It's hard work, and costly, being single
GLADSTONE'S single population spends $17,420 individually on weekends away, dining out, entertainment, groceries and personal grooming each year.
Gladstone's singles are five times more likely to spend money on personal items including hair and beauty products and massages compared to married couples with kids.
The Cost of Being Single Report, the latest in Suncorp Bank's Cost of Living Series, found the months of November, December and January (dubbed the single season) as the most expensive for Australia's 6.5 million singles, with increased spending on entertainment, dining out and weekends away on top of the usual festive season budget pressures.
Suncorp Bank regional general manager for central Queensland Craig Armstrong said the single season spending period began with the launch of the Spring Racing Season and lasted until Valentine's Day in February.
"We all know how expensive it can be to raise kids, but the cost of maintaining a 'single' lifestyle is often overlooked," Mr Armstrong said.
"Australians who are married with families or in relationships tend to stay home or go out for one special occasion, whereas singles are out and about at least twice a week or more and these costs are adding up.
"Singles are seven times more likely to spend big on entertainment, including drinks and going out to pubs throughout summer, compared to couples.
"This is of particular concern when around one in four singles already have a debt of more than $10,000."
All the single ladies, put your hands up if life is costly
LOOKING nice for the men is what it's about when you're young and single because you never know who you'll meet, singles say.
These women - one is single and one is taken - admit getting their hair and nails done, buying a new dress and spending money on taxis, entry and drinks can be a very expensive process, often repeated on a weekly basis.
"When you're single you spend more on dresses and going out," Ali Martin said.
"Guys don't spend as much when they're single though."
Ms Martin said she enjoyed the excitement of getting dressed up and the potential of meeting someone nice.
"The last time I went out on the town I had a spray tan, had my nails done, spent hours on my hair and make-up and then spent just as much out," she said.
"But I like it - when you look good, you feel good."
Her friend Tulliana Duiker said nowadays she would feel guilty spending so much on those luxury items.
"My boyfriend and I have joint incomes so I'd feel guilty indulging myself with some of that," she said.
"He doesn't see the point in getting my nails done so I don't bother as much."
Ms Duiker said she and her partner balanced out their expenses, such as rent and food, "but when we go out - he gets the drinks".
- Singles who believed they would save money if they were in a relationship said they would save most on living expenses (48%) and entertainment expenses (20%).
- One in four single Australians have a debt of more than $10,000.
- The majority of Australia's singles without kids live alone (40%), or with their parents (27%).
- People who are married or in a relationship think about saving more than singles; 51% said they often thought about the need to save.