Money Wellness
Two gold wedding rings sitting on the definition of divorce in an open dictionary
category iconcost of living
category iconmoney saver
calendar icon23 Feb 2024

Could cost-of-living crisis be behind lowest divorce rate in 50 years?

The number of divorces granted in England and Wales in 2022 fell to the lowest level in over 50 years, new figures reveal.

A report from the Office for National Statistics shows 80,057 marriages ended in divorce, a drop of nearly 30% on the 113,505 seen the previous year.

The last time the divorce rate was lower than this was back in 1971.

Are money worries keeping couples together?

If you take these stats at face value, this may seem like a rare good news story (warning: we’re about to well and truly burst your bubble!)

But some experts are suggesting money, not love, may be the key factor in divorce rates nosediving.

It’s thought couples are staying together because the alternative is just too expensive.

And given the fact Hargreaves Lansdown estimate, on average, single people have to shell out an extra £860 a month compared to those in couples, that seems like a reasonable theory.

The price of being free and single

When you live alone, you’re likely to pay more for:

  • housing
  • energy
  • food (you don’t split the cost and products are usually packed with families in mind)
  • council tax (okay you get a 25% discount, but you still shell out more than if you were splitting the full amount between two)
  • holidays
  • streaming films and music

The list goes on and on.

Budgeting tips to make your money go further when you're single

If you’re looking to leave an unhappy relationship and go it alone, we have some budgeting tips to help your money go further as a singleton.

Buy in bulk and batch cook

The freezer is your friend when you’re single! Keep your grocery bills down by buying in bulk and batch cooking. This will save time as well as money. Alternatively, you could shop with a friend to take advantage of 2-4-1 offers and other deals that favour couples and families over those living alone.

Being single doesn’t necessarily mean living alone

Housing is likely to be one of your biggest costs. Depending on your situation, you could consider a shared house or getting a lodger.

Get a water meter

If you’re single, chances are you’re using less water than the average household. That means your water bills might be cheaper if you get a meter fitted. The Consumer Council for Water has a free water meter calculator that’ll show you if it’s the best option for you.

Cut heating costs

When you live alone, you can save money by heating yourself rather than your home. Turn radiators off in rooms you’re not using, and layer up and eat regularly to stay warm rather than whacking the heating up.

Add an experienced driver to your car insurance

Running a car can be very expensive when there’s no one to share the cost. See if you can keep the price of insurance down by adding a second person as a named driver. Adding someone older with a long history of no claims can be particularly effective in reducing the price of a policy.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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