Single Finances with the Happy Hour Ladies
Today is the last Friday of the month and my regular listeners know that on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour, where I gather great friends to drink cheap drinks and talk about money topics. For the past 37 happy hours, it’s always been the same crew, Melanie from Dear Debt, Tonya from Budget and the Beach, and Liz from Frugalwoods; however, we had to break our tradition this month because Liz is on maternity leave of sorts and has recently given birth to her second baby girl. All of us at martinis and your money are thrilled to welcome another little frugal weirdo into this world and we were sad to not have Liz on the show, but instead we got to welcome one of my amazing listeners, Dylan, who actually suggested this month’s topic of single finances. Something I love about happy hours is that I hit record and you never know where the show is going to go, just like any night out with friends, and this one was no different. I hope that you enjoy the show, my old friends Tonya and Melanie, and my new friend Dylan.
What are we drinking?
Melanie from Dear Debt — Hot toddy (tea, lemon, honey, & bourbon)
Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Cabernet
Dylan from Nebraska — Blue Moon
Shannon — Gin & Club Soda
- Liz gave birth to a baby girl, Aurora. Congratulations, Liz!
- The juice in gin and juice is both grapefruit juice and orange juice.
- Pros and cons of single finances:
- Melanie: Her financial situation didn’t change drastically when she became single last year, since she was paying for almost everything. Groceries and utilities went down. If it was more of an equal partnership, it would have been more shocking. They did not make many financial decision together and managed their finances separately.
- Shannon: She has always contributed more financially in her marriage and felt pressure to contribute the same percentage when she opened the gym, even though she wasn’t making as much as before. Money was always an issue they didn’t address. They relied on Shannon’s bonuses to pay off debt. Resentment started to build when the bonuses were gone.
- Dylan: She enjoys being single and only needing to pay for one plane ticket or one dinner. She doesn’t have to be accountable to another person.
- Tonya: She has dated people, but finances were always separate. Rent costs more, solo traveling costs more, etc. When freelancing, she wondered where her next check was coming from – it is all on her. She doesn’t have money fights with anyone. When dating, you tend to go out more and spend more.
- Many single clients think it would be nice to have another person be a sounding board for financial decisions. However, if you are not on the same page, fights will happen. More times than not, couples are not like-minded.
- Shannon joked that expenses go up when clients start dating (dating sites, clothing, lingerie, self-help books, etc.).
- Dylan was a serial first dater, so her dinner and clothing costs were low.
- Shannon moved to Atlanta for a guy, and then they broke up a month later. Dating helped her meet new people and explore the city.
- Tonya said it is taken a step further in LA, with women getting Botox, fillers, and other procedures.
- When you feel good about what you are wearing or what you look like, it shows in your confidence, but there is a fine line of taking it too far.
- Be yourself and wear what you feel represents your best self. Don’t waste your time and money.
- Tonya’s last serious boyfriend was very serious about money and always chose the lower cost dining options. For the most part, she has been on equal spending levels with people she has dated or they were good with money. Some of the people she dated in the past became more reckless later.
- Dylan has always been better with money than the guys she dated. She moved back to Nebraska for a guy and bought a house, and he broke up with her eight months later. She was glad only her name was on the house.
- It is better to be single than to be with someone who takes advantage of you financially.
- If you don’t have a financial accountability person, you need to be disciplined, look at your money, and check your expenses. Schedule time to look at the numbers.
- Make sure you have bills on autopay or that you have a family member who can step in if something happens to you.
- Whether single or in a relationship, you want to make sure you can support yourself.
- Make sure you are spending your money on things that you value and that you are maximizing your income potential.
- Shannon said she is going to sell her house, because of the change in her finances over the last year.
- Don’t over romanticize having another person in your financial life.
- A current challenge for Dylan is rent and taking care of her dog in her apartment. She adopted the dog when she had a house. She likes that she can change her lifestyle without anyone else having a say.
- As a single person, you have the most flexibility and options. You are not limited, because there is not dual income, you have so many choices.
- No matter your situation, you should always feel confident in your ability to manage your finances. Be aware of your money and where it is going.
- What is your favorite part of your financial life, being single?
- Melanie: She is relieved to not have to judge someone else’s financial choices or try to get another person on the same page as her.
- Tonya: She can do whatever she wants, every decision is her own, and she doesn’t have to answer to anyone.
- Shannon: She can own her money choices.
- For a single person, every financial decision is a decision and it won’t end up in a fight.
TAKEAWAY: Whether or not we’re in a relationship, all of us should feel comfortable managing our money as a single person, meaning that we should all feel in control and confident with our finances. As I’ve seen and learned personally, you never know where life is going to take you, but you always know you’ll have to deal with money in some capacity so it’s better to get comfortable with it sooner than later.
If you have any topics you would like for us to talk about during happy hour, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to me at blonde_finance or join the private martinis and your money facebook group and let us know. Until next time, take care!!