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Whether you’re in the market for a new relationship or content with being single, managing finances while you’re flying solo can seem like a burden — but it comes with some surprising perks. While being single means not having that pillar of support to curb you from going over your budget, you have greater freedom with how to spend and save your money.
About one-third of U.S. adults (31 percent) report being single (not married or in a committed relationship), according to Pew Research Center . If you’re someone who falls into that category, one of the advantages of being single is that you can focus on working toward goals that matter to you, whether they include traveling the world or saving for retirement.
Here are some tips for singles to help them keep up with their financial goals. Key statistics for single U.S. adults
The percentage of single U.S. adults is the same for men and women at 31 percent, though the percentage is higher for men aged 18 to 29 and women aged 65 years and older.
The percentage of single adults varies by race, too — 28 percent for white adults, 27 percent for Hispanic adults and 47 percent for Black adults.
The average weekly earnings for individual, full-time workers in the second quarter of 2022 was $1,041, which, if annualized, would be over $54,000 a year.
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of single women want to buy a home regardless of whether they get married.
The predominant barrier to single women buying a home is financial instability, with 74 percent of single women reporting finances as the reason they have not purchased a home yet.
The median annual income for single adults ages 25 to 54 was $35,000 in 2019, while the median annual income for partnered adults was $49,000.
While 31 percent of single adult men and 24 percent of single adult women live with their parent(s), only 2 percent of partnered adults do.
Being single in 2022
A growing share of people in the U.S. are without a spouse or a partner. In 1990, 29 percent of adults ages 25 to 54 were single; today, that’s increased to 38 percent among the same age group. That share is even higher for adults ages 18 to 29 (41 percent). Importantly, though, the number of adults who are unmarried but cohabiting has more than doubled since 1990.
While it’s certainly not the only factor when it comes to dating, financial stability is an important quality for many singles today. In a 2021 survey by the dating service Match, it was found that 86 percent of singles want a partner with an income that’s equal to or greater than their own. Financial pros and cons of being single
For those managing their finances on their own, there are costs and benefits of not sharing financial responsibilities with a partner. On the one hand, singles have full control of what they do with their money. They don’t need to make joint financial decisions or stress about clashing money-saving habits.
Singles may be able to focus on saving more , whether that’s for retirement or other personal goals, such as buying a house or a new car. They don’t have to worry about things like couples’ retreats or pricey dates. Plus, being single might free up some time to pursue side gigs or passion projects that can further pad one’s income.
On the other hand, the unfortunate reality is that singles are more likely to be financially vulnerable than those with partners. Pew Research Center found that 37 percent of single adults are financially vulnerable, while only 26 percent of partnered adults fall into this category. One significant area where singles are more vulnerable is in housing. With the potential for two streams of income, it’s easier to pool savings for things like a down payment on a house. If renting, partners can split the rent of a shared space.
Another area where singles are at a disadvantage is taxes. Couples get tax benefits such as a potentially lower tax bracket, being able to make tax-advantaged contributions to a spouse’s IRA and having greater charitable contribution deductions.
Still, if you’re single, there are ways you can make the most of it. You alone decide what to do with your money and can focus on reaching personal financial goals. Share of average spending for singles vs. couples The chart below shows how major expenses differ between singles and those who are married without children. Each […]
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