Dual income, no kids … and loads of free time: dinks are back – and being smug on social media

Name: Dinks.

Age: The term was coined in the 1980s. Dinks have been around for longer and are, by definition, of working and child-raising age.

Bit more explanation needed, please. Remember yuppies – young, upwardly mobile (or urban) professionals? They flourished in the 80s, making and spending money.

Yup. Well, Amy Virshup, then of New York magazine, now the New York Times, coined the term dink in 1987.

And it stands for? Dual income, no kids.

Gotcha. By choice, right? Yes, we’re not talking about couples going through IVF hell or struggling to adopt, nor people who don’t have children because they worry about the world in which they will live, or even if there will be one. We’re not talking about ginks, either – people who worry what having children will do to the world.

Ginks? Green inclinations, no kids. Very different.

So, are dinks bad? Not bad, exactly. But, as with yuppies, there was a stigma attached in the 80s. They were seen as self-centred, materialistic people with no stake in the future.

And no commitments, plus cash to splash – from a marketer’s point of view, they sound like a dream. Quick, what can we sell them? Exactly, it’s just another way for marketers to pigeonhole people. This is why we’re talking about them.

Are dinks back, then? Back and proud.

Where? TikTok, obviously, flaunting their luxurious, child-free lifestyles. A survey by the research firm MarketWatch in January found that nearly half of dinks spent the money they didn’t spend on children on travel.

Isn’t it a bit sad, though, when your career is so important that you won’t break off to procreate? Nope. In the survey, more than half said their careers had nothing to do with the decision.

They just didn’t want kids? They just didn’t want kids.

But are they happier? Well, studies show a mixed picture. There is evidence, for example, that unmarried, childless women are happiest. But it has also been shown that emotional experiences – lows as well as highs – are more intense if you have children.

Would I be right in thinking it depends on who you are, then? Who you are, where you are, how old you are, how much money you have.

Almost certainly less, if you have kids. True. Luxury travel companies are probably less interested in you if you’re a sitcom.

Sitcom? Single income, two children, oppressive mortgage. See also sinbads.

Go on … Single income, no boyfriend, absolutely desperate.

Do say: “Maybe Bora Bora this year, Darling? Nice backdrop for the posts.”

Don’t say: “Hi, is that the orphanage? Yes, I’d like to make a donation … they’re 11 and eight.”

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