personal finance

More couples are choosing a ‘dual income, no kids’ lifestyle. Here's how that changes their finances

Almost half, 43%, of unmarried American adults want to get married in the future, according to a 2022 Harris Poll survey. But only 28% said they want to have a child.

This trend has contributed to the growth of a household configuration popularly referred to as DINKs: “dual income, no kids.”

“This idea and household configuration of dual-income partners living alone without children is on the rise,” according to Misty L. Heggeness, an associate research scientist at the University of Kansas’ Institute for Policy and Social Research. “In 2022, it was around 43% of households, and that’s about a 7% increase from a decade previously.”

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Almost half, 46%, of adults in the Harris Poll survey who do not have children and do not want to have a child in the future pointed to their personal financial situation as a reason, while 33% noted housing prices as a factor.

“When we advise clients about having children, we honestly don’t even give them the full real details and the real numbers,” said Shannon McLay, founder of The Financial Gym. “It’s one of those things if you see the math of it all, it might make you decide to not have children.”

Besides eliminating expenses such as child care, DINKs can also fully reap the benefits of combining their finances.

“Being able to split our finances, to look at both of our incomes coming in and see how we’re able to handle all of that because we don’t have extra finances with a child or anything like that, it’s much more comfortable,” said Taylor Graves, a 32-year-old project manager in health-care technology who has been living the DINK lifestyle for 10 years. “We get to focus more on the things that we want to do, saving a lot of that money for the future and worry less about the day-to-day finances of the house and our bills.”

Watch the video to find out more about what it’s like to live the DINK lifestyle.


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