Many people assume that being single allows you to save more money. So much so that unmarried women are dubbed the “rich auntie” who will spoil all her nieces and nephews with expensive gifts. And of course, being single means never having to buy an anniversary, Valentine’s, and birthday gift for your significant other.
But are single people really as moneyed as they’re perceived? It makes sense to assume that they are since they also don’t pay for someone’s education unless they voluntarily send a relative to school. Overall, however, they have more liberty to decide how to manage their finances, which may allow them to save more than their married counterparts. Marriage, after all, requires endless budgeting for never-ending expenses.
If you decided to stay unmarried for economic reasons, this article will let you know if you can indeed achieve your financial goals faster by staying single.
Buying a Home: Single vs. Married
If you’re getting a mortgage loan, your marital status may affect the chances of your approval. Though mortgage lenders won’t hold your singlehood against you, the fact that you don’t maintain a double-income household may affect your credit, and that’s where their scrutiny will come from. With only one person making money in a household, the total household income is lower than that of a married couple.
Of course, that won’t be a problem if your income is high enough. You should also reduce your debts and pay all your bills on time. Your credit score becomes higher the more you save and the less you spend on debt.
Note, however, that getting married won’t automatically increase your chances of being approved for a loan. Again, income and debts matter, so even if you’re in a double-income household, your credit score may still fall if you don’t reduce your joint debt. Moreover, if you have too many high expenses, such as childcare, education, and housekeeping, a lender may deem you incapable of repaying the loan. Your spouse’s individual credit score will be considered, too. If they have bad credit, a lender may deny you a loan, even you yourself are credit-worthy.
Hidden Costs: Single vs. Married
There are almost no hidden costs in marriage, save for the wedding. Dress alterations, souvenirs, transportation, service fees, non-venue-approved professionals, and license fees are the usual hidden costs in a wedding. Because of this, the saying “invest in your marriage, not in your wedding” became popular.
If you’d stay single, your life will be plagued with hidden costs, sadly. And on top of that, you may end up with less cash in the bank, despite the greater financial freedom you enjoy. Your home expenses, for one, tend to be heavier on the pockets, since you don’t share the burden with a spouse or significant other. Though your utility bills and groceries may be cheaper, you can’t say the same with your rent or mortgage, cable, internet, pet care, and credit card fees. Without anyone to split those bills with, your monthly outlay can hurt your income pretty badly.
Gifts are another costs many single people are burdened with. Since their family members expect them to give expensive gifts to their relatives, they feel pressured to indeed buy them expensive gifts. Though you can definitely avoid that trap, you may not dodge the expectation.
Taxes, retirement accounts, health plans, and social security are hidden costs as well. Married couples receive many tax benefits, unlike single people. With regard to individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and healthcare plans, there are significant disadvantages in how those are designed for single people. If you were to be fired, for example, you can only extend your healthcare coverage for 18 months, whereas if you were married, you would’ve been allowed to extend it for up to 36 months.
But none of those hidden costs are probably as big and problematic as social security. Because you’re single, your contributions will revert to the government. You can’t have beneficiaries, not even yourself.
Stay Single or Get Married?
Of course, the choice is totally up to you. But if you’re basing your decision on the financial advantages alone, getting married but not having kids is the best way to go. With a spouse, you can have a double-income household, share your expenses, and enjoy your joint savings more freely, because you don’t have kids. You can also invest your windfalls for profitable pursuits like stock trading or a small business.
But you can also do those things without a spouse. You can cohabit with a partner or live alone altogether, choose to be childless, and grow your wealth tremendously. The likelihood of your success should never depend on your marital status. You can be both happy and wealthy with or without a spouse, rich aunt, or uncle who spoils their nieces and nephews or not.