Live alone? The singles tax could be costing you thousands


As the cost-of-living battle continues for many struggling Aussies, looking for ways to save is no doubt top of mind. But if you're single and living alone, stashing away some of your hard-earned cash could be that much harder than your coupled-up counterparts, according to new YouGov research.

Commissioned by comparison service iSelect, the study revealed that unfortunately, single Aussies with no kids (SINKs) paid an estimated $7691 more per year on living expenses, compared to an Aussie living in a double income household with no kids (DINKs).

Yep, that's a lot of extra money to part with for those singles - especially during these tough times, that's for sure!

the singles tax why it's more expensive to be single

What makes up the 'singles tax'?

The survey asked respondents about common household bills and expenses, like mortgage repayments, rent, energy bills, health, and car insurance.

Breaking it down by the month, SINKs spend on average an estimated $2198.93 on household bills and housing costs. A whopping 41% more than DINKs, who spend an estimated $1557.99 per month, highlighting the advantage of couples able to split costs, and come out on top financially.

How can you pay less?

If you fall into the SINKs category, don't despair.

There are ways to help reduce this 'tax' without breaking up with your lifestyle. Consider shopping around and comparing options on a range of common household plans and expenses.

Whether it's your energy plan, home and/or contents insurance, health insurance policy or your home loan deal - see if you could switch and save money.

While sitting down and taking some time to do that could pay off for singles, the same could be said for DINKs too, with most SINKs and DINKs (61%) surveyed saying they currently feel pressured financially, and 73% making cutbacks due to the rising cost-of-living or to meet day-to-day living expenses.

So, as the end of the financial year approaches, why not make it your mission to take stock of your household bills and expenses - on top of that tax refund - and make sure you're getting a good deal?

What about private health insurance?

Whether you're in the SINKs or DINKs club, there are advantages and disadvantages for each group when it comes to private health insurance.

While shopping around and switching your plan and/or provider could save you money regardless of your living situation (if you hold a policy), couples can have an advantage over singles when it comes to private health cover.

For example, your Australian Government Private Health Insurance Rebate may be affected if you're insured by a couples policy. This is because different income thresholds apply depending on whether you have a single income or a family income.

So, if your salary is a lot higher than your partners, this could equate to a lower average, and you may then be eligible for a higher health insurance rebate.

Other advantages of holding a couples policy can be the simplicity that comes from paying one bill or making it easier to change and update your cover as you both get older (that's if the two of you have similar health needs).

On the other hand, if you and your partner have different needs, a couples policy may not be the best option, and you could be better off going for separate singles policies.

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Sophie Ryan is the spokesperson for comparison service iSelect. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of the Sunshine Coast, and provides advice on how Aussies can save on their household bills.