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Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!


Worth it Wednesday ~ Debt and the Single Girl


Please welcome my pal, Shoe, whooops :roll: I mean Kayla, who is guest posting here today.  I’m posting over at her site, so head on over there when you’ve finished reading this great share.  Without further ado, or should I say “I do”, I give you … Debt and the Single Girl.


no-ring-not-engaged-or-marriedLast week would’ve been my 4th wedding anniversary, if I’d have stayed married. But since I didn’t, June 5th is just a day like any other.

June 5, 2010 was my wedding day. I wore a gorgeous dress and got married to a man I, apparently, didn’t really know. When it came time for my trip down the aisle, I looked up at my dad and bawled.


Talking to my friends and family later, they thought I was crying “happy tears” but in reality, I was terrified and didn’t really want to go through with my wedding; if I had known then what I know now I wouldn’t have said “I do” to that cheater.

Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to go and get all sentimental and weepy on you! I actually learned a lot about myself and what I want in life by going through that experience. I know it did me good and I’m a lot stronger for it now. Plus now I’m comfortable and I actually love being single!

With that said, I think it’s important to note that paying off debt while single has its own set of advantages and disadvantages when compared to paying off debt while married or in a long-term relationship.

Advantages of Paying off Debt While Single

Because I’m single, I have the advantage of being able to set my own financial goals and budget. I’m able to decide independently how much money I’ll spend on entertainment and fun each month. Along those lines, I also get to decide how to use the money I set aside for that purpose. I’m never going to end up spending my hard earned and sparse entertainment budget on something I don’t want to do, like going to a football game or going to a movie at the theatre that I don’t want to see.

Another thing I love is that my free time is my own to do with as I please. This may not seem to have much to do with paying off debt, but because of my side hustles, (weekend job, cleaning the office building I work in, etc.) not only is my money a luxury, but my free time is valuable as well. If I want to watch chick flicks on Netflix for 10 hours straight while stuffing my face having a snack on my (rare) day off, I can! There’s no one there to stop me or complain about my choice of entertainment.

All you mother’s out there, please don’t take offense to this one. As a single girl without the responsibilities of marriage or children, I’m free to dedicate as much “extra” time to my career and side hustles as I please. I never have to worry about being home to spend time with my husband or pick my kids up from school or day care because I don’t have any! I truly respect those of you who are willing and able to do both – dedicate time to your side hustles/career and your family – to get your debts paid off, but I truly believe I have it easier since I don’t have both demanding my time.

Disadvantages of Paying off Debt While Single

It may seem crazy, but being able to set my own financial goals and budget is also somewhat of a disadvantage of being single. I’m still working hard to increase my self-discipline when it comes to my eating out and shopping monsters! Having another person to provide for and share financial goal with each month would give me some additional accountability, which isn’t a bad thing.

Being single can also be lonely. I’m not trying to make you feel bad for me, it’s the truth. Like I said before, I truly love being single and living on my own, but sometimes I feel lonely and end up spending a bit of money to get more human interaction. Usually I end up paying for a meal out or a drink with one of my girlfriends. The other down side is that the majority of my girlfriends aren’t single so they only have a limited about of time to spend together before they go home to their husbands. Luckily, I have my pets at home to help this loneliness happen less frequently. I highly recommend having a pet if you’re single even though they do cost money!

Sometimes I find myself feeling jealousy toward my married friends, not because I truly want to be married, but because they have the luxury of not having to work at all or at least not as long or hard as I do. Of course this could also be because they managed their money better and didn’t get into debt, or aren’t actively working to get out of debt. I have a lot of friends who I know are in at least some debt and yet they are able to only work part time because their spouse brings in a larger income. I try not to be, but sometimes I am jealous of their free time and flexible schedule.

Having children or getting married is a great motivator. There are lots of people who choose to get out of debt before getting married or having kids. These are great milestones to hinge your debt freedom on, since they are big motivators for most people. Knowing that I love being single and that I don’t plan on having kids means I don’t have those built-in motivators along my journey. Spouses are also great to lean on and bounce ideas off of. Because I’m single, I don’t have that built in support either.

What do you think? Are there additional advantages or disadvantages of paying off debt while single or married? Which do you think is easier?

Shoeaholicnomore (Kayla) is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at Shoeaholicnomore.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


Happy Hump DayDon’t forget to check out my post at Shoe’s site on Debt Games.

Lotsa crazy going on there, but it kinda works!!!

Hope you’re all having a good week!

Happy Hump Day!

~debt debs~



Author: debster

I am a fifty-something wife, mother and new grandmother, who admits to having their “head in the sand” about their financial situation until amassing $247,500 worth of consumer debt for a total debt of $393,500. We've paid $121K in 2 years with four more years to go. Join my journey at sharing ideas and motivation to all those coping with poor money management and bad debt decisions.

44 thoughts on “Worth it Wednesday ~ Debt and the Single Girl

  1. Pingback: Playing Debt Games - Shoeaholicnomore

  2. When I was single I was able to get in more trouble financially. Since I have been married, I’m killing it, LOL. I’ve become more focused on debt repayment and making wise financial decisions. Any dumb ideas I get, I run through the wife and she says yep that’s a dumb idea, saving me millions!

  3. I think one of the best things you can do is pay off debt before entering a marriage. Obviously, that’s ideal, but may not always be practical!

    • I actually went into my marriage debt free (I hadn’t had any debt at all yet, not even a credit card in my name) and though we had been raised with different views on money, that wasn’t what the big deal-breaker in our relationship was. Irregardless, paying off debt before marriage sounds ideal. If that can’t be acheived, honesty about your debt is important!

  4. Hm. If I were single right now, my life would be a lot different, that’s for sure! In a way, my boyfriend does make enough and I have enough saved where I can take my time finding a job right now. That’s not sustainable for the long-term though. He would love to make six figures someday, but we’ll see =). I am lucky to have found someone focused and driven. My ex was the complete opposite! He may have had a stable career, but he threw money out the window constantly, which killed me inside.

    • Wow! Sounds like you have an amazing BF this time around :) I’m glad you two are supporting each other and working together to pay off your debts. He sounds very supportive of you pursuing your passions and freelance career, which is great!

  5. Thanks for sharing Kayla. Us dads do our fair share of cooking, cleaning and helping with the kids too. :) My wife works so I pitch in often. I think being single allow you to easily make financial decisions which can be good and bad. Good that you don’t have to check with anyone else, bad that you don’t have to check with anyone else. :)

    • That is a good point Brian! I didn’t mean to leave you out and you’d think with Father’s day being so close, combined with the fact that my dad practically raised me and my brother without my mom’s help, I wouldn’t have forgotten to mention that! My appologies!

      You are exactly right, it is good and bad that I don’t have to run my financial decisions by anyone else first :)

  6. I think you very effectively highlighted the fact that both singles and marrieds have challenges and advantages. As the mother of a young child, I crave more time to get what I want done – both personally and professionally – and fewer interruptions when I am working on tasks. But, as you point out, I have a little more flexibility because my husband is our primary earner and I’m not working f/t, so I can be home with our daughter more.

    I’m really try to accept and embrace both the good and the bad about this season of life. I think remembering that life is always changing and nothing is all good or all bad are good ways to get through the tough moments. :)

    • Debtgal, this is a great stance to take. Every season of life is going to have positives and negatives, it can be hard to take the bad with the good, but that’s life. :) I know that just because you don’t work at a job f/t doesn’t mean you don’t work f/t. Having a child and a household to run is still work and I know that.

  7. Thanks for sharing a very emotional and private feeling with us. I guess when you look at the numbers of weddings and/or divorce it really puts things into perspective when considering cost. It’s still hard to believe that as a western culture we waste so much money on essentially nonsense. Often, we look back and realize that we overspent on a lot of unnecessary items or events.

    • DivHut, I’ve often said that I wish I had spent the money from my wedding something more lasting. I have problem teeth, I have had since i was a child no matter how much care (brushing, flossing, etc) they are stained from a childhood sickness I experienced. I wish I had gone and gotten my teeth fixed vs having a wedding :)

  8. I am not yet married, but I’m engaged and living with my fiancee. And being almost married has helped me save a lot more money than I anticipated. We don’t have to go out to eat as much, we spend more time with each other without having to drive to each other’s places, and we get to do a lot of free stuff together.

    Being single is fun, but it could get expensive especially if you’re dating. I don’t want to sound sexist, but being single is very expensive for guys who go on dates.

    • I understand your “sexist” comment, lol :) Generally speaking, the guy is expected to pay for all the dates! Luckily, I’m not spending “extra” money by dating or travelling to see a date, haha! I’m glad you and your SO save money by doing free things together and eating in. When I was with my Ex all he wanted to do was eat out and do anything and everything but stay home. I usually ended up paying because I was making more $ than him and I came into our relationship with a nice sized savings account (over $5k at 18 years old). In the end, I spent my whole life savings trying to please him and had nothing to show for it. Oh well, live and learn!

  9. For me, the ideal situation would be to have a female clone of myself. That way, I (we) could work twice as hard as I could alone and our expenses wouldn’t double soooo becoming FI is easier to attain if you’re in a great relationship.

    However, I don’t want to be married right now and don’t want to be married to my clone. But in the future, my savings should accelerate from getting married.

    I liked the story. Sad at times but what good story isn’t?

    • LOL, a clone of yourself!? I’ve never heard that one before :) I don’t know if i could handle the male version of me, yikes a male dram queen!? But, I get what you’re saying. It would be nice to be with someone, but only if they had similar visions, goals and work ethic as myself, then it could benefit you and help you both get out of your financial burdens much faster.

  10. Great post Kayla! Really enjoyed learning even more about you. I’m paying off debt as a single girl and I must say I do envy those paying it off as a couple. There’s twice the income to throw at it and there’s physical and emotional support right by your side. On the other hand, it’s good only having to pay off one persons load of debt.

    • I totally understand what you mean DBC! I tried to convey that in my post, but I’m not sure it totally made it out of my head and onto “paper”. I do get jealous sometimes of those who have a SO contributing a second income, but I try not to let it get me down for long. There are pros and cons to both sides of the equation and only having to pay off one persons debt load is a definite plus!

  11. I’ve never been a single adult. I know that sounds weird, but I met my husband-to-be when I was 18 and in my first semester of college. We got married the week after I graduated. So, I don’t have any way of knowing if I’d be better off financially or not being single, BUT in our case, I would think I’m better off married. Dual incomes and no kids seems to amass money faster and we both naturally save chunks of our money. Now, if I married a different kind of spender, I assume I’d be worse off. But we make a good team.

    • BFS, I know what you mean about not having been a single adult. I met my ex at the ripe old age of 17. We got married when I was 19, so it was not until after the divorce that I had ever been a single adult or lived by myself (went from living w/parents, to living in the dorm my freshman year of college, to living with my ex while married, then finally living alone). DINK couples, as long as they aren’t spendy people, should be able to build wealth quickly, that is one reason I am sometimes jealous of my friends who are in that situation. With help from their spouse’s income, they are able to choose what line of work they want or even choose to work only part time rather than taking the job that pays the best despite it not being something they are passionate about.

  12. When I started to pay off debt I was single (coming off a divorce) and I do believe it helped me to focus on my goal of debt freedom. Not long after I met my now husband and I told him about my debt and plans to become debt free. He completely understood and supported my goal. We didn’t spend much whenever we would go out during those early years and he never once complained because he was also about saving money. Note that he never helped me financially to pay off my debt. I really wanted to do that myself and ensure I wouldn’t bring any debt to our relationship once we had decided to get married.

    • Kassandra, that is an amazing story! I’m glad your new man was supportive of your goal to becoming debt free and I’m impressed that you paid it all yourself before entering your marriage :) That is great! Sometimes being single has it’s benefits!

  13. Kayla,

    Interesting perspective there.

    I agree that just like anything else in life, being single while paying off debt has its benefits and drawbacks.

    I just recently became single again myself after moving back home to Michigan, so we’ll see how this impacts my budget. Overall, I expect to spend less now, but I have over three years of budgets to compare to. We’ll see!

    Best of luck slaying debt, enjoying your time being single, and avoiding loneliness. I’m on the same page.

    Best wishes!

    • I’d really be interested to see what you find out as far as your budget while single vs your budget while you were in a relationship. That would make an interesting post. Unfortunately, I was NOT budgeting (obviously) while I was in a relationship so I can’t do a side-by-side comparison, but I know with certainty that I’m spending less now than I was before (relative to my total income, of course since I was also a student while I was in a relationship).

  14. Money in marriage can be complicated, as can it be when you are in a relationship. But it can be too when you’re single. THere are pros and cons to both! Good luck paying down your debt.

  15. There is something about the PF world that I swear everyone is married SO FREAKING YOUNG. Most of my friends in California are in their 30’s and single. So I guess that’s the upside for living around here for sure. Anyway, I digress, I love the plusses as well. I’d say one major disadvantage of being single is I’m a freelancer, and I have nothing to fall back on when work it slow, which is why I stress so much about savings. And it makes being a freelancers a drag sometimes.

    • Yes, that is a HUGE downside to being single. If I do indeed leave my well paid, great benefits (insurance and retirement), career at some point, that will be a huge consideration. I don’t have someone else to provide health insurance for me (ie a spouse) if I decide to leave my job and benefits behind.

  16. Sure you can have free or cheap activities, but the main expense is probably rent or mortgage, which is not divided by two anymore. I think it is much easier to pay off debt with a partner, unless said partner is a financial wreck. I spend more money on treats and stuff than before with my BF but we split housing costs, utility bills, groceries… and even used to share a car so that’s a big saving.

    • That’s a great point Pauline! While a lot of costs increase when you are in a relationship, those ones do not (assuming you live together and didn’t move to a bigger space). If someone was getting picky, they could argue with you that utility costs will go up, 2 of you will use more water, electricity and gas than you will use on your own (probably). But, I’m not that argumenative! :)

  17. I didn’t finish paying off my student loan debt until I was married. It was nice because I could focus on throwing most of my freelance income at that debt since my husband was working. Probably would have taken longer if I was supporting myself.

  18. Pingback: Feeling Guilty/Link Love | Budget and the Beach

  19. Great post! My husband and I didn’t have any debts when we were married, and I think it was easier paying off our own debts separately when we were single. I like to do things my way when it comes to money, like you I like going at my own pace, setting my own goals, and making my own budgets.

  20. I think sometimes it would be easier to pay off my debts if I was single. (Mr Tre & I don’t always agree on the priority of paying off my student loans.) It’s great that you made your finances a priority after your divorce. That was not an easy choice.

    • Well, it didn’t happen right away. I didn’t have too much debt until after the divorce. I spent about 2 years after the divorce spending and spending and spending. Then I decided to pay them off. :)

  21. To be honest when I was single I was more likely to spend money on entertainment because well, I could do basically whatever I want! Now that I have a spouse who tends to be a saver, I managed to cut down my expenses and pay off my debts a bit quicker.

    • That’s a great point in favor of relationships. Sometimes it is harder to control my spending because I don’t have to run purchases by anyone first.

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