Double Income, No Kids. If that describes your household, then I'm throwing out a challenge to you today. Ready? Live off the husband's income only.
Here is my train of thought. If there is even the slightest possibility that you'll conceive or adopt kids at some point, then they'll need a mom to be home with them. Now, I realize that families have all sorts of circumstances and that some women choose to work. I won't pretend to know your family better than you do, but I do think it's important that kids, particularly the young ones, not spend more time with other adults than they do with their own parents, if at all possible. So, for the sake of this discussion, we're assuming the women will all be home with their future kids. Okey dokey?
So if the woman is going to stay home at some point, then the couple will need to be able to live on the husband's income anyway. Why not get in the habit now? If you adjust your lifestyle to fit with one income before you become parents, then you won't be stressed by the financial change of a job loss when that first son or daughter makes its appearance.
Maybe you're thinking you're excluded from this crazy idea of mine because you have absolutely no desire to adopt and it's medically impossible for you to conceive. No such luck. I still think you should take the challenge. It's obviously going to benefit those who will be parents someday in a more practical way than those who won't, but I still think the permanently childless DINKs should give it a shot.
Now what are DINKs going to do with the money the wife is bringing in if they aren't allowed to use it in their monthly budget? Well, I'm glad you asked. Your first priority should be to make extra payments toward any debt that you have (house, school, car, credit cards, etc). Once that debt is paid off, then use the wife's income for other extras - retirement, college funds for future kids, home improvements. Is your debt gone? No other financial needs? Then give the wife's paycheck away!!
Give it away? All of it? Sure. All of it. Or at least most of it. After all, which of these things would ultimately be more rewarding? Going out to eat twice a week or paying the electric bill for a single mom? Getting a manicure and pedicure or filling the gas tank of a broke family's car? Taking a really spendy vacation or paying a college kid's tuition for a term? Spending a couple Saturdays a month at the golf course or making a donation to someone working with orphans overseas? Driving two brand new cars or buying a bunch of groceries for a different broke family each month? Going on an exotic vacation or paying the hospital bills for a family with an unexpected medical emergency? Buying the latest electronic gadget or helping to finance a medical clinic in a third world country?
Think I'm a grinch about money? That I don't think you should have any fun of your own? Nope. That's not the case at all. I'm a big fan of fun and I think you should have some fun with your husband's paycheck. I just think the DINKs have an awesome opportunity to be a blessing to those in need, a chance that many, if not most, families with a SAHM don't have simply because their income is lower and their expenses are higher. And in the process the DINKs get used to living on one income.
Not a DINK home? Don't think any of this applies to you? I'd have to disagree. We should all avoid debt. We should all plan ahead. We should all give.
So, do you think I'm brilliant? Insane?