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Marriage Can Save You Money, but Here’s Why it Can Also Pay to be Single
I am very, very single. And I’m OK with it.
Look, I’m a really nice girl. But I’m young, and men my age
absolutely suck just aren’t meeting my standards right now.
A recent article in MarketWatch reminded me of all the financial disparities singles face. But when it included this quote from “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw, it really hit me hard, considering I just graduated college:
“If you are single, after graduation, there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you,” she said.
Carrie Bradshaw was only talking about gift-giving, but the article goes beyond that, claiming that being single can cause you to experience some major financial drawbacks throughout your life.
Is this true? Am I doomed to foot the bill of my adult necessities on my own? Am I going to be single and poor for the rest of my life?
After taking a closer look, I’m not convinced.
Being Single Sucks for Your Wallet — or Does it?
Being married means you’re showered with seemingly endless amounts of free s–t.
Weddings include abundances of perfectly wrapped presents simply because two people made the major life decision our society seems obsessed with.
I recently watched my sister get married and rake in a sofa, pots and pans, plates, wine glasses, a bar cart and more — all for free, thanks to her posh Crate & Barrel wedding registry.
Single people, on the other hand, get the cold shoulder when they hit milestones in perfect stride — all because they’re doing it alone.
As this article in The Atlantic says, “trips are not planned when we're promoted at work, nor crystal glassware gifted when we buy our first homes. It seems that milestone celebrations are still reserved for couples and families.”
So, yeah — my fellow single peeps and I are left in the cold when it comes to free stuff, all because we aren’t putting a ring on it.
The MarketWatch article also brought up some obvious points, like how people in relationships save money on dating costs and housing.
Couples who live together not only save money on rent, but they also save big on daily expenses, such as groceries and household chores, because they’re splitting it all in half.
Cutting those expenses in half does sound like a dream, but I’m not downloading Tinder anytime soon.
Still, there are even more financial benefits to marriage that single pringles don’t have access to, such as the tax advantages of filing jointly and the ability to lean on someone financially, should something prevent you from working.
(Look, I can’t argue about tax benefits, but I think you should have your own emergency fund whether you’re single or coupled. Just sayin’.)
Married men make nearly $16,000 more per year than single men, according to this American Enterprise Institute study, although the study also found that married men work more hours than their single peers.
And what about women? The study found that despite married women working fewer hours than their single counterparts, the difference in incomes between married and single women is not statistically significant.
Why Being Single Could Save You Money
There are major financial perks to being married, so is it time to bite the bullet and fling yourself into the dating world?
Well, not exactly. There can be some major setbacks.
One thing you don’t have to worry about when you’re single? According to The Knot’s Real Weddings Survey, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. soared to $35,329 in 2016.
I think my stomach just fell to the floor.
Don’t forget the ring, either. The same study found the average engagement ring costs $6,163. **gulp**
Also, I hate to be grim, but 40% to 50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. And while there’s no set number on how much one can cost, The Huffington Post reported a divorce could cost between $15,000 and $20,000.
As for me, there’s no amount of money or free things that could convince me to settle down with someone I wasn’t 100% gaga over — even if that means having to buy my own plates (most likely from the dollar store).
That said, I’m going to enjoy my solitude — for now, at least.
Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.