Single and ready to mingle: The Cost of Being Single

24 September 2014

Suncorp Bank’s Cost of Being Single Report has lifted the lid on the spending habits of the nation’s single population who spend $113 billion a year, or $17,420 individually, on weekends away, dining out, entertainment, groceries and personal grooming. 

The Cost of Being Single Report, the latest in Suncorp Bank’s Cost of Living Series, found the months of November, December and January (dubbed the single season) as the most expensive for Australia’s 6.5 million singles, with increased spending on entertainment, dining out and weekends away on top of the usual festive season budget pressures. 

Suncorp Bank’s Regional Manager Monique Reynolds said the single season spending period started with the launch of the Spring Racing Carnival and lasted until Valentine’s Day. 

“We all know how expensive it can be to raise kids, but the cost of maintaining a ‘single’ lifestyle is often overlooked,” Ms Reynolds said. 

“Australians who are married with families or in relationships tend to stay home most nights of the week or go out for one special occasion, whereas singles are out and about at least twice a week or more and these costs are adding up.” 

Singles are five times more likely to spend money on personal care items including hair and beauty products and massages compared to married couples with kids. 

Three quarters of Australian singles revealed they didn’t have a budget and gave little thought to planning ahead for the additional costs over summer. 

“Singles are seven times more likely to spend big on entertainment, including drinks and going out to pubs throughout summer, compared to couples,” Ms Reynolds said. 

“This is of particular concern when around one in four singles already have a debt of more than $10 000.” 

The report also revealed one in five singles surveyed believed their spending habits would decrease if they were in a relationship, with more Generation Y females than males believing they would save more and spend less if they were in a relationship.


Key findings 

  •  Singles who believed they would save money if they were in a relationship said they would save most on living expenses (48 per cent) and entertainment expenses (19 per cent). 
  • One in four single Australians have a debt of more than $10,000. 
  • The majority of Australia’s singles live alone (40 per cent), and those that don’t live alone live with their parents (27 per cent). 
  • People who are married or in a relationship think about saving more than singles, 51 per cent said they often thought about the need to save 
  • Men were generally more blasé than women about the impact of their current spending with more men saying they gave little or no consideration to the impact of their current spending habits. 
  • Singles voted December as the most expensive month of the year and summer as the wining and dining season. 

Top three spending tips for the singles season: 

  • A realistic budget is key - carefully work out how much you can afford to spend and then stick to it. Stay in control and don’t be tempted to have a summer splurge and spend beyond your means. 
  • Summer savings are made in winter – take advantage of hibernating in the cooler months by heating up your savings account. Take advantage of high interest online savings accounts that allow you to make your money work harder for you while still having full access in case of an emergency. 
  • Plastic’s not always fantastic - Leave the credit card at home and pay cash or use your debit card wherever possible to avoid starting the New Year with a credit card hangover. 


Media Inquiries: Ashleigh Paterson 07 3835 5561 or 0407 925 665 
About Suncorp: 
Suncorp Group includes leading general insurance, banking, life insurance and superannuation brands in Australia and New Zealand. The Group has 14,500 employees and relationships with nine million customers. Suncorp Group Limited is a Top 15 ASX-listed company with $94 billion in assets. Suncorp Bank is Australia’s leading regional bank servicing more than one million personal, SME and agribusiness customers.