I don’t know if you have heard the term DINK before, but it stands for Dual Income No Kids. Currently my wife and I are happy DINKs. While we do want to have kids eventually, we are enjoying the advantages of our DINK status. Those advantages include:
1) Kids are expensive
Kids cost money! While there are plenty of ways to save money on children, it inevitably costs more to have them than not to have them. It’s obviously easier to save and invest when you do not have children versus when you do have children. Another personal finance blogger, J. Money, has been tracking the cost of his child and will continue to track it until he reaches the age of 18. It will be interesting to see how much money they end up spending.
2) Vacations are cheaper
One of my former managers has four kids. Whenever their family goes on vacation, they have to factor in the cost of bringing their children along. When they went to Disney World recently, she mentioned how quickly expenses multiplied because of the children. It’s definitely feasible to have affordable vacations when you have children, but when there are only two people to account for it is much easier to vacation for less.
When I recently moved from an apartment to a house, I thought about how difficult it would be to move when you have children. When you are a DINK, you don’t have to think about how the move will impact your children (school, friends, etc.). Mobility is a major advantage of people in their 20s and 30s who are just starting their career.
4) Easier to focus on career/education/personal development
While I know a number of people who have gone through graduate school after having children, they have all mentioned how difficult it is to get through graduate school when you have children at home. It’s hard enough to work full-time and go to school at night if you are single/married/dating; having children does not make the situation any easier.
5) Easier to focus on marriage/partner
We all have a limited amount of time. Once you have a child, they become your priority. Time for your children may take away from time with your spouse. As a DINK, it is easier to make time for your spouse or partner.
I’m in no way saying that it’s better to not have children, just that there are certain benefits that couples with dual income and no kids have that couples with children do not have. Conversely, couples without children do not know the joy that having children can bring to your life. I don’t have children at this time, but I’ve heard that nothing can compare to it.
Are you a former DINK? How does your life compare now to when you were a DINK? If you are currently a DINK, do you plan on having kids someday?
Photo by Sergio Vassio