One isn’t just the loneliest number—it’s also the most expensive, thanks to the "single's tax."
What's new: Skyrocketing rents and mortgage costs have added to the financial burden faced by Canadians who live alone or on a single income, as they bear more of the cost of inflation than those who are coupled up or even living with roommates.
- A new study by two sociology professors found that one-in-five young adults in Canada are spending 30% or more of their income on housing.
- In a competitive housing market like Toronto, a single person will pay $15,000 more annually (on average) for housing than someone who lives with a partner.
Why it's happening: There are three key factors affecting single people's finances—stagnant wage growth, increased job insecurity and homes priced beyond what the average working person can afford.
Why it matters: For many, the financial burden of being alone has put them off track to reaching milestones their partnered-up peers are achieving more easily.
- Poverty rates are significantly higher for those that live alone compared to the general population, according to one Queen’s University prof.
Want to stop paying the single’s tax? Consider getting a roommate if you want to divvy up your housing costs. Here are some tips to help you find someone compatible:
Make a list of deal breakers and must-haves. Did they track mud into your place because they didn't wipe their feet or take their muddy shoes off? Deal breaker. Are they willing to share all their streaming services with you? Must have.
Crowdsource potential candidates. Use your network to set you up with some hopefuls. Does your co-worker's uncle's fiancee's daughter need a spot in the city? Set up a phone call with her!
- Set the rules. If you think you've found a good roomie, go over what you expect the house rules to be. Is there a dedicated laundry day for each of you? What are the rules about dishes in the sink? This exercise will show you how you and your new roomie can compromise and work through disagreements.
Yes, but: Don’t rush into a relationship just to escape paying the single’s tax because tbh, breaking up can cost a lot more.