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Are you a DINK? How to manage your money when you don't have kids

What we'll cover

  • What it means to be a DINK

  • Financial benefits for child-free couples

  • Financial strategies during child-free years

Are you in a DINK (double income, no kids) relationship? Maybe you're more of a DINKWAD (with a dog) or a DINKWAC (with a cat).

Whether you and your partner are waiting to expand your family or have no plans for children, being kid-free can impact your finances in a variety of ways. If you fall into the DINK category, take full advantage of this period in your life with these tips.

Boost your budgeting and saving

Most child-free couples cite financial freedom as a top reason they're not having kids. From diapers and food to childcare and education, the costs add up quickly.

Without kids, you and your partner may have more disposable income. Whether you have combined finances or keep separate accounts, being on the same page with budgeting can help make the most of your extra funds. Maybe that means saving for travel, investing or putting money aside for a down payment on a home. Whatever your goals are, consistent budgeting is key to keeping you and your financial goals on track.

And if you are planning to have kids down the road, consider using this time to begin saving for those hypothetical children. You could start putting money aside for their education or that SUV in your future — small steps to set yourselves up for future financial success.

Rev up your retirement

Without the costs of kids, DINKs may also have more money to put toward retirement. Depending on your personal, professional and financial goals, that could mean an early retirement. If you're able and it's something you aspire to, consider contributing a little bit extra from your paycheck.

Most child-free couples cite financial freedom as a top reason they're not having kids.

Don't forget life insurance

Life insurance is an important piece of creating financial security for you and your partner. Without kids, you might think it isn't as much of a priority, but it can help take care of your significant other financially in the event of your passing.

The amount of life insurance you need depends on your life stage, goals and budget. One rule of thumb is to purchase a life insurance policy worth approximately 10 times your income. But you may need significantly more depending on your individual needs.

Be prepared for estate planning

Estate planning is an important but sometimes difficult part of planning your financial future. Whereas couples with children might leave their assets to the next generation, DINKs might choose other options.

Maybe there's a charity that's near and dear to your heart or a local organization you like to support. Keep those in mind when planning your estate. You're also allowed to leave assets to other family members (maybe nieces and nephews) or friends. Decide what feels right for you and your partner.

Free to choose your financial future

When it comes to having kids or not having kids, there are a lot of financial impacts to consider. DINK status means you have some clear-cut financial benefits: Two incomes and more flexibility with where that money goes. However, the choice is ultimately a very personal one where finances play a role, but often aren't the only deciding factor.

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