The Real Price of Being Single
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In the Money?1 of 7
By Sara Tan
Being single certainly has its perks—financial freedom being one of our favorites. Find out what today's unmarried gals are making, how they're spending their money and whether or not going it solo can really pay off.
Waiting on "I Do"2 of 7
Postponing marriage and focusing on your career pays off for women. According to a 2013 study from the University of Virginia, women who finish college and get married after turning 30 earn $18,152 more per year, on average, than women who marry in their 20s or teens. Even women who are high school graduates but don't finish college earn $4,052 more per year, on average, than women who marry when they're younger.
Them's the Breaks3 of 7
While single women are certainly eligible for some tax breaks, Uncle Sam still puts them at a disadvantage. In a piece published by The Atlantic, the authors claimed that due to laws that favored married people, single people were paying over $1,000 more annually in taxes. For example, an unattached taxpayer earning $40,000 a year pays $6,181 in taxes, while a married individual with the same income pays only $5,162.
Market Watch4 of 7
No surprise here: Men are overconfident in their investing, whereas single women are cautious and careful. Women are unafraid to seek financial help and spend a lot of time doing research when making big decisions. As a result, they make smarter choices that lead to a higher return on investment. A study by the Quarterly Journal of Economics found that single women earned 2.3 percent greater returns than single men.
Spending Power5 of 7
While the government seems to be sticking it to singles, unwed women are still enjoying their financial freedom. Successful single working women have a little more cash to spend on themselves than married women do and they're taking advantage of it, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It found that the single woman spends $524 per year on "personal care products and services" (like manis and pedis, makeup and haircuts) and more than $600 on clothing and $178 on shoes each year.
Home Sweet Home6 of 7
Sure, single women may be spending their hard-earned money on that must-have moto jacket and an indulgent spa day, but they're still making buying a home a financial priority. According to the National Board of Realtors, single women make up a fifth of all homebuyers. While obtaining a home loan has become easier for them, most banks still favor a two-income household. Additionally, a single woman's average salary still falls behind that of her single male counterpart.
What's the Plan?7 of 7
Studies have found that when it comes to saving for retirement, both married and unmarried individuals are coming up short, but single are unfortunately worse off. A study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found married people in their 30s and 40s were on average $32,048 behind in their retirement planning, whereas single women from the same age group had a retirement deficit of more than $75,000. If you've been lax in your planning, take a look at your finances (and how much you're spending on lattes!) to find out where you can start saving today.