HW: #TuesdayThoughts: Is being single economically smart?

During one of my Economics classes at the university, my professor stated that being married is a fiscally smart idea. You have two incomes (hopefully) and only one bill to pay. If you are a romantic, you might scoff, because “all you need is love” and money just fades away. But the reality is often less than romantic.

Sure, chances are that you have to spend slightly more on some utilities (water for 1 shower vs. for two) or groceries (2 people eat more than 1. It is simple math.), but overall, you end up spending less per capita than if you were to live alone. Suddenly, my professor does not sound so calloused anymore.

There are plenty of people in the world who latch onto rich partners for financial security. It might seem deplorable for some of you, but money does make a lot of things easier. Yes, I still believe in being someone for love and not money. However, I definitely see the difference between what I used to spend when I was single and now.

Being single can be fun. There is nothing wrong with that. If that is the case, why are stores punishing those that are not living with someone else? “Stores?” – you ask. Yes, stores. “But, Goldie, don’t you buy less if you’re single?” Yes, and that precisely is the problem.

As a single person, I would never buy anything in bulk, because it would take me forever to eat/use it. Sure, I could spend a couple of pennies and buy a whole watermelon, but I would not eat it before it went bad, so I had to resort to buying only a couple of slices that were prepackaged. These are way more expensive than the whole fruit. It was a “damned if I do and damned if I do not” type of scenario. I would buy a big chunk of meat and cook it in hopes I would eat it for the next couple of days. Most of the time, that food ended up in the trash, because my body is not the biggest fan of leftovers. I can try and eat the same thing for dinner and lunch the next day, but anything past that and my body says: “No.”

The biggest issue that I had was probably with milk. Why are the small cartons/bottles so much more expensive than the gallon jugs? Milk is something that can spoil quite quickly, so I would have to shell out extra money to make sure I just get a certain amount of it sitting in my fridge.

Some people suggested I find a roommate, which would allow me to share expenses, but I had none of it. The only time in my life when I had roommates (i.e. strangers living in my house) was college. Two words: NEVER AGAIN.

Another big thing I noticed is the phone bill. When a part of a family/bundle plan, you pay a lot less than on a single’s plan.

There was a study conducted in the UK a few years back that showed singles spending $320,000 more in their lifetime than couples. It is because more and more things are geared towards pairs. For example, if you decide to go on vacation, you will pay the same price for a hotel room if you stay in it by yourself or with your partner. In the latter instance, you can split the cost. In the former, not so much…

It does not help that singles spend more money on getting drunk and buying clothes than people in relationships. At least in the UK. Single people in Australia spend about $1,000 on dates per year.

This Holiday season, if you are single, are you expected to buy a gift for everyone in a specific family while they only have to get one for you from their single unit? Think about all the presents you buy for people’s weddings and their kids’ showers and B-days, etc. And what do you get in return? You get punished for being single.

If you die, your money goes to your spouse for free. However, if you want to leave it to someone else, there are various taxes put upon that inheritance.

Next time you are heading for Splitsville, think about the cost of being single.

Why are singles being punished? Maybe there should be some sort of protest? I found a Facebook group “Fairness for Single People” where people discuss fair/unfair business practices in regards to single people.

Have you noticed paying more as a single?

Do you have any tips on how to spend less as a single?

Stay golden,

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24 thoughts on “HW: #TuesdayThoughts: Is being single economically smart?

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  1. Singles are economically disadvantaged in general. In my particular case, I’ve done better single and not dating (dating is expensive for women with all the prep most of us do). That said, I am going to have a roommate because of the crazy rents here. Hopefully it will work out!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Milk goes bad fast, so I couldn’t buy it in bulk. Cook in bulk and freeze? Too much work with packaging and the reheated stuff doesn’t taste as good.

      I’m glad I don’t have to figure that out anymore, having someone to share the expenses with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting article. I found I spent less on food as a single. I got away with a carton of eggs, fruits, veggies, rice, beans and nachos. When I was single food didn’t matter much. Being in a relationship there’s more focus on meals, it’s more fun cooking and eating with someone, going out to dinner and traveling. I stuck to my budget much easier as a single and lived a quiet simplified life. A single income did not leave room for play.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I totally understand what you are saying. Since I have been living alone (last three years), I can’t believe how much food I have thrown away because it has gone bad, or given away. I try to freeze what I can, but it is hard to buy small amounts of things. Single people are definitely economically disadvantaged when it come to grocery shopping.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Freezing and thawing things alters the flavor, too. Is there someone else that lives nearby whom you could share your meals with? Maybe a neighbor? You could alternate days or weeks when one of you would cook and the other one would come over for dinner.

      Like

  4. I really don’t know how people do it on their own where I live. If I never had someone to help me out, I’d have a really hard time making it. That said, my needs and wants are a lot different than most, so who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The most expensive time is the beginning of the relationship when you don’t have a joint bank account.
    And the man always pays? Not in my relationship 😅

    It took him time to realize that a joint account and living together was much cheaper 😉

    Like

  6. The cost of living today? Most jobs are barely above minimum wage in this new “gig” economy. Unless you make upwards of $50,000 all by yourself, singles can’t survive on their own. Not these days…

    There are 9 states & the DOC where housing prices are all over $300,000 on average, regardless of size. How does a single person afford a home on “barely above” minimum wage? And, feed themselves…

    I had an easier time supporting myself in my early 20s in the late 80s than I could, now.

    All of this is a perfect example of how our currency is nearly worthless (thank you FDR & Nixon…you f*** heads).

    Liked by 1 person

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