|- Marvel Comics Retro|
So, ages and ages ago I read this really good book called Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. In it, the author describes how so many things are designed for married couples - married folks get better deals on travel deals, auto insurance and club memberships. Married people are able to add their spouse (and children) to their work insurance, but single people can't add anybody else.
None of these things apply to me, as I a) can't afford to travel anywhere (though there are lots of places I'd like to go to!), b) don't drive, c) don't belong to any clubs. But think about it. Sooo many things are designed to be shared between two people (or a family of four), and if both of those people have incomes, then they are each spending less than one single person would.
|Even in The Game of Life, you get more points when you have little people in your car.|
Now, if you go on a dollar-by-dollar basis and look at a couple where only one person works, then the couple probably spends more money per person (because that's one salary paying for two peoples' lives). But if both are working? Total ripoff for single people!
|Bridget Jones is ANGRY! Why are singletons being SUBJUGATED in this manner?|
Must smoke twice as many cigarettes to make up for it.
It goes both ways, I suppose. Having kids means you have to buy more food and clothes (and they can't work to earn their keep - damn labour laws), but you also get government allowance to ensure that your kids don't starve to death. AND you get tax benefits for having kids (right? I always skip over 99/100 of the tax form since my life is so dullsville). And I may be remembering wrong, but I think in France they've started giving out tax breaks for people who don't have kids. That could be totally untrue, but you heard it here first! Watch it become a viral internet rumour!
And for me, I find it more expensive to be a single person because of MEAL PLANNING! If you're cooking for two (or four, or seven, or the entire Jolie-Pitt family) you can make up a big batch of something and it gets eaten up in a day or two. When I make a big batch of something, I eat it... and eat it... and eat it... and then shove it in the back of my fridge and will myself to forget about it so it can go rotten so I can throw it out without feeling wasteful. I like variety in my meals, so making a huge dish of anything is not a good plan - so I buy smaller portions of everything, which costs more on a per capita basis.
|I'd prefer to hang out with the Von Trapp family rather than the Jolie-Pitts any day.|
It's also obviously more expensive to pay rent when you're living by yourself. I adore my cat, and I think she'd be a fantastic cat model, but I don't want to expose her to that lifestyle and turn her into a little Lindsay Lohan child-star-gone-awry cat, so she does not work at the moment. Well, she works very hard to shed as much fur as possible, and sleep and be as cute as possible, but her only payment is in food and water. And little mouse toys every now and then. And tuna.
Oh, and when you've got a partner and a family, you can put your incomes all together and buy a HOUSE! And then you can do frugal things like hang your clothes on a clothesline and plant a vegetable garden! (note: you can obviously do these things on your own too, but it's a lot more expensive).
So, whatever. Like everything where I try and find a definite answer, there are thrifty things about being on your own AND about being partnered up, with or without kids. But there are so many money blogs out there where people with kids are doing amazing things with frugality, that I felt the need to whine a little.
As they say on Twitter, #whitegirlproblems.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In the "Singled Out" book, she mythbusts the idea that single people will be sad and alone in nursing homes whereas people with kids will be lovingly tended to by the aforementioned children. I say, screw both options and go live in a hotel as suggested by Budgets Are Sexy. It's totally cheaper, I swear. Plus super fabulous and luxurious.