Couples £800 better off than singletons

Unless you’re Bridget Jones at a party for married couples, singletons are rarely named and shamed as those who are ‘missing out’. However, when it comes to personal finance, the cost of being single comes at a high price as couples are apparently £800 better off on average.

Being part of a couple has many benefits; cooking for two, cuddles on the sofa and more cash in your pocket. Research shows that being in a relationship is better for your wallet as it will save you more money in the long term. In fact, couples apparently stash away approximately £800 more each year because of their partner’s influence.

Figures from NS&I show that Britons save almost £70 more per month because they are in a relationship. Over half (57%) of Britons who are in relationships claim to motivate each other to stick to savings goals.

Under the watchful eye or influence of their partner, Brits stash away an average of £68 a month. Over a third of Brits aged 65 and over believe that savings should be discussed immediately in relationships, compared to just 6% of people aged 16-24.

The influence of their partner is very significant for many people, with 20% of people claiming to save around £200 a month more. Over the course of a year that is a staggering £2,400.

Relationships have a notably positive impact on male finances, with men saving an average of £85 more each month, compared to a £50 increase for women.

The research highlighted that men aged between 25 and 34 are the most strongly influenced by their partners, saving around £100 a month. Just over a quarter of women in the same age bracket have seen their partner’s positive influence on their savings.

John Prout, NS&I Director, said: “It is good to see that people in relationships are motivating one another to save significant sums of money. As well as helping each other save towards goals and providing more security in difficult times, these savings will make a difference for the bigger financial milestones that come during a relationship, like buying a home or saving for life in retirement.”

However, there are conflicting views over exactly who is in control of the money and how it is managed in a relationship. The research shows that nearly half (47%) of women in a relationship believe that they should split the couple’s costs down the middle. However, only 27% of men who share this view claim to be the one paying for most of the joint items.

Despite singles being left on the sidelines when it comes to sharing the cash, many couples find that they are in dispute about who pays for certain items.

From council tax to cinema trips, men think they are the ones footing the bill.  Some 47% of men say they usually pay for the bills and council tax from their own finances compared to 20% of women. A further 42% say they usually pay for the overall food shop out of their own money, compared to 33% of women. 41% of men claim to pay for dual entertainment compared to just 20% of women.

“Many couples will be making purchases like holidays relatively soon into their relationships. Along with costs like eating out, this can start to add up and it is a good idea to talk about setting money aside to fund these outgoings. Getting over the hurdle of discussing finances will make financial planning easier,” Mr. Prout continued.

“If people are successfully saving hundreds of pounds more each year, think how much could be achieved if people broached the conversation earlier on in their relationships?”

The majority of people are happy to talk about their personal finances, yet when in relationships, discussions about savings are kept at bay for a while. The research found that 25% of people only start to talk about savings once they move in together, while a further 11% will wait until they purchase a property together.

Older generations are more insistent on talking about money with their partners and would pass this down to their children. A third of over 65 year olds believe that savings should be discussed straight away compared to younger generations.

Tops tips for saving without a partner

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, there are plenty of things you can do to boost your savings. Here are some top tips to stop spending and start saving:

Compare savings accounts with Propertywide

By shopping around for the best deal you can get more for your money.  This could result in a higher return for your money, with the interest rate or alternatively a tax-free account such as an ISA.

Purchase own brands

Reduce your weekly shop by only purchasing store-branded goods. Branded store goods can be just as tasty and be just as effective as luxury brand goods. From your bleach to your back beans, own branded items could be significantly cheaper.

Cut out luxuries

Instead of paying for a an expensive gym membership, why not just go for a jog in the park or swap ‘dining out’ for eating at home and get your friends to bring a dish.