Even though being single can definitely be exhilarating, there are also times when the world can make you feel bad about your solo status — like when you go to family gatherings (please stop asking me when I will get a boyfriend, Grandma), or on certain holidays that fall on February 14th (yes, these flowers are from my mom and dad) . Well, unfortunately it look like Grandma is getting more ammo for next Thanksgiving; a new report finds that being single is more expensive than being in a relationship. Yikes.
The main reason that singles have more expenses than their coupled friends? Those who are paired up can split the cost of many everyday expenditures. If a couple is living together, they can split the financial burden of rent, household items, and utility bills. Vacations mean pooling two paychecks for a hotel room and rental car split two ways, and special deals just for two. Plus, necessary services like cell phone plans and health clubs also offer discounts or lower prices when two people sign up at once.
And sure, you could be thinking, as I did, that friends or roommates could split all of these costs just as efficiently. Not so much — firstly, couples tend to share one-bedroom apartments, meaning that their rent is lower than your shared two-bedroom from the get-go. Also, couples are more likely to splits costs like groceries and nights out, as well as seasonal expenses like holiday gifts. Not only that, but life can get even less costly when couples tie the knot: According to one study, the corporate benefits that a single person receives amounts to 25 percent less than the packages offered to their married colleagues. When Social Security and taxes are factored in, a single person can end up paying $1 million more over their lifetime than their married counterparts.
But before you start frantically hitting up your mom for the number of all of those mensches that she was telling you about, know that there are benefits to being single, too. When it comes to health, single women tend to have it better than women who are coupled up. These women are more likely to stay fit than coupled women, who, studies show, tend to gain weight over the course of their relationships. And yes, women in happy relationships can be healthier than their single counterparts due to their emotional support systems, too: Women in unhappy marriages can experience many adverse health effects, including depression and cardiac problems. Furthermore, for couples that make it all the way to marriage, divorce might be a costly endeavor later on that can lead to financial hardship.
Basically, there are benefits and drawbacks to being single and being in a relationship — but the perks (or disadvantages!) shouldn’t hold you back from pursuing whichever lifestyle will make you happiest, Social Security policies be damned. But if you are still worried, we drafted up this incredibly helpful list of pros and cons of being in a money-saving couple.
PRO: You can split the cost of holiday gifts.
“Love, Amanda and Pete” is just as appreciated as "Love, Amanda" and "Love, Pete."
CON: You receive couple holiday gifts, as well.
Do you really need three scented candles for your house? Nope. Would you have preferred that amazing lipstick you had your eye on? Yep. Oh well.
PRO: Groceries go a lot further when you're splitting the costs.
And you can both split cooking duties, too.
CON: You can't get mad at your SO for finishing "your" milk.
Because there is no longer any such thing as "your" milk. It's "our" milk now.
PRO: That studio apartment in your favorite area of town is finally affordable
CON: You've crammed two people into a space that's really only meant for one person.
And yes, you will feel like you're on top of each other all the time.
PRO: You can feel a little less guilty about your subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
It's totally worth it for two people, especially if you jettison cable...
CON: Having to kick his friends, to whom he gave the passwords, off Netflix when you want to watch a show.
...Just don't let anyone else take advantage of your accounts.
Images: Fotolia; Giphy (5)