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Does it cost more to be single?

A recent study commissioned by an online comparison site claims living alone costs the single sector an EXTRA £250,000 each over a lifetime. Bearing the full burden of a mortgage or rent, holidays and bills all adds up and single people spend more over the course of their life because they’re not part of a couple.

The ‘Singles Tax’ myth or fact? 

The biggest aspect of what the study refers to as the “singles tax” is housing, with people who live alone having to pay an average of £7,080 a year on mortgage or rent compared with £3,804 for someone living with a partner. Then there are household bills and council tax. Expensive single hotel rooms and the lack of opportunity for bulk buying at the supermarket are additional penalties.

Other leading financial experts don’t think it’s so clear cut, with the art of being a clever consumer more or less the same for single people as anyone else; dropping down a brand, making a shopping list, menu planning, – are all ways of cutting supermarket bills for everyone. But as we know, they do acknowledge it’s harder for singles when it comes to the cost of a holiday.

Overall comparing the spending of people living on their own with couples, researchers found that single people pay ‘a hefty financial penalty’ for going it alone. Only one in five believe they get a better deal than couples.

Whilst couples do have a clear advantage with their buying power another school of thought says there are some other advantages for single people, with tax credits and benefits penalising couples. With people changing their status and ‘single’ circumstances all the time, it’s difficult to quantify just how much extra being single actually costs.

But with the number of single-person households forecast to reach 17 million and more over the next decade is this the case? And if it is, what can be done to minimise the price of being single?

Is being single an unfair financial disadvantage or an advantage? What do you think? 

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