I just came across this article on the MSN Homepage and thought I’d post it to my blog as it the style of it made me giggle as well as hitting home a totally valid, though slightly misguided focus-wise, point – that it’s far more expensive to ‘be single’ in today’s world. I would, however, rephrase that statement to read “living on your own/with a random” as, for me, I incur a lot of the costs that are mentioned in this blog despite having the gorgeous Stu for company. Although I may incur these extra costs at a slightly lower frequency (though realistically it’s not that much different!), they are costs incurred nevertheless.
For some reason, I’ve started to enjoy reading some of the random MSN articles of late; though they’re only half decent if you’re able to identify the source and spin to be honest as most of them seem to be written or sponsored by people working for companies who want to to sell you their product…
That said, the mention of any service provider, company or other such professional body in below text does not constitute an opinion on my part of the company/organisation referenced – I have meerly reposted an article as it was originally posted at source.
Can you afford to be single?
Thanks to soaring fuel and food prices, inflation is now at its highest level in almost six years. Managing these rising costs on two salaries is hard work; handling them when you’ve only got one income coming in is even harder.
Statistics show by 2020 40% of UK households will be home to singletons. Yet singletons are often overlooked by financial services providers and many find that being single can work out more expensive than being in a couple. According to Cahoot, the internet bank, financing a single life costs almost as much as for a couple.
It found that someone living alone with a £140,000 mortgage and earning £35,000-a-year can expect to spend £1,185 a month. That’s only £60 less than a couple would expect to spend.
The London Magazine calculated that this extra cost of living tots up to £266,000 over a lifetime. While other studies have shown that single people get the short end of the wedge when it comes to all sorts of things, from being expected to work longer hours – for no additional pay – to discrimination when it comes to everything from tax breaks to credit card applications and even car insurance.
Paul Samrah, a financial expert with accountants Kingston Smith, said there are straightforward reasons why being single can hit your pocket hard.
“There is the straightforward lack of an additional income and the economies of scale that you just don’t get when you’re not in a couple,” he said.
But before you decide to shack up with the first person you see next, or dive head-long into a relationship you don’t want, or even go back to live with your mum and dad just for the sake of convenience, here are some ways you can limit your expenditure.
Singletons typically pay more for car insurance
When it comes to car insurance, singles usually have to pay more than couples.
According to Tesco compare.com, a 35-year-old woman would pay £232.55 to insure a Ford Puma in her name only. But if she were to add on her 36-year-old partner as a named driver, the annual premium would fall by almost £60.
“If you add a spouse to your policy, then the chances are that your premium will come down because of the shared risk,” explained Niki Bolton from insurer eSure. “We call it the ‘family factor’.”
Richard Mason from Insuresupermarket.com said your marital status can trim your bill by as much as £200. “We wouldn’t suggest getting married to save money on insurance, but shop around to get the best deal and if your marital status does change, let your insurer know, as it could reduce your monthly premiums,” he advised.
Single people spend twice as much on socialising
On the whole, single people go out more. More than twice as often as their coupled-up counterparts, in fact.
As a result singletons spend up to five nights in the pub at a cost of at least £340-a -ear, according to one recent survey. Furthermore, a 12% of hardcore singe party animals admit to using up nearly a fifth of their annual salary on having a good time. That’s 30% more than the average spent by people in a relationship.
And it’s not only the cost of being out that adds up, it’s the cost of getting ready to go out too. It’s been shown that unattached women spend more than twice as much as men on looking their best. Then there’s the cost of those cabs home to top the bill off. Being single and “out on the town” costs serious money.
But it’s not just constant nights out on the tiles that take their financial toll. Go to a dinner party, a wedding, a birthday party, whatever; unless you share the cost with a friend, you end up paying more as an individual than a couple, who get to split the cost between them. So next time you’re in a position where you’re expected to cough up for a flash gift, go halves with a mate. And save yourself a few quid.
Single shopping bills hit by inflation and lifestyle
If you find you usually end up filling the bin with last week’s supermarket shopping, it’s time to take steps to trim the fat. Otherwise single people are going to find they’re far worse hit by rising food costs than their married counterparts.
Food prices have increased. But they don’t make half pats of butter and you can’t buy half a pint of milk – so singletons end up spending more. And often binning more.
Let’s face it, family-sized packs of food and BOGOF deals are all well and good when you’ve got a family of six to feed, but when it’s just you (and you’re out five nights a week) they’re a complete waste of time, money and produce.
Unless you’re hosting a party, or dinner party, in which case they come in very handy. Because when you’ve got to feed your ravenous friends and their even greedier other halves you need all the help you can get to keep costs down.
Otherwise though, don’t give in to temptation and pick up these two-for-one deals unless you know you will use them. And if you do find you’ve given in to temptation and filled your trolley mile high, you could always consider splitting bulk buys with a friend.
The great single travel swindle
One of the other key singleton rip-offs is travel. And mostly accommodation costs. Single occupancy rooms often cost the same as for a couple, because for some reason, hotels think it’s OK to charge through the nose for lone guests.
But there is way round it – book your accommodation with a website that caters for single travellers, or even try the likes of lastminute.com. Their low-cost room-only deals mean you can often secure a more competitive rate – whether you’re half of a couple or on your own.