What Does Dual Income, No Kids (DINK) Mean?

"Dual income, no kids" (DINK) is a slang phrase for a household in which there are two incomes and no children (either both partners are working or one has two incomes). DINKs are often the target of marketing efforts for luxury items such as expensive cars and vacations.

Understanding Dual Income, No Kids (DINK)

Couples living in a DINK household are thought to have more disposable income because they do not have the added expenses that come with children. Whether by choice or circumstance, the lack of dependents in the household can allow for more income to be put toward savings or to be spent on other interests. Not every dual income household without children results in substantially higher liquidity for the couple. The salaries of the partners remain as limiters on how much the individuals are able to spend and how often they can spend it.

How DINK Households Are Structured

Costs for food, clothing, and long-term education associated with raising one or more children are eliminated from the household. Instead of saving money to pay for college or securing loans to pay for tuition, the partners in the household can spend that money on creature comforts for themselves.

This could allow the couple to increase their expenditures on meals. This could also allow them to make more purchases for personal satisfaction to buy articles of clothing that might otherwise be deemed too expensive. Consumer goods, real estate, travel, and other companies may target this demographic by appealing to the increased availability of time and money for the couple to enjoy themselves.

The couple would also not require as much living space to accommodate themselves and their needs. In other words, they would not need to look for housing that includes bedrooms for children to occupy. That could allow them to rent or purchase dwellings with smaller spaces at lower costs, or they could, conversely, use the additional bedrooms for other purposes, such as a guest room, a home office, or a personal recreation space.

A dual income, no kids household can also afford the couple more flexibility on their time. With no parental obligations, they may be able to accommodate a schedule that includes longer work days and business travel. They might also have more time to themselves for leisure pursuits.

The availability of more disposable cash also creates the possibility for further exploration of investment opportunities. The money that might have been spent on children could be put into stocks, bonds, or other investment vehicles.

For related insight, contrast DINKs with "DEWKs," a living arrangement wherein both partners work and are raising children.