Working couples who don’t have kids divide TikTok by bragging about their baby-free lifestyles, which include spending money at Costco stores, date nights, and lavish vacations.
The term “DINK” — meaning “double income, no kids” — has gone viral on the video-sharing app as more and more couples choose not to have babies.
The phrase actually dates back to 1987 and was first coined by the Los Angeles Times — when researchers noticed that stagnant incomes were deterring prospective parents from starting a family.
But it’s been popularized again by online influencers amid red-hot inflation, high childcare costs and wider economic uncertainty.
Newlywed Kate Anderton asked her 105,000 TikTok followers, “Why isn’t anyone talking about being DINKs?”
Newlywed Kate Anderton shares clips of her ‘DINK’ lifestyle on TikTok. She recently documented a trip to Costco where the couple spent $252 on treats
“Well, I just got married and I’m going to talk about it. Here’s a day in the life of DINKs in their early thirties.’
She then shows a video of herself and husband Brian shopping at wholesale Costco – where they spent $252.88.
In other clips, the Minnesota couple share glimpses of their date nights — which include spending the evening soaking in a hot tub and three-course meals out of the house.
Anderton, who works as a wedding content creator, revealed that she earns more than her husband, adding in a comment that he refers to her as his “sugar mother.”
Together they are trying to save $60,000 in their joint account as part of their plans to remodel a “fixer-upper” property they bought several years ago.
But the couple – who say they are “undecided” about whether or not to have children – were also forced to defend themselves after being heavily tolerated online for their lifestyle.
TikTok commenters questioned why the couple decided to get married if they had no plans to have children, while others accused them of “hating” babies.
Anderton explained in a video, “We have friends with kids and we also have nephews and we love to spend time with them, and of course we spoil them.”
In another video, she wrote, “No, we don’t think we’re special. We’re like newlyweds who haven’t decided to have kids yet. No, we don’t hate children.’
TikTok star Hilary Bowles has similarly drawn a cult following by documenting her life as a “DINK.”
Hilary Bowles, left, has also gained a cult following for documenting her lifestyle as a ‘DINK’
Bowles shared a video of herself and her partner vacationing in Bora Bora, with the caption, “In our era of being married, traveling the world, pre-kids, double income.”
In another post, she shared a clip of herself opening a Chanel shopping bag in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
It was followed by dozens of clips of herself and her husband enjoying luxurious vacations on boats, beaches and safari parks.
She wrote, “You’re 30, you should have kids.”
The hashtag ‘#DINK’ has now been viewed 205 million times on TikTok.
Other influencers have expanded the term to “DINKWAD” – meaning “double income, no kids with a dog.”
Birth rates in America fell to an all-time low in the year 2020 due to the ongoing turmoil over the coronavirus pandemic.
Only 3.4 million babies were born, a drop of 4 percent from the previous year and the lowest number of children born since 1979.
A 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that 44 percent of non-parents ages 18 to 49 said they were not at all or not too likely to ever have children — an increase of 7 percent since 2018.
Couples cited financial concerns as reasons for delaying the decision.
Since then, birth rates have risen slightly, rising by 0.9 percent in 2021 and again at the same rate in 2022.
But rising inflation and the cost of childcare — which last year underwent its biggest annual increase since 1991 — are feared to keep more and more couples from having babies.
Last week, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to improve access to childcare.
“If you live in a major U.S. city, you can pay upwards of $17,000 a year, as you all know, per child for child care in order to go to work,” he said.
“For many families, that’s more than you pay for your rent.”