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5 ways you’re getting slammed by the ‘singles tax’

Two females paying for their meal. Source: Getty.

Almost one in four Australians are living the single life, which, according to Comparethemarket.com.au, means more control, better sleep, the ability to travel solo, weight loss and overall freedom.

But according to their recent study, being independent and living in a single household comes with a pretty hefty price tag.

Money expert at comparethemarket.com.au, Rod Attrill, says everyday household expenses like rent, utilities, insurance and food are twice as expensive when you’re single.


“Being single doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break the bank but it does mean putting more consideration into what you spend day to day,” he said.

Here are five things singles are paying more for:

1. Health insurance and rebates

When looking for a comprehensive health insurance policy for both hospital and extras, Comparethemarket says singles should prep themselves to fork out an extra $2,500 for cover per year.

Families on the other hand only pay on average around $4,300 for their cover, meaning singles cop an extra $1,800 bill.

2. Travel insurance and accommodation

This one doesn’t sting as hard.

Solo travellers venturing to Europe for two weeks will pay between $70 and $80 in comprehensive travel insurance. But, it’s still around $10 to $20 more expensive than a couple travelling to the same destination for the same amount of time, which usually clocks in at between $122 and $150.

Singles will also pay almost double the price of accommodation, which can range from anywhere between $113 and $320 per night, given couples can evenly divide the cost.

3. Renting or buying a house

Renting doesn’t come cheap, particularly in Sydney and Canberra where the median rental and house prices are sky high.

Median rental and house prices in Australia. Source: Comparethemarket.com.au

Comparethemarket suggests singles looking to rent, and to avoid spending hundreds of dollars doing so, should consider getting a housemate to divide the costs.

As well, singles should consider moving away from the city to bring prices down even further.

Singles also looking to buy a home were urged to consider their lending options as mortgage brokers tend to restrict their lending power if you’re living by yourself and don’t have a partner to help out with expenses.

4. Dates

Single Australians spend $11.65 billion on dating per year, with a further $80.7 million a year spent on dating services and apps to help find love.

On top of this?

A quarter of people spend $100 or more on getting date-ready, which includes buying new clothes, getting a haircut, and splashing on some new makeup.

When it comes to the first date, singles fork out $79 on average too.

To combat this, Comparethemarket suggests cooking for your date in the comfort of your own home, clothes-swapping with friends and keeping an eye on restaurant specials.

5. Groceries and eating out

Food bills can cost singles anywhere from $80 to $280 per week, depending on how much they like to eat, but couples can reap the savings of buying in bulk (which works out cheaper per kilo).

Their advice for singles?

Prepare meals or restaurant plans in advance so you can budget the amount you’ll spend on food week to week, and look out for discounts too.

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