Can Being Married Make You Wealthier?

by Kevin on August 8, 2014

Most of us are pretty well acquainted with the benefits of marriage. Love, companionship, romance, the ability to build a family, and not having to worry about finding dates on Friday nights anymore. But being married can make you wealthy too. That isn’t to say that it works that way in all marriages, only that there is tremendous potential to make it happen.

Here are some of the reasons…

Dual incomes

There’s no getting around the fact that two people can produce a higher collective income than just one. This has implications that go beyond simply earning a higher income. There are additional benefits from having two incomes:

  • Two 401(k) plans to contribute to
  • Greater financial security – if one income is lost, there’s always a back-up
  • It’s easier for one spouse to start a business because the other has an income
  • You can be more aggressive with your investments because the risk of losing one income isn’t as debilitating as it would be in a single income household

Now it can certainly be argued that dual incomes will also mean two sets of work-related expenses. There will be two daily commutes, two daily lunches eaten out, and two sets of business clothes that need to be sent to the cleaners. That’s all true, but generally speaking, the amount of money that each spouse earns on their respective job will far outweigh the expenses related to maintaining it.

There are also ways to cut down on job-related expenses, such as bringing your lunch from home or setting up carpool arrangements to commute to and from work. Either way, the dual income couple will have more money coming in each month than a single person will.

“Two can live for the price of one”

This is usually the single biggest benefit of the dual income arrangement. Though there will be two incomes, there will be only one house payment, one payment for each of the utilities, and one grocery bill.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle is that a dual income couple typically maintain separate cars. This can be a negative factor if each spouse maintains a late-model car with a loan on it. But if one car has a loan and the other is owned free-and-clear, the auto situation evens out. And let’s also not forget that most married couples have at least two cars even if only one spouse holds a job.

The money saved by having one of everything can be saved and invested. Not only will there be more money available for investing, but it is possible for the couple live on a single paycheck while investing the other. Imagine how quickly a couple could accumulate $1 million if one salary of $40-$50,000 was invested each year?

Division of labor on non-job related tasks

Despite the arrival of computers – or maybe because of it – life in the 21st century might be more complicated than it’s ever been. Just keeping up with “things” can be a substantial part-time job in itself. But a married couple can work around this obstacle by a setting up a division of labor with non-job related tasks.

One spouse can do the yard work while the other does the housecleaning. One could cook dinner while the other does the laundry. One could pay the bills while the other manages investments. By splitting the responsibilities, each spouse would have more time than if they were single.

As a single person, you would have to do all of those jobs yourself, and that would leave you with less time to earn money or to invest it efficiently.

Accountability, support and encouragement

In church circles we often talk about maintaining accountability partners. That’s not always an easy thing to do, especially when the subject of accountability is finances. But a married couple can handle it internally. Each spouse could be accountable to the other for both their own financial activities, and those of the couple jointly.

If you have a plan to build up a substantial amount of money, being accountable to one another will help you get there. This will be enhanced by the fact that as a married couple you are responsible for- and to-each other in the first place.

In those times when it seems as if you’re not attaining your goals, or even developing some bad habits that are hurting the effort, you can each support and encourage one another to get back on track.

A team always works better than one person trying to go it alone.

Do you think that it is easier to achieve wealth as a single person or by being married?

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