I don’t think we talk enough about how being single is so expensive compared to being part of a couple where both partners are earning money.
There is so much about single life that I love. How much time and freedom I have. I definitely see friends much more than when I was in a couple. I love being able to be more spontaneous about making plans, as I don’t have to check calendars or commitments with anyone else. I’m pretty much always first choice as a +1 for events when a friend’s partner can’t make it. I never have stand-up rows over flat-pack in IKEA. I am genuinely happy being single at this point in my life.
Except for one, enormous, pain-in-the-arse thing. I can’t actually afford to be single. Being single is EXPENSIVE!!!
Think about all the costs that I don’t get to split with a significant other: rent, bills, food, eating out, holidays. When I compare my spending with my couple friends, I’m actually paying so much more than them. It’s like paying a tax because I’m not coupled-up.
Holidays are the worst. The words ‘single person supplement’ should be scrubbed from the face of the earth. It’s a bit rich to call it a supplement when you’re basically paying for 1.75 people as a single person. I don’t feel any stigma around being single, except when it comes to booking a trip.
I hate that my choices are: solo’s holiday, bunk up with a friend in a twin room, or pay over the odds. I’m 33 and I love travelling alone. Stop charging me so much for the privilege of solitude!
I’m starting to feel it is a bit pointless for me to start saving for a house or anything big, as the expense is just too beyond my reach. I live in Kent and there’s nothing in my budget on a single person’s mortgage.
The way everything is set up really puts pressure on you to be in a relationship. I’d rather wait and see if I meet someone I actually like, but I’m starting to have grudging respect for the old Jane Austen rules of marrying someone for their estate.
All the Single Paydays
Dear All the Single Paydays
You’re right, we don’t talk enough about how being single is expensive. Which is crazy, because the number of one person households has risen significantly over the past 20 years and is set to increase even more.
The good news is you’re not alone (haha). There are nearly 8 million people living alone in the UK (by 2039, the number is projected to be nearly 11m). And loads more single people who are living in houseshares, or with parents or friends.
The bad news is that you definitely are paying more for your single life. The stats prove that being single is more expensive. If you live alone, then you’ll spend 92% of your disposable income (against 83% for couples). According to government surveys, you’re more likely to be renting, feel less financially secure than couples without children and report higher levels of anxiety. Yikes.
We still live in a society which wants us to couple up. A society that pushes the message that two is better than one. That makes a lot of money out of valentines and weddings. And penalises people who fly solo. It seems to us sometimes that the world has come round to the idea of all types of modern family set ups but have dragged their feet when it comes to single people.
So you are right to feel hacked off. It’s a drain on your finances and a drain on your emotions when you’re always paying for yourself and often paying more!
We want to try to help, so here’s what we’ve heard from other Lifetise members:
Holidays for singles who don’t necessarily want to mingle
“I got so sick of paying the single person supplement that now I almost always just do an Airbnb instead of a package holiday. Typically, I’ll take a room in someone’s house (always a family or a women host). It was hard at first (I’m an introvert, so I spent a lot of time hiding in my room!), but it’s really been a great way for me to get to know places better. Having a local to show me around is so helpful and I’ve met some really lovely people.”
“We’re a married couple who like to take separate solo holidays. Going on holiday by yourself is great. No-one to answer to, get up and go where and when you choose, stay out all night if you want, or laze around the sun-lounger by the pool all week. We’ve found these companies to be the best for solo travellers: Just4One; Mercury Holidays; Virgin Holidays.”
Buying a house as a single person in the UK – is it possible?
“After I split up with my partner, I felt like I’d never be able to buy a flat on my own. It made me feel quite sad actually. Then a friend told me about shared ownership. I looked into it – I wasn’t sure how it worked – and it seemed like a possibility for me. It took me another 18 months saving for a deposit, and then I was able to buy a 2 bedroom flat in Birmingham. It actually feels really special, as it’s all mine!”
“I’ve chosen to be single. I just love living on my own. All of my friends got married and I decided I didn’t want to go down that route. So I threw a party instead (sort of an un-wedding day) and asked people to chip in money towards my flat deposit. People were really generous and it’s given me a boost on my savings. I don’t mind that it might take me a bit longer to get my own place. I’ve decided that I’m totally ok renting till then.”
“I’ve managed to buy a place on my own. I got a 2 bed flat and I’ve taken a lodger to help cover the mortgage and bills.”
If you want to know how you can start saving towards buying a house as a single person, check out Homefinder.