7 Ways Being Single is Better for Your Bank Account


Valentine's Day is once again fast approaching. People in relationships are saving up to treat their partner to something special. And for those seeking romance, it's a great opportunity to drop a few hints with a card and candy. But for the millions of people who are single, this time of year can really suck.

If you fall into the latter category, take heart. You may not be part of a couple, but your bank account will adore you. Here's why.

1. Valentine's Day is a money suck

Romance is big business in America, and retailers will do everything they can to get you opening your wallet. In 2017, USA Today found that Americans spent over $18 billion on the day for lovers.

Think about all the good that money could have done; schools, hospitals, care for sick people. Instead, it was spent on overpriced roses, chocolates, teddy bears, jewelry, fancy meals, and lingerie. This equates to the average consumer spending around $137 on February 14, although clearly some people are spending way more.

If you're single and like the idea of chocolates and flowers, wait until the day after. They'll be reduced by 50 to 75 percent (or more in some cases) for the exact same products. (See also: 14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine's Day)

2. Your food budget goes a lot further

When you're shopping for two, you spend a lot more than when you're on your own. For a start, the chances of you both loving all the same foods is slim. Speaking from personal experience, I can meal prep the same food that I love for the whole week and eat it every night. It's cheap, it's balanced, and it suits me just fine. In a couple, that was a complete no-go. The same meal every night? No way. That means more ingredients, more recipes, and more money.

What's more, dining out as a single person is not as attractive a proposition as dining with a partner, so less is spent on restaurants and other eateries. And when you do eat out alone, you're spending at least half as much. Couples have a tendency to splurge on wine, desserts, and so on. When you're eating alone, you don't want to linger for as long, and that means less time to eat, drink, and spend. Those savings are delicious.

3. Weddings aren't cheap

If you're fretting about the couples around you that are planning to get married, this little statistic should ease the pain considerably: According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the USA in 2016 was a staggering $35,329.

That is up $2,688 from 2015, which means you can expect that average to be even higher this year. After the cost of food and wine, renting a venue, a DJ or band, flowers, cake, invitations, photographs, and favors, the average price per guest rose to $245.

That's right, you're spending that much for each and every guest you invite. And let's not forget the cost of the wedding dress, the ring, and the expensive honeymoon after the big day. You can easily kick-start married life with over $40,000 in debt. Consider that next time you see a couple walk down the aisle.

4. You have time to focus on your career and your finances

Relationships eat up time. There's just no getting around that fact. Of course, people in happy relationships will point out that it's exactly the reason they're seeing someone; they want to spend time in the company of someone they love, and why wouldn't they? But this has to come with a sacrifice, and usually it's the career and the ability to make money that suffers.

The relationship will take a hit if one of you is working late night after night, or canceling plans at the weekend to pitch on new business. Guilt sets in, and instead of devoting time to a higher salary and new opportunities, it becomes the norm to spend free time eating out, going to movies, and taking weekend trips to the mountains or the beach. That means instead of using your free time to earn money, you're using it to spend money. (See also: 13 Ways to Make Money From Valentine's Day)

5. No more spending money on gifts

Aside from Valentine's Day, there are plenty of other dates on the calendar that make you spend money. Birthdays, anniversaries, and major holidays will hit you in the bank account throughout the year. Depending on what your partner is into, these gifts can set you back hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. Forget the watches, clothes, gadgets, and gift cards, and instead save the money. Or, buy yourself something you've always wanted. (See also: 12 Fun Facts About Valentine's Day Spending)

6. Vacations are cheaper alone

Most couples like to do things the traditional (and expensive) way when they go on vacation. A hotel room, rental car, taxis, shows, restaurants, and bars are usually part of the mix. But when you're single, your options open up considerably, and the cost of your vacation can drop dramatically.

For a start, as a single traveler, a site like Couchsurfing can be a huge money-saver, and it's also a great way to meet other people and make new friends. You could also use Airbnb to find a bedroom in a local house that is way cheaper than a hotel room. You don't have to compromise on anything. Eat the food you want. Go where you want. Spend as little as you want. Single travelers have much more freedom, and way more options available. When you have more options, you have more opportunities to save money.

7. Two people means double the debt

The average person with credit card debt owes $5,331 on their cards, according to CreditDonkey. When you become part of a serious relationship, and get married, you combine the debts you owe. That means you are now responsible for twice what you were before.

Admittedly, you probably have two salaries (although not every couple has two incomes), but it can become daunting to look at the combined debts you have to pay off. As a single person, your debts are your own. And you can choose to live very frugally to pay off your debts, which can be a lot more difficult to do when your partner doesn't want to eat ramen and eggs four times a week.

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