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Are single people or couples better off financially?

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Research by suggests single people are better off than couples to the tune of £2,340 annually, on average.

According to the data, UK consumers in a relationship spend £195 a month more on living costs than those who are single.

In respect of household costs (e.g. rent, mortgage, and bills), people in a relationship spend an average of £538 a month, compared to single people who shell out £421. Those in a relationship spend, on average, £144 a month on socialising compared to £139 for single people.

In respect of household essentials such as food, people in a couple pay an average of £200 per month, compared with £148 for singles. This extra costs equates to £624 annually.

The findings are notable as the findings suggest that 84% of those in a relationship live with their partner, meaning they are likely to split rent and bills.

Are singles better off financially?

  Monthly cost of being single Monthly cost of being in a relationship
Household Costs £421 £538
Hobbies and Socialising £139 £144
Travel Costs £100 £121
Food and household essentials £148 £200
Total per month £808 £1003
Total yearly cost £9,696 £12,036


In respect of monthly spending, there are stark differences between what people in relationships spend their money on, compared to those who are single.

Nearly half (48%) of those in a relationship say they spend money on eating meals out. Just over a third (37%) of singles say they spend on the same. Just under a fifth (19%) of those in a relationship say they spend their money on weekends away, less than one in eight (13%) of single people say they do.

Those with a partner are also nearly twice as likely to spend money on gym memberships – one in seven (15%) compared to just under one in 10 (8%) single people. Those in a relationship are also more likely to spend their cash on buying clothes – more than a third (38%) compared to just 32% of single people.

Interestingly, 16% of those in a relationship think they spend less money when they are in a relationship, while nearly a third (31%) of singles think they spend more money when they are in a relationship.

Nevertheless, those in a relationship have the upper hand in respect of special occasions. 43% say they split the cost of buying presents for special occasions – compared to 31% of singles who do the same.

“The question of what’s better for your pocket – being single or in a relationship – is an argument that will always divide,” said Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at

 People who are single might feel like they are constantly paying for things themselves; conversely, those in a relationship might forget how quickly those date nights and meals, while a lovely treat, add up. It might surprise people to note that being in a relationship seems to cost more than being single – despite having someone to split costs with.

“One in five of us turn to our credit cards to help fund these days out. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, people shouldn’t rely on their credit cards as a way of funding these events.”

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