I recently saw a survey which revealed that single gals are £2.5k better off being single rather than being in a couple – maybe that should make it onto my list of “Reasons why its better to be single”. Logistics and mathematics would prove that figure correct presuming two wages would be better than one and going from the single life into a relationship would mean you’d wind up spending less. The survey was based on a number of lifestyle factors such as how much you pay for your phone bill *hot sweat*, going out on dates, going on holiday and how much you wind up spending on food and as a newly coupled up gal I thought I’d take a look at how I’ve fared on the money front.
I spent ALOT less money on food as a single gal. I’d live on baked potatos, tuna, baked beans and pasta (when I remembered to eat) and alot of time I would ashamedly live on bowls of Coco Pops. I’d splash out once or twice a week on a juicy old steak but the extent of my cooking was minimal – I’m not sure I actually used my oven for 3 months after I had moved in. Now I’m “with male” who likes good old fashioned cooking: red meat, potatoes, gravy on everything and endless bags of crisps I’m not only piling on the “content woman in love” pounds but spending the pounds during “I daren’t look at the total” trips to the supermarket or nightly dashes to the local shop.
You’d think once you were coupled up you’d spend less money on “dates” per se, but your once in a blue moon date with the one normal looking man you’ve stumbled upon once every couple of months works out a lot cheaper than “me and him” time every weekend. A coffee date or a couple of drinks where you decide that you would rather end up alone than spend more than an evening with your latest suitor costs a lot less than quality time over pub lunches, Saturday night dates, trips to the cinema and a few drinks in the local.
I tend to spend less now on nights out on the town/on the prowl and hitting the 3 for £11.50 wine offer from the local shop. I’ve swapped the 3am get in’s and full day hangovers for Chinese takeaways on the sofa and adding to my ever increasing waist size. I think part of this comes down to age. As I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to develop a guilty feeling when spending money on drunken shenanigans and wind up working out what I could have bought for the equivalent amount. I may put off buying a new pair of boots or a coat or bags for my hoover because I’m skint, but then I’ll throw forty quid at the barmaid, wake up the next day with a hangover worth than full of money regret and thinking “what would Caroline Hirons say?” as I eye up my now smeared faced of yesterdays make up.
(Have you noticed the last three points have all involved me eating more food? Maybe there should be a report which says “single people are thinner than people in relationships” – it would go down so well on the Daily Mail, just imagine the comments section).
I’ll admit it, I enjoy retail therapy. After a bad date or discovering that the latest suitor is not Prince Charming but is infact a c*nt with a quiff I’d simply invest my frustrations into a new outfit or a blowout at Superdrug – at least I had a wardrobe of clothes ready for any future date eventualities. I would however end up leaving my bank and credit card statement unopened, inside a draw, pushed to the back, behind lots of other stuff. Don’t judge me, I’m not alone in this. INFACT Santander reports that over a million people don’t open their household bills. (I imagine this goes hand in hand with the age old “what, this old thing?” that women do to their partners as they attempt to ingest the till receipt and burn the credit card statement as soon as it comes through the front door – when single I would hide them from myself, or my mum. “You have no milk in your fridge or teabags but you have three new dresses a new handbag and four lipsticks in pratically the same colour” – priorities.
Holiday bills are usually split down the middle so you’d think you’d be spending less with the OH than if you were going it alone or with your girlfriends. Truth is, couple friendly resorts are usually a little bit pricier than those “party dance glowstick rave tequila” resorts which are usually cut price destinations with basic accommodation lulling you into a false sense of “this was a bargain” security. In reality you usually end up spending a small fortune on thirty shots a night and black label vodka based cocktails (not to mention the inevitable trip to a foreign doctors because you’ve fallen asleep drunk on the beach/developed liver poisoning). Alternatively, the couple friendly resorts hoik up their prices for the luxury of keeping out the horny holiday revellers so you can have a swim at the hotel without witnessing a bit of casual pool sex and step out of your front door to be greeted by a cocktail coloured pile of vomit.