BlogBudgetingThe cost of living alone: Are you paying the ‘Singles Tax’?

July 3, 2023by Sophie Ryan

The freedom to make decisions just for yourself and have control over your own finances – being single can certainly have its upsides.  But as the cost-of-living crunch continues, unfortunately when it comes to saving some hard-earned cash, new research suggests that singles are facing more of an uphill battle compared to those in a relationship.

The YouGov research, commissioned by comparison service iSelect, has revealed that single Australians surveyed living alone with no kids (SINKs) paid an estimated $7,691 more per year on living expenses, compared to their coupled-up counterparts. Yes, you read that right… thousands of dollars extra per year! Breaking it down by month, a SINK household on average spends an estimated $2,198.93 on common household bills and housing costs (such as mortgage repayments, rent, energy bills and health insurance), whilst an individual living in a double income household with no kids (DINKS) spends just $1,557.99 per month. That’s a 41 per cent gap between the two households.[1]

While the research highlights the advantage of being able to split the costs of common household expenses for dual-income households, don’t despair if you’re living the single life as there are ways to reduce this ‘Singles Tax’.  Read on as we share some top tips.

#1 Review your plans/policies regularly 

We know, you might be thinking ‘another thing to add to my never-ending to-do list?’ Well, it could well and truly pay off! Your needs and circumstances are likely to change over time. Thinking about your plans and policies such as health, home and contents or car insurance – ask yourself: ‘what do I need to be covered for? Does my current plan or policy do that?’ You could be paying for things you don’t really need, and not paying for things you do!

#2 Shop around

It can be a common misunderstanding that loyalty pays when it comes to insurance and utility providers, but that’s not always correct. Some providers may actually offer better rates or premiums to new customers than those on offer to their existing customers. For energy in particular, most plans – especially those featuring discounts – generally expire after a year or two. So, if you’ve been on the same plan for several years, it’s possible you could have been automatically transferred onto a higher priced plan and might be paying more than you need to. No thanks! So, consider shopping around and comparing from our range of plans and providers to see if you could switch and save.

#3 Consider a higher excess or look around for deals 

Finally, some insurance companies may give you lower premiums if you opt for a higher excess. Also, around certain times of the year, insurers (particularly health funds) may offer incentives and that could be a good time to shop around and take advantage of any deals and offers.  Remember though, a good deal doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest. Make sure any policy/plan is suited to your needs.

There you have it, three tips that could go a long way in reducing your ‘Singles Tax’. It only takes a few minutes to sit down and take stock of your finances and look for ways to save money. We know it may seem daunting, but help is out there. Whether it’s your energy plan, health insurance policy or even your home loan deal, a comparison service such as iSelect* can help you compare your plans and policies from a range of providers. If you do decide to switch, they’ll also help you take care of the whole process, taking the hassle out of switching!


*iSelect does not compare all products in the market. The availability of products iSelect compare may change from time to time. Not all products made available from iSelect’s providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all products compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some products and special offers may only be available from iSelect’s call centre or website. Click here to view iSelect’s range of Providers.

[1] Source: iSelect commissioned YouGov Galaxy Pty Ltd to conduct a national online survey between 6 April and 13 April 2023. The sample is n=2,112 Gen Z’s and Millennials aged 18-43 comprised of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 singles living alone and 1,112 couples living together, no kids

Sophie Ryan
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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.

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