Hey folks,

20% of millennials in India don’t want kids!

Okay. That may be an exaggeration because it was just a small survey of financially better-off people. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if that number wasn’t far from the truth. In urban India, at least.

Lots of folks are on the fence and DINKs are taking over!

DINKs? What are DINKs?

That’s just an acronym for the “Double Income No Kids” segment.

And the reasons they give for their choice to stay kid-free are plenty — they’re more ambitious in their careers and don’t want to have to become a caregiver to another human. Doing school runs, cricket practice and stuff takes time, right? A few are worried that the world is already so polluted so believe it’s not morally right to bring another human being to a life of suffering. And others are worried about the financial implications — whether they can afford the best for a child.

Now we can’t help with career ambitions and the environment, but we can try and put something together about the money aspect. So we did that. We crowdsourced costs from our first-ever Finshots community survey and we got a lot of responses. For those who took time out to fill it up, you have our utmost gratitude. Thank you! We put the responses together and let’s just say that if you do choose to have a child, it’s best to be aware and prepared for what’s going to come your way. Because it ain’t cheap!

Just look at the infographic.

Now there are 5 other things we should mention here.

#1: A few of you folks pointed out that we didn’t include a question about wedding expenses. So that’s something to consider as well.

#2: There are also extra after-school classes or private tutoring classes that can add up to ₹10,000 a month once the kids get a little older.

#3: We haven’t included the cost of higher education abroad. But you know that’s going to be a heck of a lot more expensive. In fact, based on the reader responses we received, in today’s world, you might have to shell out anywhere between ₹25-₹40 lakhs a year! Multiply that by 3 to 4 years if it’s an undergraduate programme or 2 years if it’s a postgraduate one and it’s a massive figure.

#4: All of these are the current expenses. So don’t forget inflation! Yup, the dreaded I word!

So, let’s just say that if you’re saving up for your kid who’s going to college 15 years from now, you’ll need a lot more. And if you do want to buckle down and do all your calculations, we have a spreadsheet for you. It's a nifty goal planner that includes all the generic goals you'd aspire to save up for. Just plug in your numbers and we’ll adjust the amounts for inflation. We’ll even tell you what you need to invest to get there!

#5: Don’t forget the indirect financial implications too.

Like what?

Well, the one that comes to mind immediately is the opportunity cost when one of the spouses takes a sabbatical to look after the child. It could be either the father or mother assuming the role of primary caregiver. But a break is a break. And there could be a loss of income for that period.

But there’s something else that could be even bigger — housing!

Yup, it sounds crazy even to suggest that we know. And I’ve seen personal finance writers say that you’ll pay to buy a home anyway so how can you attribute part of that to children?

Well, think about it this way — if you have a child, you might feel it’s prudent to buy a 3-bedroom house. Maybe you want it to be in a gated community so that it’s safe for them and they have kids of their age group to play with. Naturally, that will come with amenities such as a tennis or basketball court that your child can use too. All of that will end up costing quite a bit, no?

Without a child, you probably would’ve been content with a more compact 2-bedroom. Cheaper? For sure.

So yeah, none of this is to say you shouldn’t have kids. But just keep a few of these things in mind too when you sit down to figure out all your goals?

***

Okay. Let’s move on from the DINKs to the DINKWADs or DINKWACs, shall we?

And yeah, that’s “Double Income No Kids With A Dog/Cat”! Some people just want to experience some form of parenthood, I guess?

Again, we got a whole bunch of responses from our lovely pet parent readers and we just averaged it up for you.

But here’s what the infographic might be missing — additional medical expenses can sneak up quietly.

For instance, let’s say your pet needs an MRI scan. Even big veterinary hospitals don’t have these facilities. You might have to get it done at a human diagnostic centre. And not all of them will allow an MRI of a pet. They might need convincing. You might need to take your pet to get the scan done at ungodly hours. And it’s not going to be cheap.

In other cases, it could be the cost of an unexpected surgery. One of our readers wrote in and said that their dog had a ligament tear. And the surgery cost ₹2 lakhs!

And sometimes, it doesn’t end there. You might need to take your pet for physiotherapy sessions post-surgery too. That’s going to set you back a fair bit.

But what about health insurance for pets, you ask?

Well, they do exist. But it’s a fairly new model. It isn’t tried and tested yet. So we can’t be sure about the claims process and coverage. Rather, maybe consider building an emergency fund for your pet. It’ll come in handy someday and you’ll be glad you saved up.

Anyway, that’s it from us today. And don’t forget to tell your friends about this Milestone? Maybe you’ll help a DINK make a decision? So share away on WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and X!

Tune in for the final Edition #4 of the Money Milestones next week — We’ll be talking about the big one — FIRE! You know, Retiring Early!

See you!

Finshots’ content is only for informational purposes. Please don’t take it as the gospel truth for financial advice. Always consult a financial expert.