Relationship Minimalism: Would You Be Richer as a Single?

Every now and then, when my husband spends money on something that I think is superfluous, I wonder what it would be like if my monthly financial obligations didn’t include him. I’m sure that he thinks something similar when I spend money on something that he isn’t particularly excited about. While neither of us are planning to end our marriage (at least, I don’t think we are!), the reality is that sometimes these thoughts occur.

Interestingly, they might not be too off-base. Web site TotallyMoney.com recently performed a survey looking at relationships and money, and found that many people think that being single could improve their financial situations. And, after running some of the numbers, TotallyMoney.com concluded that singles could be $4.1k ahead each year by getting out of a relationship.

Relationship and money

Why Do Relationships Cost So Much?

TotallyMoney.com broke down the costs incurred by the average single person, as well as the costs incurred by a person in a relationship. The results were higher costs in terms of dates, gifts, clothes, and vacations. Even eating takeout costs more when you are in a relationships. According to the numbers from TotallyMoney, the slightly higher monthly costs incurred by those in relationships start to add up over time.

I also wondered whether or not the average cost for someone in a relationship included long-term committed relationships, like marriage or a long-term domestic partnership (amounting to more than 10 years). If you are in a serious relationship, but you haven’t yet set up house together, there is a good chance that you are spending extra money to impress your significant other. After you’ve “settled down” into a more long-term and committed relationship, you might not need to spend as much.

Indeed, after some serious thought, I think my expenses as a single person would be about the same as they are now — but I wouldn’t have anyone to share them with. Since my husband works as well, I’d miss his income. I’d have living expenses and I’d have to take care of my son with only my income to rely on, rather than getting help from my husband’s income.

I can see where this might be something different in a single-income household, where one partner stayed home while the other worked, but in this situation, where there is a dual income, we both benefit, and our expenses are similar to those of one person, in terms of living. That “savings” of $4.1k wouldn’t be close to accounting for the income that my husband contributes to the household. Additionally, with the style of living my husband is accustomed to from my income (which is higher than his), he would be hard-pressed to come out ahead.

In the end, it probably depends on how you live, and your priorities. My husband and I are fairly modest in our wants and our expenditures, and we don’t do a lot that’s expensive, which probably provides us with some leeway in terms of wealth.

What do you think? Would you be richer single, or in a relationship?

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at MirandaMarquit.com. Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.