their expectations. The budget is fifty to one-hundred pounds per person and we make sure we avoid buying anything on credit.

“We both work hard and the children all see that and have a good understanding of the value of money.

“I do wish that Santa hadn’t started a tradition of wrapping each stocking gift. They have five little gifts each from chocolate to socks.

“I now have twenty-five presents to wrap, not including tree gifts.”

Growing up as one of four siblings and having identical twin brothers, nuse Selina has always wanted a big family of her own.

But since she was a teenager, she knew that she was likely to suffer from fertility issues after being diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovaries, so went down the IVF route.

With their first round of IVF proving to be a success, they welcomed their first daughter, Myla into the world in 2014.

Unfortunately, the next two cycles of IVF failed and with just two frozen embryos left, the couple decided to implant both of these at once in order to increase their chances of falling pregnant.

When it came to having a scan at six weeks, the couple were shocked to find that the two embryos had split and there were now four pregnancy sacs.

After a difficult pregnancy in which Selina suffered from bleeding and anaemia, Roman, Austin, Arlo and Raeya were born via caesarean-section at 29 weeks in the summer of 2017.

The quadruplets are now three years old and this is the family’s first Christmas where all children are old enough to appreciate the magic of Christmas.

While Selina and Kevin know that their household is going to be chaotic, it is something that they are determined to take in their stride.

At the top of the Christmas wish list for the couple is to have a lie in on Christmas morning but with their children regularly waking before 5am on a normal day, they admit that this is something that Santa is unlikely to be able to provide.

In previous years, Selina and Kevin have had to childproof the Christmas tree by keeping it in a playpen but for the first time ever, their five children have been fully trusted around the decoration – but all festive treats and presents are kept well out of reach of little hands.

Eldest daughter Myla has been showing the quads the ropes when it comes to Christmas traditions and has been reading them Christmas stories and showing them her favourite Christmas films. She has also been kind enough to help them open their advent calendars.

The couple are choosing to focus on spending quality time together over the festive season – something that Selina hasn’t often been able to do due to her work commitments.

As a nurse, Selina has spent the last two Christmases working. Despite not being able to see extended family this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Selina says that being able to spend quality time with her family is truly the best gift she could ask for this Christmas.

“This Christmas will be chaos but our house thrives on that,” Selina said.

“It’s the first year the quads have been excited for Christmas so we are all very excited.

“Although we won’t see our extended family over Christmas, we certainly won’t feel lonely.

This Christmas will be chaos but our house thrives on that

“This will be the first Christmas spent in our own home and the first Christmas dinner we will attempt to cook with five excited children running around us.

“I’ve worked the last two Christmases so I’m excited that I’m not working the main days this year.

“It would be incredible to have a lie in on Christmas morning, but I’m sure they will all have us up super early.

“Myla is so excited to show everyone the ropes regarding the nice and naughty list and keeps telling the quads Christmas stories and showing them her favourite Christmas films."

Selina’s biggest wish this year is for her family and friends to stay safe and healthy in a year that has proved so challenging.

“Our biggest Christmas wish has to be that we all continue to stay healthy and well and that we stay COVID-19 free,” Selina said.

“Christmas will be different this year but with a house full of excitable kids, we hope it will be just as special.

“We absolutely love the chaos – the fun of siblings is amazing and the house is always buzzing.

“I just really hope we don’t burn the turkey.”

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