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Navigating Singles Tax and the High Cost of Singleness in the US

In the United States, the financial landscape for single individuals often presents unique challenges that their married counterparts may not face. The journey of singleness and being complete in Christ can sometimes feel like an uphill battle with the financial implications of living solo.

The Challenge of Shared Expenses

One of the most significant financial hurdles for singles is the lack of shared expenses. Unlike couples who can split the cost of living, singles bear the full brunt of rent, utilities, groceries, and other daily expenses. This disparity can make everyday living more costly for those navigating life independently. Consider this when planning events as a church may choose to supplement the cost of community gatherings for singles to help them thrive in community.

Single Adult Statistics in America

Facing a "Singles Tax"

Single individuals often encounter what is known as a “singles tax,” where they face higher costs in housing and taxes. The economic structure inadvertently penalizes those without a spouse, making it imperative for singles to be savvy and strategic in managing their finances. The financial system favors married couples through tax breaks and Social Security benefits, highlighting an implicit bias towards traditional family structures.

This disparity underscores the importance for singles to explore financial planning and investment strategies tailored to their unique situation. While the tax code worked for most before 2000, with singles now over 50% of the population in the U.S., changes need to be considered for America’s taxpayers.

The economic structure inadvertently penalizes those without a spouse, making it imperative for singles to be savvy and strategic in managing their finances.

The Burden of Housing Costs

Housing is a tough financial challenge for singles, especially in expensive urban centers. The high cost of living in such areas can consume a significant portion of one’s income, necessitating creative solutions like shared housing or making the jump to tiny house living! High rental prices in many urban and even suburban areas across the U.S. have been steadily increasing, outpacing the growth in wages for many individuals. This shortage forces some to spend more than the recommended 30% of their income on housing, leading to what is known as “cost-burdened” situations.

The housing market dynamics, including the competition for desirable locations and the trend toward luxury developments, further complicate housing affordability for single adults. With a significant portion of new constructions targeting higher income brackets, the availability of reasonably priced housing for middle and lower-income singles becomes increasingly scarce. For single adults looking to transition from renting to homeownership, the hurdles include saving for a down payment, qualifying for a mortgage on a single income, and managing the ongoing costs of home maintenance and property taxes. These challenges are opportunities for the local church to provide Biblical financial training to help singles navigate these homeownership dynamics.

Financial Freedom and Self-Investment

Beyond the financial strain, the burden of high housing costs can have social implications for single adults, including delaying life “milestones” such as homeownership, marriage, or starting a family. It can also limit the ability to invest in personal and professional development opportunities, affecting overall life satisfaction and well-being. Despite these challenges, being single offers unmatched financial freedom and the opportunity to invest in oneself through education, travel, or hobbies.

Single Focused Conference

Single Adults are the largest unreached people group in your community in 2024

Even with the economic pressures of being single in the U.S., there is a more profound journey of finding completeness in Christ. We discover purpose and fulfillment beyond financial status or marital situation in Him. This journey toward financial independence is about navigating the challenges of singleness and embracing the freedom it offers to grow, serve, and find contentment in a relationship with Christ. In this light, the financial difficulties of singleness become opportunities to remember everything belongs to the Lord regardless of your relationship status. Trust in the one who knows the number of hair on your head and clothes the fields with flowers and beauty that you are not alone in your financial journey as a single adult and placing your trust in Him will draw you closer to Him.

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