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.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is 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.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.