This article will highlight some of the money issues faced by single people and has some practical suggestions for overcoming them. As we will explore soaring property costs, excessive tax burdens, holiday surcharges and illness can all create financial difficulties for single people.
1. Live at Home, Rent or Buy?
Many developed countries including the US and UK have seen soaring property prices. At the same time more and more people are choosing to stay single or get married later in life. In the UK for example, property prices are so high that it is virtually impossible for single people on average salaries or wages to either rent let alone buy a property. Unlike married couples with dual incomes single people are forced into an increasingly narrow set of options.
There has been a significant increase in friends pooling incomes to buy properties together and whilst this may be a great idea on the surface, it can lead to complex legal dilemmas over property rights should the friendship sour.
a) Whilst living at home may not be an ideal solution it can be an invaluable means of enabling you to save some money for a larger deposit on your future house, which can reduce your monthly payments to more manageable levels. Staying at home for an extra 2-3 years can make quite a difference to your future purchasing power in the housing market.
b) If you are desperate to leave home then buying a property with a friend is a good option providing you take the time to invest in a written legal contract which makes clear that the property is co-owned. This can save you lots of time and money in the future if things go wrong.
Different countries have different approaches to collecting taxes from the general population to fund Government expenditure. In the UK the local governing body of a specific area, known as a council, is permitted to raise taxes through Council Tax. In essence this is calculated based upon the value of your property. Single people constantly face discrimination in this area as they have to pay the full tax bill even if they are the only occupant. This is clearly a significant financial burden particularly when dual income relationships are able to share the cost.
Some Governments also offer tax incentives for married couples or civil partnerships and to parents with children residing at a given property. Whilst these are clearly valuable measures, single people often face the full burden of the tax system because they have chosen a separate lifestyle.
A further area that is acutely apparent as presenting a money issue for single people is in relation to holiday charges.
Package companies and hoteliers like to maximise their profits by ensuring that they get the most out of their facilities. Single room supplements regularly apply to individuals taking a holiday alone and often add a substantial amount to the final cost.
Ask a friend to join you on holiday, that way you can avoid a surcharge on your room booking and both enjoy a holiday in the company of a good friend.
If this isn't an option don't be afraid to haggle with a travel agent over waiving the fee or reducing it, suggest that you may take your business elsewhere if they are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement.
We all get ill from time to time but some forms of illness can be more serious than others. Single people do not have the luxury of having another person to rely upon to pay the bills. If they are unable to work and are saddled with significant financial commitments illness can tip the balance.
a) Consider taking out insurance policies on mortgages, like Critical Illness or Income Protection. Whilst these can add between $60-80 dollars per month to repayments they can be invaluable if you are unable to work and will pay your mortgage during a period of illness.
b) If you are reluctant to take out extra insurance policies in case of illness, consider saving between the equivalent of 3-6 months salary as a safety net should you be unable to work.
This article has sought to examine some of the fundamental money issues faced by single people and suggest practical ways to deal with them. Recognition is given to the difficulties faced in relation to soaring property prices and the often inequality of tax systems which penalise those living alone. Finally single people also face significant money issues connected to excessive holiday surcharges and difficulties when inflicted with illness and unable to work.
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J Dawkins created Friends & Money over 3 years ago as a free resource to help people make friends, make money & save money online. You'll find the latest Survey reviews, paid to write opportunities, Debt Help tips & free discount codes.
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