Is the world made for married people? Sometimes it can look like it.
There is plenty of evidence one can find to make this case. The most common example people have in mind is how your income is treated differently by tax authorities based on your relationship status. This can also impact how easily you can access housing, as married couples are deemed to be more stable, plus the multitude of health benefits that can be extended to family members.
And there’s always the shared expenses and dual income making it apparently easier for married couples to get to financial freedom. According to financial planner Claire Walsh, single people don’t bear half of the expenses of someone in a couple - that number could vary between 80-90%.
However, being single can also be a great driver for your personal finances. Hone it and you may take all advantage of new investment opportunities.
The name of that driver?
Freedom. (Or independence, if you prefer it).
With so much and pervasive messaging urging people to find a life partner, it’s easy to lose sight of what you do have as a single person.
The freedom of lifestyle design
This is probably the most visible side of the financial freedom single people can experience. And it is visible to all, as the number of single-person households increased by 18.7% in the EU from 2010-2019.
In the end, each and every financial matter is managed by only one person.
This means there is no need to argue over a budget, to discuss whether an unexpected amount of money should be invested or used on a vacation or to defend the financial goals that are appropriate for the life you want. Financial compatibility is not that easy to find.
Yes, there may be the only person paying for the car, but that means there is no argument as to who is driving and where to.
This ranges from the most trivial financial decisions (what’s for dinner today?) to some of the most life-defining moments (will you move forward with your business?).
The freedom from hidden baggage
After establishing that single people are relatively free to make their own decisions when it comes to money, there is also a second half to consider.
Namely, that they also don’t need to worry about someone else’s decisions.
No worries regarding erratic spending patterns nor credit card debt quietly building up.
Unforeseen events still can - and will - occur, but in dealing with financial mistakes, single people are more likely to deal with the ones they are responsible for.
It is this same responsibility that makes it all the more important to make a financial plan and aim for growth, but that also can provide another level of predictability.
The freedom of flexibility
Households can be like companies in the sense that the smaller they are, the more flexibility they enjoy.
The single person may decide to temporarily go into extreme saving efforts to boost investment contributions or to reach an important milestone faster.
Sacrificing oneself for something important? Achievable. Sacrificing a partner, and even a whole family? Not so much.
After all, at this point there is hardly any financial decision that ends up affecting only one person.
Something as simple as investing more time in one’s career means dedicating less time to their partner.
Leverage your assets
If you find yourself in this situation, you may now realise the possibility that lies ahead of you.
The question is, how will you use it?
For all that is worth, there are still some challenges faced by the single person and single income household.
Investing in yourself is an option for you to overcome them, and that doesn’t mean you have to forget about other people.
Single, but not alone. Share this with someone single that could use a new outlook.