USA Week: Financial advice for singles

It is National Unmarried and Single Americans Week (USA Week). According to the US Census Bureau, singles make up 42 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.

Since we all know that money is one of the main reasons married couples fight, you might think that singles have a financial advantage. However, being single means that you have sole responsibility for your financial situation—a fact that can be daunting to some. While most basic rules of money management apply to singles and married couples, there are a few things singles can do to make their financial lives easier.

Set financial goals. Singles might think that they know what their goals are, but it pays to put them on paper. To hold yourself accountable, write out your individual short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals.

Share financial responsibility. Singles don’t have to go it alone. Consider assembling a team to help you make financial decisions. Your team members might include a credit counselor, a financial planner, a lawyer, and an accountant.

Build good credit. Since lenders will make decisions based on your creditworthiness alone, building good credit is imperative. To see where you stand today, visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

Protect yourself. Singles do not share financial responsibilities, so insurance is very important. In addition to health insurance, consider disability insurance in case you are ever unable to work.

Finally, it pays for singles to understand their individual rights and responsibilities—this is particularly true for unmarried couples. State laws vary quite a bit regarding ownership of income and responsibility for debt.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.8/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • MMI is a member of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.