The cost of single parenting: how being in a relationship can save you money

Have you ever thought about how being in a relationship can save you money?

I’ve been taking part in the Great British Budget challenge this month, so have been forced to think a lot about cashflow, and it has struck me how unfair life can be to single people sometimes, especially single parents.

When you’re young and child free it’s a bit different; you can simply share a house with friends, split the cost of all the beer and takeaway and generally have lots of fun. (I’ve never been an adult without children, but I’ve been led to believe this is how it works.) As a single parent though, it’s not as easy as simply finding a room mate – you need the same space and privacy as any two parent family, and yet somehow you have to find the money to pay for all the bills, toys and gin yourself. There is always the option of sending the kids up chimneys, but this does tend to be frowned upon nowadays.

Of course you could argue that a partner often just adds to your costs, insisting on meat with every meal rather than cereals and making you feel like you should do things in the evening other than just watch back-to-back Jonathan Creek, but overall surely the financial impact of a partner should be a positive one? (I say this with an air of hopeful optimism, having been in a relationship in the past that somehow always left me with less money than when I started.)

What are your top tips for saving money as a single parent? Are there any things that you find are actually cheaper when you’re single?

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