I recently encountered this term while reading an article on Squawfox blog. It stands for Double Income No Kids. I guess seeing something designed as an acronym created some sort of closure for me as I am always looking back at our finances then. I stumbled on this term while reading a post on the actual cost of raising a kid. I also like to read and browse the interwebs and find out more about how people lives have changed once a precious lil monster babe comes in the picture. The term also stirred some guilt within me and so I would like to let it all go in this blog. I did not see the massive impact that a double income home can have. I did not respect my money and I definitely did not live like we wouldn’t need to have something in the back. Now bear with me, as I give a little back story. We became a DINKs in late 2012, we moved on our own early 2013 and we basically started our lives from scratch all over once again. There was something in this coming into our own leaving the nest and never wanting to look back that hung over our heads in a bad way. As such, we lived our life, came and went as we please and bought whatever the hell it is our heart desired. We got every limit ever placed on us and every ugly wish reversed by doing THE most. While I don’t regret it, we had things a bit difficult, and so I did not look ahead.
Walk with me. Double Income No Kids means that there is a pool of money to support two people; adult people. They do not require more than the basic necessities to live and survive. They know and understand what a sacrifice means. They also know and understand some version of what budget, opportunity costs, bills and the sting of automatic payments is. They most importantly, know and have come to grips with what is required monthly to maintain their free and clear adult lifestyle. This is where maturity and discipline comes in and you basically become an adult a little more every single month. People who fail to realize this simple fact can stop reading here. You are immature, unambitious, lazy, a thief and very disrespectful. You somehow have the notion packed away that it is fair for you to live as you please in someone’s place and not pay a single cent for it. This is a very dangerous mindset and will only be to your detriment. If you’re not at all bothered or indignant by my last statement, then please, read on.
I want to make a plea!
Plea 1: Lay it all bare: Every debt that is owed should be put to the forefront. Every bill that is to be paid, should be laid out on the table. That shameful department store card that you cannot for your sake name one thing that you used it to get, should be on the forefront. Lay it all out, with all judgements aside, as you’re already in this to move forward; not dwell on the past. Putting it all out there is for both of you to get a figure. Listen to me, this figure will cause disappointment and some fights. Make up sex is a temporary fix, have some and get to planning. We somewhat did this, but we did not have a collective figure and I strongly believe that if we do the shock would force us to create better goals and achieve more. If we had a figure that we were working together to reduce then we would have done so much more with our money. We instead, paid our debts separately as we felt individual responsibility. I believe it would have been far better to dedicated 60% of the debt payment to the partner with more debt, than to struggle on each own.
Plea 2: Build a fair plan: Our excel budget sheet has a tab for bills, pay schedule, savings, but not debt. We knew and could see what we couldn’t change (bills), when we were getting rewarded (pay day) and what we were building on (savings). We couldn’t see however, just how much interest, fees or how much our debt was increasing/decreasing. We just made our payments and never thought too much about the percentage of money that was being poured into debt or just how much we were relying on credit. We weren’t seeing an actual number on how much we were living above our means. Plus, we hardly read the statements, we just wanted to know how much room we had. What a crock! Our savings plan was solid, we even tried this monthly plan were you increased the money you contributed to your savings by a little bit each month. In hindsight, this amount was peanuts compared to what we could have had!