Living alone is hard on finances

Don't cry, but loneliness is gaining ground.

Living alone is hard on finances

Don't cry, but loneliness is gaining ground. For morale, I can't tell you, but it certainly weighs on the wallets of the people concerned.

According to the latest census data from Statistics Canada, the proportion of people living alone continues to grow in the country. Were it not for the contribution of men whose longevity is improving (leaving fewer widows behind), the phenomenon would be even more pronounced.

Once again, Quebeckers stand out from the rest of the Canadian population. In Canada as a whole, 29% of households have only one individual. In Quebec, this proportion rises to 35%.

Be careful when interpreting the data: although there is one person alone behind every three doors, 15% of Quebec residents are affected.

This figure may explain why these households are not particularly blessed, both in terms of consumption and from a tax point of view.

What ? Let's see...

More expensive groceries

Sylvain Charlebois, Senior Director at Dalhousie University's Agrifood Analytical Sciences Laboratory, pointed out recently that the agrifood industry is not adapting quickly to the growing number of single people.

Grocery deals are offered by volume (thanks Costco!), which favors large families, and if individual prepared meals take up more space in ready-to-eat counters, they are still twice as expensive as if we cooked them himself.

Real estate less accessible

It could be said, not so long ago, that the industry that had best adapted to the phenomenon was residential construction. Small 500 square foot condos are well suited to the solitary lifestyle.

With the surge in real estate prices in recent years, and then with the sudden rise in interest rates, a single salary is barely enough to buy a condo, even a tiny one. To this, we must add the explosion of insurance costs and the increase in costs to fill the provident funds, which must be assumed alone.

All things considered, the single person will always shell out more in real estate. It can never take advantage of economies of scale or the pooling of expensive parts (kitchen or bathrooms).

For the rest, she has no one with whom to share the bills for internet, electricity and subscriptions of all kinds. Not to mention the car.

More fragile finances

The vast majority of people living alone are divorced and separated, leaving a relationship impoverished. They know the difference.

Financially, a single person is always more vulnerable. First, for all the reasons I have just mentioned, it is more difficult for her to accumulate an emergency cushion.

And since his household can only rely on one income, the financial consequences of job loss, accident or illness are necessarily more painful. She cannot count on the solidarity of a spouse to soften the blow.

A laughable tax

Make no mistake about my intentions, I am not advocating tax favors for loners. I observe...

Over the past 20 years, taxpayers have been entitled to significant tax relief.

Most of it was directed to the family, in the form of allowances. I understand the idea, the state seeks to support the birth rate. Single people are not the best placed to participate in the perpetuation of the species.

Quebec still recognizes that living alone is more expensive, hence the “tax credit for people living alone”. That’s good, there is no equivalent on the federal side.

The Quebec measure represents a maximum reduction of $270 per year for an adult under 65 (without children). The credit disappears entirely from an income of 57,127 dollars.

Let's face it: it's laughable!