Going through a divorce or breakup has never been easy, but the current cost of being single can make it a harrowing ordeal. With average monthly expenses reaching just over $3,000 for singles in the U.S., it’s no surprise that many singles struggle to pay bills (Nerdwallet).
No matter what your financial situation is, you deserve to be happy, safe, and comfortable. If that means leaving your current partner, don’t let the cost of being single keep you in a bad relationship.
We’re covering everything you need to know to prepare for your new expenses and combat the growing costs of being single.
What does it cost to be single?
The cost of being single varies greatly depending on many factors, like the city you live in and the kind of lifestyle you live.
For example, you could live in a studio apartment in Chicago for around $3,000 per month in total expenses. This alone can be quite a bit to manage on your own and is a whopping 46% lower than the average cost of living in New York City (Hunterprop).
Along with high rental costs, it can also be a pain simply to find a place to rent when you are newly single. Thanks to the American housing crisis, many singles are finding it virtually impossible to secure vacant property to rent.
If you are considering getting a divorce or breaking up with your current partner, take a look at rentals in your area. You may find that relocating is the best option to protect your finances as a newly single person living on your own.
Paying for relocation is just one additional expense you may have to pay when you leave your partner. What are the other costs of being single that you should consider?
Additional costs of being single to consider:
- Cost of divorce
- Filing for a name change
- Tax increases
- Child care expenses
- Health and auto insurance
- And more
Why you should prepare for the cost of being single
Going through a divorce or breakup can be a stressful, emotionally exhausting process. This will only be worse if you’re constantly stressing about how you are going to pay the bills.
Being financially secure can help you start your newly single life with the foundation you need to get back on your feet. You can only do this by planning ahead and ensuring that you are prepared for the cost of being single.
How much money should you save before living on your own?
Most experts will tell you to save 3-6 months of personal expenses before leaving a job. This is a good rule to follow when it comes to covering the cost of being single.
The main idea is that you will want to have a few months of your living expenses covered before you move out on your own. This will ensure that you can pay for the essentials while you get back on your feet, move your things, and deal with other expenses.
Keep in mind that your finances may change drastically if you are getting a divorce. It is important to work with a professional to get an accurate idea of how much this will cost.
Consider your safety first
In the perfect world, everyone would be able to save up money and get their finances in order before leaving a relationship. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for many people.
Always remember that your safety needs to come first, even before your finances. If you are in an abusive or dangerous relationship, it may simply not be safe to prepare financially before you leave. In cases like these, there are resources that can help.
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is a helpful resource you can turn to for assistance in getting out of an abusive relationship. You can also look into local domestic abuse assistance in your local area to locate safe housing and more.
Ways to save money before your divorce or breakup
If you do have the time and ability to stay in your current situation, you can prepare before living on your own. Here are 5 ways to save money in your current relationship and prepare for the cost of being single:
Understand your current finances
You won’t know how much money you will have to save if you don’t know where you are starting. By understanding your finances now, you can create a clear step-by-step guide to financially prepare for your newly single life.
Take a look at your bank account, investments, monthly expenses, and any other factors influencing your finances. Once you have a clear understanding of your current position, you can start to create a plan to cover the upcoming cost of being single.
If you aren’t comfortable with finances, working with a financial advisor or another professional can help. They can provide clarity into your finances and spending habits, and help you create a budget.
Start your personal fund
If you share a bank account with your partner, now is the time to create a personal account.
With your own bank account, you will be able to easily track your spending and ensure you are hitting your saving goals. It will also ensure that your expenses are protected from your soon-to-be-ex.
Create a budget and stick to it
Once you have a clear understanding of your personal finances and have set up your personal bank account, it’s time to create a budget.
This can be challenging, especially if you have never created or stuck to a budget before. This is an essential step to preparing for the cost of being single, though, and you’ll be happy that you did.
Even though creating a budget may seem stressful upfront, it will actually save you loads of time and stress in the future. You won’t have to guess what your monthly expenses are, and you can easily track where you need to cut back on spending.
Just remember: self-care is important. You are going through a stressful, emotional time right now, and being newly single isn’t easy. Make sure you make room in your budget for self-care, whether that’s getting your nails done or getting lunch with friends.
Work with your ex, if you can
If you can barely stand to be in the same room as your soon-to-be-ex, we get it. No need to push yourself and cause more stress for both of you. If you can be civil together, however, they might actually be a big help.
So long as you are both comfortable with it, sitting down with your current partner to talk about both of your upcoming expenses can help. Both of you will be dealing with the new costs of being single, and perhaps it’s something you can work on together.
You may decide that one of you can still live in your current home or apartment. Or, maybe one of you makes more than the other and is willing to pay for relocation expenses. No matter what, sitting down and having this conversation can be good to clear the air and ensure you are both prepared.
Let your loved ones support you
Your friends and family love you and likely want to support you during this time in your life. Our advice: let them.
This can be hard, we know. A lot of us already deal with imposter syndrome and feelings of not being enough, especially while going through a breakup. Asking for and accepting help while you’re already having these thoughts can be hard, but ultimately worth it.
Instead of asking directly for money, which can feel impossible, even when we need it most, Divorcist is here to help. You can use our gift registry to find the items you need to begin again with your newly single life.
Sharing this with your friends and family is the perfect way to welcome their support and get what you need for life on your own.
Start your single life off right
Single life is a chance at a fresh start. Get started the right way with a solid foundation by ensuring you are prepared for the cost of being single.
No matter where you are in your single life, Divoricist is here to help.