DINK (Double Income, No Kid) couples have $150,000 more
Picture this: You’re on vacation, you can wake up at any time you want and have champagne for breakfast, before perhaps hiring a private jet on a whim to explore the local islands. Welcome to the fantasy world of DINK—that’s dual income, no kids.
First coined in the ‘yuppy’ days of the late 1980s, the term recently exploded back onto social media as millennial couples provided an inside look into their luxurious child-free lifestyles—and now new research backs up that it really does pay to be a DINK.
According to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, couples with no children have the highest net worth out of all other types of family structures.
The median net worth of a couple with no children was around $399,000 in 2022 — over $100,000 more than it was in 2019 and around $150,000 more than couples with children.
Meanwhile, couples with children — who have the second highest net worth out of all types of family structures — have a net worth of $250,6000, per the Survey of Consumer Finances.
Although the survey did not specify the employment status of the couples, sky-high employment rates among working-age Americans strongly indicate that most are probably dual-income households.
Childless couples don’t earn more money…
Childfree couples are showing off how they’re spending the money they’ve saved by delaying or avoiding starting a family on TikTok, where the hashtag #Dink currently has 296.2 million views.
Despite being together for 12 years, @kaganbrooks and her partner have put off having children because, as she shows, they’re traveling the world, partying, and splashing their cash on themselves.
But don’t be fooled into thinking DINKs are simply earning buckets loads more money because they have more time to dedicate to their careers without having and raising children.
Actually, the median income of couples with children is on average around $9,000 higher than that of couples with no children, according to the Fed: The median household income before tax of couples with children is $110,250, meanwhile, the average childless couple took home $101,610 last year.
…but having children is really expensive
Despite earning more money, couples with children have a lower net worth because they’re riddled with more debt than their childless counterparts, the research shows.
Simply put, the cost of the lavish holidays and designer lifestyle that come with being a DINK doesn’t compare with the financial burden that comes with having children.
Childcare alone—which averages around $10,600 per child, per year—eats up around a quarter of parents’ household income. And that’s without taking into account other considerations, such as needing a bigger property and having more mouths to feed.
In fact, the Fed’s research suggests that having children adds about $70,000 to a couple’s debt burden: When taking into account loans, credit cards, and mortgages, childfree couples were around $100,000 in debt in 2022, but that surged to $168,000 for couples with kids.