Sovereign Norris and her husband do not want to become parents.

“Economically, environmentally, with everything going on like pandemics and global issues, I decided I didn’t want to bring a child into the world,” Ms. Norris said.

“I kind of always knew that I (didn’t want to have kids) […] When I met my spouse, he felt the same way. »

Instead, the Vancouver couple adopted a guinea pig and are saving up for a dog.

Both choose to spend their money on basic expenses and things like travel and restaurants, while setting aside the rest for their investments and savings.

The millennial couple are among many Canadians embracing the “dual income, no kids” lifestyle — known to English speakers as “DINK,” an acronym for “dual income, no kids.” This appellation, which appeared in the 1980s, is now experiencing a resurgence due to economic and societal conditions.

DINKs have more disposable income than couples who live together and spend their money raising children.

In Canada, most estimates put the average cost of raising a child each year to age 18 in the range of $10,000 to $15,000 — a price that many young adults can’t or won’t. just don’t want to support.

For Mrs. Norris and her husband, the main attractions of the DINK lifestyle are the financial and personal freedom that comes with it.

“In Vancouver, we live downtown, but we can go to a nearby island, we can go to an Airbnb, and we can invest and not feel behind in life,” Norris argues.

“Generally, we don’t want kids because we just fell in love with this way of life. »

Don Kerr, a demographer who teaches at Western University’s Kings University College, points out that part of the reason people are having children later in life, or giving up on parenthood altogether, dates back to the 1980s and finds its source in the fact that more women have begun to enter the labor market in Canada.

Women’s participation in the workforce has only increased since then, and more women are now working full-time jobs that require “a significant time commitment”, he notes, which is probably one of the main factors that convinces people not to have children or to delay parenthood today.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has “upended” everyday life, is also a contributing factor, Kerr observes. Canada’s fertility rate hit a record low of 1.40 children per woman in 2020, the year the global pandemic was declared, according to Statistics Canada.

There are likely other factors at play today, Kerr points out, such as the cost of housing, which is out of reach for many, high inflation and more people turning to fertility clinics. in their late thirties and early forties.

But underlying all of these factors, Mr. Kerr continues, are the difficulties many young adults face when trying to establish themselves economically in Canada — a problem exacerbated by growing job insecurity.

“The people who struggle the most economically in my opinion are those who are trying to establish themselves in the job market,” he says. And then, who are we talking about? We are talking about young adults leaving high school, college or university, as well as new Canadians. »

Angela Iermieri, financial planner at Desjardins, points out that people should treat the idea of ​​having children like any other project or goal they have in life.

“You have to be informed and educated about the help you can get, whether it’s government assistance or advice on how to help yourself save to (get there)”, she recommends. For example, she suggests getting advice from a financial planner, researching different government supports available to parents like the Canada Child Benefit, determining the cost of child care depending on where you lives, as well as determining the income that will be available during parental leave.

“There are ways to help each other save that money and to guide themselves through this process, so that shouldn’t be a barrier,” Iermieri said.

As for people who choose to be DINKs, Iermieri recommends having an open conversation about how the household plans to handle their finances.

“Is it based on the revenue ratio? Is everything going to be shared equally? Will the partner with the higher income bear more of the expenses or savings? she observes.

“It has to be for today’s budget, but also for long-term goals and plans. »

Ms. Norris offers similar advice to those considering the DINK lifestyle.

“It’s really important to have transparent discussions about your financial goals,” she says.

“It’s tempting to be like, ‘Oh, I’ve got all this extra money, I’m just going to go on a trip.’ We can do it, but we can also make a budget accordingly. »