Expenses that Dinks should not have, but do.

by Kristina on October 4, 2012 · 8 comments

Good Morning DINKS. Correct me if I am wrong, but we are “supposed” to have less monthly expenses as dual income no kid’s couples than our counterparts who are families with kids. Am I correct? I was going over my personal expenses for last month and I realized that I actually spent money on costs, that as one half o f a dinks couple, I am not supposed to have.

Parents who read Dinks Finance please don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely not saying that I am spending the equivalent on my miscellaneous expenses that you are  spending on raising your child (or children), but I did have some expenses last month that were kid-related and I don’t even have kids.

3 Kid-Related Expenses that Dinks Should Not Have:

1. Clothing and Toys for Kids. I don’t have children and I am not planning on having kids anytime soon (or ever) but last month I spent over $200 on clothing and toys for kids.  I am 31 years old and it seems that I am at the baby-making age. Last month I went to two baby showers for a couple of my friends and my niece also had her 4th birthday party. This added up to over $200 in gifts for kids that I don’t even have.  I am not sure what the average cost of kid-related expenses is per month, but I find it hard to believe that kids really need over $200 per month in clothes.

2. Your Annual School Tax Bill. Every quarter people pay one forth of their total annual school taxes and one forth of their total annual property tax bill.  I live in a 21 floor high rise building in the middle of downtown, there are no schools within several blocks and I honestly don’t understand why I am paying a school tax bill for a service that I am not using.  I am all in favour of kids getting an education; I just don’t think that I should have to pay for it.

3. Bulk Shopping for Two.  A few years ago my boyfriend Nick and I started to shop for our budget instead of shopping for convenience.  Shopping for convenience saves time, but it definitely doesn’t save money.  Budget friendly shopping definitely saves money, but at the same time I often find myself living without things that I want.  When I do our weekly grocery shopping I only buy items that are on sale, if I really want something and it’s not on sale I wait for another week.  Extra food is more of a splurge than a necessity, so as long as I buy enough food each week for Nick and I to eat 3 meals a day, I am happy.

Another habit that I picked up while learning to shop on a budget is to find a balance between saving money and hoarding stock.  I used to only buy household items such as toothpaste, toilet paper, laundry supplies and dish soap when I needed them and very often that meant paying full price. However, now I buy household items when they are on sale.  I try not to buy too many household items in bulk because unused items are also a waste of money.

 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DC @ Young Adult Money October 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

We don’t plan on having kids for a long time, but we have spent lots of money on clothes and toys for my cousins who are four and six years old, as well as one of our good friend’s boy who is coming up on his second birthday. My wife also nannies and bought some clothes for the girl’s first birthday. And this is all honestly before 95%+ of our friends have even started to have kids….looks like we will have some more expenses on the horizon.

2 E.D. October 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

Can’t agree with you on #2. As a society, we’ve decided that education is generally important and we are going to try to provide it. Everyone benefits from an educated workforce.

3 Kara October 4, 2012 at 11:39 am

Wow. A whole bunch of thoughts whirling thru my head and I’m not really sure how to express them. You say that you “shouldn’t” have these costs and it sounds like you kind of resent them.

If you have friends and family, certain things are expected of you and one of those things is being happy for and providing gifts for those people who have kids. Each family is different in how far they’re expected to go – do you give your cousin’s in-laws sister a baby gift? Maybe not. Do you give your nieces and nephews gifts? Or your best friend’s child? Probably so. I guess I don’t get resenting these. If you care about those people, then why would you resent buying their child a gift? You said you spent $200 and you find it hard to believe that kids need $200 a month in clothes. No, they don’t. But they need far more than $200 a month in food, clothing, school supplies, daycare/childcare, medical expenses, extra curricular activity expenses .. the list goes on and on. Being resentful of having shell out $200 maybe once or twice a year and then whining that no kid needs $200 a month worth of clothe seems petty and small to me. You friends aren’t going to have baby showers every single month. Why grudge them the celebration of their new child? IMO, these are CHILD related expenses – they’re FRIEND and FAMILY expenses – part of being a community.

Next – education. I agree with E.D. above that as a society we are responsible for the education of all children. I don’t have kids and I never plan to have kids (I’m 45, the time is past for me). But I will still happily contribute to whatever education related taxes are out there. The kids who go to school today will be running business and the country when I’m in my 60s. Why on earth would I begrudge that money?

Finally, your third point – I don’t see how shopping in bulk for household items or groceries has anything to do with children.

4 Kara October 4, 2012 at 11:40 am

Edited – in my first point I meant to say these AREN’T child related, not are child related.

5 SJaw October 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm

The education thing – have to agree with other comments that we all chip in to make sure our community has what it needs to prosper. If I only paid to repair the potholes on my route to work, the police and firemen in my neighborhood, the street sweeping on my block, and the education of my unborn children, I’d be afraid and ashamed to leave my house and explore my city for fear of encountering thugs, uneducated miscreant, burnt out houses, and crumbling roads. It would be like living in a gated community in Delhi or something. No thanks.

6 Miel October 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

I’d have to agree with most other folks commenting here.

For gifts, that is a choice you make. It is the same choice you make whether it is for a friend or your friend’s kid, or your siblings versus nieces and nephews. I personally have 10 nieces and nephews, with no kids myself, so I have to make choices about what I choose to buy, or not buy. When I buy, it is out of generosity and without resentment.

For education costs, I think this is a bit shortsighted. I agree that society as a whole has a role in educating its young people for the benefit of all. As someone who doesn’t have a car, I would prefer to pay a proportional share of road costs for what I use rather than equally divided among all users, but for public education, we all benefit.

The last point, I frankly can’t understand. What does bulk shopping have to do with kids? Are you trying to say that it is more economical for families? They also have much higher expenses overall, so if they manage to save on higher consumption rates, so be it.

Best,

Miel

7 Kristina October 8, 2012 at 11:43 am

Thank you everyone for the comments.

Just to clarify, I am not anti-education. I am very pro-education and I feel that it should be a right for everyone, not a benefit for those who can afford it. However, it is to my understanding that school taxes are used for the school’s upkeep in the neighbourhood, I am not sure that the money actually goes towards school supplies for the kids or to hire better quality teachers. Providing our youth with a more valuable education is absolutely something that I support, however I don’t feel that I (who doesn’t have a child in that school) should be paying for building maintenace fees becuase this is why we have a school board and why we pay income tax.

Thanks for reading. Welcome back Miel.

8 Kara October 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm

” However, it is to my understanding that school taxes are used for the school’s upkeep in the neighbourhood, I am not sure that the money actually goes towards school supplies for the kids or to hire better quality teachers. Providing our youth with a more valuable education is absolutely something that I support, however I don’t feel that I (who doesn’t have a child in that school) should be paying for building maintenace fees becuase this is why we have a school board and why we pay income tax.”

So you should pay for their education but not a building for them to be safely educated in? And I’m not sure your understanding of the division of the money is accurate, either. In my state/county the distribution of taxes includes:
“(17) To pay pensions and other benefits and costs under a teacher retirement system or systems;
(18) For school lunch purposes, upon property located outside of independent school systems as provided in Article VIII of the Constitution of this state, to provide for payment of costs and expenses incurred in the: purchase, replacement, and maintenance of school lunchroom equipment; purchase of school lunchroom supplies; transportation, storage, and preparation of foods; and all other costs and expenses incurred in the operation of school lunch programs;
(22) To provide for financial assistance to county children and youth commissions providing children and youth services, including but not limited to, the study of the needs, issues, and problems relating to children and youth; the gathering of data, identification of problem areas, and planning and implementation of programs for dealing with problems of children and youth; and the dissemination of information relating to issues of children and youth.”

Less than 2% of the Federal income tax is contributed to education and much of that is in subsidies. Federal income tax does NOT pay for childhood education. State, county, and city taxes pay for that – which is why there is often a huge disparity in the quality of education between wealthy and poor states/towns/parts of town.

And I’m not sure what the school boards have to do with anything – they don’t contribute money to the schools. In fact in many areas, members of the school board do not hold that job as their main full time job – they are part time and elected in addition to their regular day job. They often don’t get paid much, if at all.

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