Someone asked me today if I have kids. I said, “No” and we moved on. But something about that question always resonates with me. No husband. No kids. Nothing to tie me down. Just a kitty cat. And cats are rather portable. There is a certain freedom in singleness.
When I get paid, I only need to budget for my own groceries. I only need to budget for my own clothing. I can splurge on something and take it out of my own vacation fund, rather than sacrifice something more important like money for my children’s school supplies. Cat food and cat litter aren’t that expensive – especially in comparison to baby food and diapers. Oreo is due for his annual shots. We will visit the veterinarian on Monday. Although his shots are not cheap, they do not compete with doctors’ and dentists’ bills for a child.
Things are tight sometimes, for sure. But I can learn to live without a few luxuries. In fact, living without gives me healthy perspective. If I don’t have enough money to buy groceries at the end of the week, I can fast for a few days. In some parts of the world, eating is a privilege – not a right.
Many singles complain about the financial struggles that come with living alone. Grass is greener on the other side of the fence mentality declares that the income of a husband and wife will stretch much farther than a single person’s income. In all reality marriage and children rarely improve anyone’s financial conditions.
Singles have freedom to make mistakes without negatively impacting too many other people. I can move my career across the country without worrying about the effects of uprooting a family. I can pursue that dream job which will not necessarily pay the greatest. Nobody but Oreo is depending on me. This is a wonderful stage to be in while I learn how to manage money. Any risky or unwise decisions that I make will affect me – but they will not burden my loved ones. (Note: Risky and unwise are not terms to be used interchangeably. Risk is not always unwise.) Singles have the opportunity to build stability as well as learn healthy spending and saving habits before we commit to mates who will share financial burdens. If we learn from our mistakes in singleness, we may prevent financial strains in future relationships. If we remain single for life, wisdom regarding finances will always prove beneficial. Any good practices we adopt while we are young will help us as we near retirement.