A Big Myth about DINKs
When it comes to talking about the childfree, the acronym “DINK” is often part of it. DINKs are “dual income no kids” couples. The term first started to be commonly used about 10 years ago. There was one myth about DINKs then that still remains today--that DINKs have lots of disposable cash.
They must, right? Sure, they don’t have to spend all the money it takes to raise kids. But just because they don’t have kids does not mean they have fat bank accounts, lots of adult toys, and the money for expensive travel. Quite the contrary. In interviewing over 100 couples for Families of Two and having now talked to thousands more childfree men and women, the reality is that the childfree are across the socioeconomic spectrum.
The socioeconomic status of DINKs seems fall into a normal distribution—a small percentage are on the high end and fit the myth of the DINK. They are in the higher socioeconomic echelons. At the other end, there is a small percentage that fall on the lower socioeconomic end. Similar to the childfree in general, many childfree on this end of the spectrum take the kid decision very seriously. Those on the lower end of the socioeconomic continuum can come to the decision that they are not going to have kids because they simply cannot afford it, or are unwilling to do what it would take to afford them, e.g., get a second job and not spend enough time with their children as a result.
The majority fall somewhere on the rest of the normal distribution continuum—in that big category called the middle class, from upper middle to lower, and everything in between. They come from all walks of life and are in variety of professions. However, sites like dinklife and nochildrenbychoice paint the picture of DINKs as only those who can afford the boats and the exotic travel. As wonderful as this might look, it just does not represent the majority of those who do not have children by choice. Even “dual income” is often not accurate. Sometimes one childfree partner does not work outside the home, and many other times especially these days, one partner is not earning income right now—they are looking for a job.
So when you see the term DINK, remember it is not synonymous with the word Childfree. DINKs are one slice of the childfree population, not the whole pie!