Single people spend differently than couples do, though some spending habits are similar. The main divide is between renting vs. paying a mortgage, going out vs. staying in, and investing in career development or saving for a child’s education. Singles spend more on social nightlife activities in comparison with their ‘married with children’ counterparts.  Singles also rent more often, instead of purchasing home. Couples can generally save more money while living together and are able to save up for a down payment on a house, which can be a risk because they are strapped down until they sell or pay off their mortgage. Most singles live in a 1 bedroom, or in a shared place with roommates. Couples evolve into families and eventually need a home with multiple bedrooms for their children. Singles invest more money into education to advance their career. When it comes to staying in or going out, singles have no family obligations and go out with friends more often than not. Money for singles is spent on drinks and bar food, versus baby wipes and family vacations. Singles invest more money into education to advance their career as well.   


Going Out Expenses

Single people tend to have more of a social life than married couples, and on average have more friends. Here are the total number of friends that single and married without children that people have, averaging across all age groups:

Women with no children:

9.6 single
7.9 married

Men with no children:

10.2 single
7.8 married


Looking into the spending habits even further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics pulls supportive data that singles on average spend a lot more money on alcohol than married people – especially in your 20’s. In fact, singles spend almost more than double the amount of alcohol, perhaps because signals generally are out with friends rather than at home.

Living Expenses

The living expenses for singles, without roommates, is higher than that of married people. Singles tend to be renters for a longer period of time than their married counterparts, who become homeowners at a much earlier stage than singles. Renting may seem like tossing your money out, but some people view it as though you have more flexibility to move around.


Married couples appear to have it figured out when it comes to locking down and saving money, but most people in their 20’s are still figuring out what they want to do with their life. If you are interested in buying a home as a single person, there are a lot of great references out there to read about how others have accomplished buying a home whilst single. The bulk of buying a home comes down to saving before you budget the rest of your money. Rent until you figure out what you really want to do, or you may risk making a bad investment.

Education Investment

Data notes that single people spend more time and money than married people on educational activities. Singles invest in education for professional and personal interest, and spend time researching and completing homework assignments.


  • Single people: 56 minutes a day
  • Married people: 5 minutes a day


Education expenses like tuition, fees, supplies, and textbooks, are higher for singles, who on average spend a little more of their income on education than married couples do:


  • 1.1% married couples
  • 1.8% single men
  • 1.6% single women


When it comes to reading, the money spent on purchases of books, magazines, newspapers, and other reading materials is slightly higher for single people in relation to their married counterparts:


  • .2% married couples
  • .2% single men
  • .3% single women


The spending habits are different for singles and married people when it comes to going out on the town and spending on entertainment and alcohol, as well as how much a person spends on living expenses. The educational factor is also different when you compare time and money invested in higher education. Getting a good look at the data is helpful to see what singles are actually up to. Remember to save your money, and work towards getting ahead. Stay secure, singles!

Views expressed in this article are the author’s opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Secure Single. It is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not investment or financial advice. James Bollen is the author of Thriving Solo: How to Flourish and Live Your Perfect Life (Without A Soulmate). Now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Subscribe to Secure Single’s Substack for free!
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Danielle has chosen to be single in her walk of life. She experienced dating in her late teens and early twenties, and had always felt each relationship was unfulfilling. To find more meaning in her life, she broke off to go down a path of self-discovery.
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