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Why the Pushback on DINKs?

Posted on the 07 December 2023 by Smallivy

Why the Pushback on DINKs?

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Several DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids) couples started posting videos on Tik-Tok about why being a DINK is the best thing ever. They describe how great it is to not need to worry about taking care of kids, being able to use all of your earnings on yourselves, travel, and generally enjoy your lack of responsibilities and childcare expenses.

“We’re DINKs, so we get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.”

“We’re DINKs, so we can travel to Florida whenever we want.”

“We’re DINKs, so we can buy all the snacks we want.”

“We’re DINKs. I’m gong to go to every football game and play 18 holes whenever I want.”

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Some of the DINKs who’ve made such videos have been surprised at the level of pushback they’ve gotten in the form of mean comments. They’re called selfish, self-centered, delusional, etc… Many have great schadenfreude for them, saying they’ll be sorry when they are older and have no one around or feel like their lives have been empty. Others defend the DINKs, saying that not everyone wants to have kids and that those that decide not to don’t need to pretend like everything about the choice is miserable. Likewise, those that have kids don’t need to pretend like everything is wonderful.

Why the Pushback on DINKs?

Is Being a DINK Good or Bad Financially?

Is it good or bad to be a DINK? From a purely financial standpoint, it can be a great thing. If both you and your spouse are working, you can both concentrate on career and work into high salary positions. You also don’t have childcare, kids clothing, Christmas gifts, meals for kids, extra airline tickets, etc… that families with kids have. Having kids is definitely expensive. With even young children you’ll find yourself spending $150 or so per day on meals when on vacation. Certainly that all adds up. And college is another level of expenses.

Of course, you may be spending just as much as a DINK if you let lifestyle creep consume the extra. Where you might opt for the car when traveling with kids, you might be flying everywhere and renting cars when it’s just the two of you. You might also be eating out more, going to bars often, going to concerts and doing various other activities with a price tag that you wouldn’t be doing with kids. People tend to spend up to the level of their income unless they are budgeting and managing their money well.

That said, there are certainly financial advantages to having kids. In many ways, having kids is like an investment where it costs money in the beginning but then more than pays for itself later on. While DINKs by themselves may end up with more money than couples with families, if all of the wealth created by the couple plus their children is added up, it will almost always vastly exceed that created by the DINKs. Unless the family stays in one household the original couple may not have access to a lot of this wealth, but the children’s homes, retirement savings, cars, investments, etc… are still all wealth created from having kids. If the parents were to fall on hard times, it is also likely that one of the children would take them in and cover their expenses.

Another huge financial advantage is the amount of labor that is created. When there is a family business like a farm, restaurant, or store, children often pitch in and help keep things running. Children can also provide labor to improve a household or manage more property than the couple could on their own. So, perhaps DINKs come out ahead when it comes to free cashflow when they are young, but couples with children often catch up and pass them later in life.

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Why the Pushback on DINKs?

What about morality?

On a moral basis, having children and raising them well has a positive effect on society. Many will point to the advantages that children bring to a family, but society in general benefits when people have children and raise them to contribute and be good citizens. Without people having children, there will be no doctors, nurses, firemen, policemen, storekeepers, soldiers, delivery drivers, farmers, cooks, plumbers, handymen, etc…. Certainly as a DINK you can just assume you can pay for services rather than needing to have a child to help you, but in doing so, you’re relying on someone else’s child. And the people who provided that child sacrifices to have and raise him.

And that’s really the point: When people have children and raise them well, they are making sacrifices that benefit society. DINKs can certainly benefit society in other ways — through their paid work and businesses, through charity work and donations, and in other actions — but they have not made the sacrifices needed to raise children and create future generations who keep society running. Once the DINKs are no longer working and contributing, their impact stops. Those who have children keep society going for hundreds of years after they pass.

And that’s the reason for the pushback

The reason the videos are getting so much pushback isn’t that anyone really cares if people decide to be DINKs. It isn’t that people who have children are miserable and want everyone to be as well. It isn’t that you need to act like you are miserable if you don’t have kids.

It is that by seeming to make fun of those who have children and the impact that decision has on finances and personal freedom, those in the video appear to be making fun of those who have sacrificed to raise kids.

Let’s look at another example. Those who join the military and serve — especially those who serve in wars — make huge sacrifices for the benefit of society. They lose years of their lives, endure physical and mental strains, sacrifice pay, need to spend time apart from their loved ones, and sometimes even receive physical and mental injuries. Some pay the ultimate sacrifice.

Now, many who serve receive benefits from doing so. There are things like college scholarships and medical benefits. Those who stay for a career can leave with a pension and then work another job and get additional retirement pay. Some people change their lives with the direction they get and skills they learn by joining the service. Serving a higher purpose is also a reward that many savor. Military members receive benefits just as those who have and raise children get benefits.

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Why the Pushback on DINKs?

Investing to Win

Not everyone chooses to serve in the military, which is fine since everyone can serve in other ways. But what if someone who chose not to join the military made a video talking about how great their life was because they weren’t serving? Talking about how great their pay was, about how they can go where they want and do what they want, about how they are home everyday and sleep in their own bed? How do you think that would go over with people who were in the military and who had made those sacrifices?

Having a family and raising children isn’t the same as serving in the military. But it is another form of service that takes sacrifice, one that has different benefits both for the couple and for society. Some individuals are unable to have children. Others decide that they want to be perpetual DINKs, and that is their choice. But if you choose that path, don’t make a video making fun of the sacrifices others make in raising children and creating the good citizens that will fill the many roles that keep society going. If you do, you can expect to see some hopes for bad karma thrown your way.

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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice.  It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA.  All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

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