Moving Up

Which is more expensive? Being Single or Married?

By Tara Cabullo, Brighterlife.com.ph

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02 -Rings---Jeff-Belmonte-SMInspired by an insightful article by Learnvest, I got to thinking as to how the financial lives, both single and married, are in the Philippines, the article being based in the US. Whereas in the US, tax exemptions mean much, the factors contributing to one’s financial wellness in the Philippines goes beyond one’s civil status.

We asked our Brighter Life friends and here are what they say on single vs. married financial life:

  1. “I haven’t been married so I won’t know how that would affect my finances if I do get wed but I would imagine it would be a little more comfortable to have someone share the electricity bill, the transportation costs, car maintenance, internet bill, mortgage, and so on. Being single on your own is pretty expensive, all the little things from the comforts of your parental home, you now have to think about. I’d imagine it’s different when there are kids though.”
    – Emma, 28, PR practitioner
  2. Being married with no kids eased my ‘single life’ responsibilities because I get to share the expenses with my husband plus I am ‘relieved’ of my financial obligations from my siblings.
    – Danielle, 35, Financial analyst
  3. I lived with my parents until I was 33 so when I got married, my expenses were not just for me but for my wife and our forthcoming baby, too. Marriage, as I found out, is expensive but worth every penny.
    – Johnny, 34, Artist
  4. Living together with my partner and our daughter helped me be more disciplined in handling my finances. I guess the key trigger here is the sense of shared responsibility between us parents.
    – Rico, 28, Researcher
  5. “From my perspective (single and old at early 30s), I would consider my expenses slightly higher now compared to when I was still living with my parents. However, when I finally decided to move out, my income was much higher that I felt ready to support my own living expenses (utilities, rent, etc). So it’s really just a matter of managing my expenses (and keeping it as low as possible) and not going too overboard with the shopping :D”
    – Tricia, 31, Lawyer
  6. “I remember the time when I was single and the financial privileges it brought along — you can frequently dine out, buy clothes and gadgets, vacation and spend quite a bit on simple luxuries. It was the best time to enjoy the benefits of my hard-earned money — and I cherished every moment of it. Fast forward a few years later, I started a family. Gone was the propensity to spend on things I previously fancied. From small material goals, I experienced a shift to setting higher, bigger goals. Whereas before I saved fast and spent fast, now I see the need to save bigger, and longer so I can provide more than enough for my family’s needs now and in the future. There’s a new kind of fulfillment to be had when you know that you are expanding the sphere of happiness beyond your own self-satisfaction. Nowadays, the excitement of having a new phone just doesn’t match up to the joy of bringing home a Happy Meal toy to your kid. So yes, the days of costly lunches are over — and somehow I’m glad it is.”
    – Archie, 38, Business Dev’t Officer
  7. I’m a single woman who lives with her father. As a single parent, he thought ahead and was able to accumulate several property investments that generate monthly rental income before his job retirement. On the side, he has his mini buy-and-sell business of collectible artwork and audio equipment where he earns a substantial amount on a “as needed” basis.To date, we are living quite comfortably without the pressures of monetary contributions from my end.I worry about two possible scenarios:A. When my father passes, will I continue to be able to live by the same means? I have no interest or knowledge whatsoever with his current ventures and I know that I will not be able to “keep up” our so-called family business the same way that he has; and,IF (and that’s a big IF) I get married, will I be able to meet our households needs? I realize that I would have to share in the expenses and given my current situation, I am only used to budgeting for myself.I’ve been working for a total of ten years now and as much as I would hate to admit it, my financial standing has not improved much. I can buy and spend for my own needs and wants, but if I had to rely on my own so-called accumulated wealth, I wouldn’t last very long alone. I’m pretty much still dependent on my dad.– Valerie, 29, Executive Assistant


Photo used under Creative Commons from Jeff Belmonte.

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