KJ: We’re DINKs (dual income no kids)! Seems offensive, doesn’t it? Well, a DINK isn’t as bad as it sounds. It is a relatively new term for two individuals living together who each have their own income and careers, yet they do not have any kids (Dual Income No Kids). That’s exactly where my wife and I are in this stage of our lives: a dual income no kids lifestyle.
How we got here
KJ: So many people around us during college had a list of plans to (1) graduate college, (2) get married, (3) purchase a home, and (4) establish a family (and not necessarily in that order…). We were faced with so many life changes at the time: we were moving back home for a few months while I completed my internship (a requirement for me to be able to graduate), trying to establish our own careers, figuring out where to live, and finding ourselves both as a couple and as individuals. I cannot even begin to fathom how anyone could toss in getting married, buying a home, and starting to have children all in one swoop. With all the change and stress of it all, it’s no wonder how young couples can have so many struggles – especially when you add on top of it that you are at your lowest pay point in your career and are subject to any whim of financial catastrophe that could strike: home repair, auto damage, a major (or even a minor) health concern…you name it.
Planning for our future
KJ: While probably a very different perspective for most people my age, financial responsibility has always been top of mind as one of my goals. Since I would want my children to have what I had growing up – the freedom to follow their passion and the opportunities that unfold if you work hard toward your goals – it has always been important for me to establish my career before starting a family. While you certainly can’t plan life (it would be futile if you did), I’ve believed that having one less uncertainty in the mix could help us focus on our lives together and the potential family we want to have. We can’t plan it all, but financial consistency can help provide a framework to get started on the next ten to fifteen years of our lives together and whether that includes a child/children (twins anyone?) or just our fluffy, neurotic, cute, crazy pets. It’s this DINK lifestyle stage of life that my wife and I find ourselves now.
An age and a stage
AJ: This post is a great example of how a husband and wife can be so aligned in life but have such very different perspectives! To me, being a DINK (dual income no kids) describes more of a current situation than long-term choice or a goal. The summer after we graduated from college we were invited to six weddings of friends who had been dating for varying periods of time (almost all of whom had been dating less time than Kirby and I had been). We both went to those weddings with cautious optimism, as we just knew that wasn’t the path that we wanted to head down.
Truthfully, starting a career was more important to my parents and to Kirby than it had ever been to me. I worked throughout high school and college and enjoyed making my own money (who doesn’t?) and being independent, but I would have loved to be that backpacking through Europe girl for at least another six months. For better or worse, an incredible career opportunity fell into my lap, allowed Kirby and I to live where we wanted to live, and began aligning a few of the key pillars that would become our future together.
In the last almost eight years of togetherness we have changed our minds about where we live, what we want from our lives, what we spend our money on, everything. Hopefully being DINKs will allow us to strategically enjoy and plan for the next phases of our lives, whatever they may be.
Building financial security
AJ: Both Kirby and I are extremely fortunate to have the careers we have which allow us the flexibility to plan our financial future together. I’m thankful that Kirby was more focused on laying a good foundation early on than I was, as it is now a huge focus of our lives. More thoughtfully planning our day-to-day spending along with the major tent poles that will define our lives means a more fulfilling, enjoyable lifestyle for us.
- Have you heard the term DINK before?
Are you a DINK by choice or circumstance?
Do you enjoy the double income no kids lifestyle?
If you had it to do over again, would you choose to have children earlier or continue the dual income no kids – DINK lifestyle?
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