It's Expensive Being Single! How Can I Manage the Rising Costs?

·3 min read

On this episode of the Money Confidential podcast, host Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez talks with writer Anne Helen Petersen about the rising costs of being single in America.

TokenPhoto/Getty Images
TokenPhoto/Getty Images

Every Monday on the Money Confidential podcast, host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez, a nationally recognized money expert, delves into your (confidential) money problems and delivers smart, practical, and completely doable solutions that will help you work toward your ultimate financial goals. This is the place to come for real talk about money—and real solutions that actually work.

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On This Episode

The wealth gap between young married couples and their single counterparts has more than doubled since 2010. It's expensive being single, and inflation is making it even harder to manage rising costs on a single income. This week, Stefanie interviews writer Anne Helen Petersen about the rising costs of being single in America.

Meet Our Caller

"Dawn" is a 32-year-old Iowa-based listener working in the legal field. Between her own desires alongside pressure from her parents and outside voices, Dawn has her sights set on buying a house. However, she's feeling discouraged by the lack of institutional support and education for single people navigating finances.

"I think singlehood is seen as a temporary state. Like the default is that you end up partnered ... Society as a whole is just kind of like, 'Oh, well, you'll get over that. You'll change your mind about that.' And I'm just kind of like, 'Okay, but if I don't, this is the reality I'm working with.'"

Meet Host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez

Caroline White Photography
Caroline White Photography

Stefanie is a nationally recognized personal finance expert ready to talk work, worth, and money with unapologetically ambitious women. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Oprah Magazine, and Stefanie has appeared on ABC World News, CBSN, Fox & Friends, Fox Business, Bloomberg, The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, and more to share her smart, practical solutions to any money problem.

Meet Our Expert, Anne Helen Petersen

Courtesy of Anne Helen Petersen
Courtesy of Anne Helen Petersen

Anne Helen Petersen is an author and journalist. She currently writes for her newsletter "Culture Study" on Substack and previously worked as a senior culture writer for BuzzFeed. Her work has been featured in Vox, HuffPost, The New York Times, Time Magazine, and more.

Advice From the Episode

"There are so many different ways that people can engage in non-romantic, non-sexual partnerships with other people to create the sort of communities that make purchasing a home or purchasing a car or being on each other's health insurance possible."

  • Whether you see yourself staying single or hope to be partnered later in life, it's important to "prepare yourself [financially] for the reality of being a single person." — Anne Helen

  • Seek out communities of support so that you aren't working through different life scenarios alone. "I think a lot of us right now, whether we acknowledge it or not, are shut out of those traditional mechanisms of care, and the way that we support each other is we actually form community." —Anne Helen

  • Celebrate your life milestones and accomplishments the way that people celebrate getting married and having kids. —Anne Helen

"To pay off a debt, to be able to launch something, to be able to live on your own and fulfill your own goal, that requires an infrastructure of support that we have built around weddings and babies. It's not just that moment. It's everything leading up to it and how we show up for one another."

Links and Resources

Download the transcript for this episode.

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