I’m starting this blog with the idea of sharing my journey from financial instability to financial security. I realize that there are a lot of people who will come across this blog and think “So you’re single, have no children, and are trying to save money. Big whoop! Try having a spouse that you have to get on board, and X number of kids, and then maybe I’ll be interested in what you have to say”. Trust me, I get it! Saving money can seem a lot easier when you are only responsible for one person.
Even though it seems easier, statistics show that not a lot of single people are saving money. Especially not a lot of single women. As Liz Weston points out in Single? Can you ever retire?, in the 55-64 age bracket the median net worth of singles is approximately a quarter of the net worth of married couples in the same age bracket. 1/4! The article goes on to discuss how singles are also at more of a disadvantage when it comes to job loss or sickness, since there isn’t anyone to fall back on financially.
It’s difficult to plan for the future when you are single and still have so many questions about what your future will look like. When I bought my first car out of college, I wanted something reliable that would last at least 10 years. With this in mind, I wanted something safe that was roomy enough for several children. After all, if I was keeping the car for 10 years, I would need something that would fit my future lifestyle. I loved that car. But 10 years later when I sold the car, the future I had picture still had not materialized. I didn’t need a family car.
When I bought my house, I thought I was being smarter. I bought a one bedroom “starter” home. Easy for a single girl to maintain, yet on enough land to build onto the house if need be. The house has been great. But, the neighborhood took a hit in the crash. It was always an affordable house, but now its worth less than I owe, in a neighborhood that is trending downhill. Most of the guys I’ve dated have homes of their own that are much larger, and in much better areas. My little house is seen as more of a detractor than an asset.
How do you plan and save as a single person? Is it possible to be frugal today, without jeopardizing your tomorrow?
Over the years, I’ve become more and more of a personal finance reader. I love learning more about what others have done to become successful. But it seems like a large percentage of the information out there is coming from married people. And from there, it seems that men tend to write more about growing your net worth, whereas women write more about stretching the family budget. Sure, married, single, male, female, we can all learn tremendous amounts from each other. But it’s much more inspiring to see someone like you overcoming the odds. Women who are concerned about their net worth. Singles who are financially independent.
You never know what the future holds. Twenty years from now I might be blogging as a successfully retired single woman. Or next year I might be blogging about combining finances, or how to save money while raising a family. But my hope is that it will always be centered on growing my net worth.
– Ms. W