Is it better to be single versus coupled? Is it easier or harder? In so many casese it would seem being coupled is easier but then there are many cases where being single is easier. This week a prime example happened about what my DH's life would be like if he were single. Honestly I have to say it would be awesome.
But my DH and his best (single) friend entered a business competition. They are semi-finalists and have to go end of March to Denver. I mentioned starting to research the costs of going.
The Single Friend (SF), says why bother. We can book it at the last minute. I say, so I can work it into the budget and account for it now. Then set it aside the money. The SF why do you need to work it into the budget. Just use your incoming money. I respond that's because you don't have anyone else to worry about and save for.
The truth is that SF does not make a lot of money but it's all his and he has complete control and freedom over it. He can afford to eat out every meal, do any activity, and has no responsibilities for his money.
For example he makes $3k gross but nets probably $2500/month. He doesn't save for retirement or a house or anything because he lives simply. Retirement is not an option being a foreigner, house is unnecessary for the same reason (and his parents are giving him a DP), and so he has $2500/month to blow on anything he wants. That's way more than my DH who makes 3-4x as much but has to pay for our mortgage, retirement, college, cars, etc.
When you are coupled, you start thinking more long term. You are unable to just buy what you want when you want. You suddenly worry about emergencies, you want to replace your car if you have children. Or you worry about retirement. Or you worry about things like college for your children or how to pay if they are ill. Basically you worry more about the future in a couple.
I wonder though if it wouldn't be more fun sometimes to still be single? If I had spent my 20s untangled in a relationship would I be more carefree about money? I think so. If not in a relationship, I would not save for a wedding until I found someone. I probably would not save for a house because I'd be thinking more about where I could move or travel. I would buy less things to tie me down, certainly I'd have no pets.
So which is better single or coupledom? There is no easy answer, but it is fun to see the differences we have in budgeting money. And how being a single versus in a couple changes a person's perspectives on money.
And when I say single I mean really single. Not single living with a significant other or in a long term relationship but unmarried. Those usually have significant financial implications, but single as in not in a relationship, living alone, etc.