Though we often presume it's more expensive to be single than part of a couple, a new study suggests this might not necessarily be the case.
According to a poll of 4,310 Brits by YouGov and Lloyds Bank, single people said they spend £193 more of their monthly disposable income than people in couples. This adds up to around £2,300 over a year.
However, people in couples said they spend £300 more on living costs than single people, which adds up to £3,600 a year. So overall, people in relationships said they spend £1,300 more a year than single people, which obviously challenges conventional wisdom.
“We have always been told that single people are penalised financially - be it the extra cost of housing, holidays or food. So, it is fascinating to find that, when asked, single people in fact spend far less than those in a relationship," said consumer affairs expert Harry Wallop.
It's interesting to speculate how exactly being in a relationship could make life more expensive than being "self-partnered", as Emma Watson would describe it. Perhaps having two sets of friends to socialise with leads to increased spending. It's also very possible that living with just one other person, even in a one-bed flat – instead of sharing bills with a larger group of flatmates – could prove more costly.
Interestingly, the study found that despite spending less, single people also said they saved £41 less each month than people in relationships – £193 compared to £234.
"What is less heartening for singletons is that they also save less," Henry Wallop added. "Finding someone to talk to about money may be harder to do if you’re not in a relationship but being open about your spending and saving is one of the secrets to having healthy finances."
This sentiment was echoed by author Lucy Vine, who's been single and happy for eight years. "Being single has made me happier and healthier, but also braver when it comes to talking about money and I hope to encourage more people to do the same," she said.