How Much Does it Cost to be Single?
In answer to my question: a lot. When you’re single you don’t have the support of a partner to split the bills at dinner, share the responsibility of rent or even split the fare of a taxi. You pay for everything at full price, whether you want to or not. This made me wonder how much does it cost to be single?
Now I’m single, happily so although many people will think I’m lying.
Things I love about being single
- Getting the bed to myself
- Managing my own time without having to consider anyone else for the most part
- Being able to travel solo and go exactly where I want without having to worry about who’s paying when what amount and how
- Eating what I like, when I like
- Watching what I like, when I like
- Doing what I like, when I like
You get the gist. It also helps that I am very independent. But don’t take this to think that I never want to have a relationship. I do date and have had relationships in the past, but right now it’s not what I want.
But, it would be helpful for the sake of my bank balance!
What are the things I have to pay for entirely by myself?
I pay £800 rent per month, to rent a tiny studio flat in London. If I were in a couple I could rent a 1-2 bedroom flat in central London for between £1,250 and £1,500 and I would be contributing less than what I’m paying now.
All of the bills are my own responsibility. Luckily I have a flat where the gas, water and council tax are included – which helps a lot – but I still have to pay electricity, TV licence and internet on my own. This comes to around £50-£100 per month.
All of the food I buy is for myself so I’m lucky in the sense that I don’t have to buy double the load, but I also have to purchase it entirely out of my own pocket and it’s a lot harder to cook meals for one than it is for two. I often end up cooking meals for two, for the sake of having leftovers the following day. But some meals are not conducive to leftovers, and therefore there can be a bit of waste.
No teaming up to buy important presents. When it comes to birthdays, Christmas, christenings, weddings and more presents come from my pocket alone. Because I’m single I don’t have the extra adage of having to pay for presents from a partner’s family and friends, but I don’t have the option of saying ‘shall we go halves on this £30 fragrance set or £50 jewellery.
Also, on the present front, as I get older I’m getting more and more invites to things like Christenings, Weddings and Hen Dos. But, as Carrie Bradshaw famously points out in Sex and the City, where the hell are the gift opportunities for singletons?
If I’m still single by the time I’m 40-50 I’m going to throw myself a life shower, a self-love wedding and get re-christened for the sake of having the gifts thrown at me!
I love travelling solo, but sometimes it would be nice to have someone alongside me. Not to travel together and experience things with me but for someone else to pay for half the room and flights. Not to mention the amount of money you overspend whilst holidaying on food, tickets and souvenirs.
There are so many things that when you’re single you can’t afford to do because you don’t have that fall-back guy or girl to help you.
You have to work extra hard to get savings together. If you’re thinking about going freelance you’ll really need to plan it, as it’s a lot harder when you’re own than it is when you have someone to support you if things are tough. If you’re a single parent, you’ve got all of those additional costs which I can’t even begin to think about.
Thoughts on being single
Being single costs a lot. And the irony is there is no gift-buying session to help you out like there is for a wedding or a christening. There are no help-to-buy for single people – in fact, if you’re looking for a mortgage when you’re single you’re considered a higher risk and you’ll get offered less even if you have the same deposit as a couple.
However, I’m not about to jump into a relationship solely for the fact that I would quite like to get out of my overdraft and maybe move into a bigger place. What’s the point?
I just wish that single people felt comfortable speaking up about the difficulties we face financially, compared to others. Not in a pity-me kind of way, but simple: I’m broke, but I’m free kind of way.
Because, ultimately, that is what I am. Broke, but free. And freedom, thankfully, is priceless.