Looking to save money? Stay single!
It costs £2,340 more every year to have a partner than it does to stay single, according to new research from Confused.com.
Conventional wisdom says that two incomes is the best way to get ahead and the single life always seems to leave men in particular without much spare money, particularly if they have an active social life. But this in-depth study suggests that the commonly held belief is wide of the mark. To the tune of £195 a month, in fact.
Downsides to being in a couple include more family gatherings, birthdays and a bigger clan to provide for at Christmas. Restaurants also become a major expense, with people in a relationship spending 48% more on eating out. Just one-third of singles claim eating out is a major expense and it’s easy to see why – a table for one in your local restaurant could be embarrassing.
As a couple you find yourself with more wedding invitations and 19% of couples go on weekends away, while just 13% of singles indulge themselves with minibreaks.
Living with someone means the microwave meals for one or noodles are out the question, too, so the food bill tends to increase. Couples tend to focus on their home, which means that expenses for things like furniture increase and the heating bills can take a hammering.
When you’re in a couple you don’t get away with lounging around the house in old clothes, as the study found that those in a couple spend far more on looking good. The respondents to the survey felt that even buying gifts for their partner is a significant expense they could often do without and made a relationship more expensive than single life.
Of course there are still obvious advantages to living with someone. With two incomes to contribute towards the household bills, it should be a simple equation. Most of the additional costs covered by the study seem to be voluntary expenditure, so there is still a case to be made for co-habiting on a purely economic level.
The reality is that everything comes with strings attached and living with a partner involves significant lifestyle changes that can tug at the purse strings in unexpected ways. So, before you take the plunge and dive into a commitment, you might want to take some time to think about it.
Nerys Lewis, Head of Credit Cards at Confused.com, says: “The question of what’s better for your pocket – being single or in a relationship – is an argument that will always divide. People who are single might feel like they are constantly paying for things themselves; conversely, those in a relationship might forget how quickly those date nights and meals, whilst a lovely treat, add up. It might surprise people to note that being in a relationship seems to cost more than being single – despite having someone to split costs with.”