Two can live as cheaply as one. We’ve heard this for years, but is it really true? Perhaps not, but there are definitely cost savings to be found when combining two households into one.
With that in mind, I wanted to talk a bit about an article on the costs associated with being single that I recently ran across in The Daily Telegraph. Because this is a UK publication, some of the finer details may not apply to life in the United States, but it was interesting nonetheless.
According to a survey by uSwitch, the average annual premium for being single works out to nearly $7400 (I converted to USD). This added cost is a byproduct of “having to carry the full burden of a mortgage, holiday [hotels, cruises, etc.] costs, insurance premiums and utility bills.”
When summed over your post-college years through the current average life expectancy in the United States (ages 22-78) this works out to $414, 120. By that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because it ignores the effects of increasing costs over time, as well as compounding investment returns.
No matter how you slice it, it appears that there’s an added cost to living single. The article goes on to argue that, as people marry later and live longer, homebuilders need to focus on building small homes, hotel companies should consider charging per person, and so on.
So… What do you think?
Is there really a significant financial advantage to doubling up? Or are there instances where staying single is cheaper? (Divorce and the “marriage penalty” come to mind.) Do you have any tips for saving money when living on your own?