How Not to Pay a “single Tax”

Whether you love the single life or can’t wait to get married, one thing is for sure: being single is expensive. We’ve previously covered personal finance tips you can use while you’re single, but spending on loneliness is rarely the result of personal failure. Instead, our economy favors partnerships—marriage in particular, but also in the simple fact that it pays to have a second income. Here are all the reasons why being single costs more than marriage and what you can do to save money as a single person.

Our economy is not designed to help lonely people.

From first date drinks and takeaway food for one to no one to help split the cost of a streaming subscription, there are plenty of petty expenses that come with being alone. But the real punishments for loneliness are much greater.

Writing for The Atlantic in 2013, Lisa Arnold and Christina Campbell found that over a lifetime, being single can cost $ 1 million more than being married. More recently, The Skimm reports that an unmarried woman must earn 65% of the income of a family of two in order to achieve the same standard of living as a (hetero)married couple. The reason for this, Vox explains , is that American society is “structurally antagonistic” towards single people, as many economic problems are still tied to the institution of marriage. You can see this in benefits for retirement accounts, Social Security, and health insurance. And, of course, there is the tax code, in which the registration status of “bachelor” and “married” is still rooted in middle-class marriages of home-owning couples in the 1950s. Forget about the cost of organizing a big wedding: it seems like deciding not to get married is an expensive choice.

Tips for saving money when you’re single

So what if you can’t single-handedly restructure the American tax system? Here are small but achievable tips on how to save more if you’re single.

First, determine where you can cut. The unique benefit of being single is that you are in control of your financial decisions. You can choose how and where to curb your spending without having to rely on other people or lengthy discussions.

Another easy way to save money is to improve your individual living skills, such as learning how to cook for one person. It’s good to know how not to condemn yourself to the same leftovers all week. Plus, here are some more money-saving tips at the grocery store .

Finally, learn how to fill your social life with affordable options. Avoid financial pressure from peers and offer affordable alternatives. Here is a list of ideas for social plans that won’t break the bank. And again, here are some more of our personal finance tips to use while you’re single .


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