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February 11, 2013 09:59 ET

It's Good to Be Together

Cohabiting Couples Are Over GBP 1,200 Better Off Each Year

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2013) - Research commissioned by first direct has found that cohabiting couples, those that are married or living together, are £102 better off each month than singletons. The survey also found that the vast majority of the UK population (91%) haven't changed their relationship status in the last 12 months. Just over two thirds (65%) said they were living together or married, a fifth (19%) were singletons and 8% were in a relationship, but had yet to take the plunge and move in together.

The results show that a person's relationship status has a real impact on their finances. The average monthly disposable income of those who are married or living together was £102 more than a singleton, £307 per person for cohabiters versus £256 amongst singletons, giving them £1,224 more each year to secure their financial future or to spend on the finer things in life.

Singletons said they are less likely to be able to treat themselves than those who are married or living together. When asked if they could afford things like regular holidays, nights out, gym membership and a cleaner, 34% of singletons said they were unable to afford any of the options, significantly higher than cohabiting couples (23%).*

And when it comes to their financial future singletons are also worse off; only 37% felt able to add to their savings each month unlike 45% of cohabiters. Those living together were also more able to afford mortgage payments (45% vs. 24%) and a mortgage deposit (19% vs. 14%).*

Andy Forbes, Head of Retail Products at first direct commented:

"Peoples' relationship status has a real impact on their finances and in turn their ability to save and afford the finer things in life. I'm not advocating that people should move in together before they're ready, but for those already considering sharing a roof it definitely makes financial sense."

Notes to Editors

In February 2013, Opinion Matters surveyed 2129 UK adults aged 16-55+ in order to find out how their relationship status affects their finances.

Whether you have/want them or not, which of the following could you afford?*

Relationship Status
Single Living together / married In a relationship
A night out without saving up 44.30 % 56.15 % 55.30 %
To put money in to savings every month 37.20 % 45.40 % 41.40 %
Annual holiday abroad 30.40 % 42.50 % 41.40 %
Mortgage payments 24.30 % 44.55 % 32.20 %
A weekend away every 4 months 25.80 % 41.85 % 34.20 %
Pension 23.30 % 32.75 % 21.70 %
None of the above 34.20 % 22.65 % 25.70 %
Gym Membership 23.80 % 23.70 % 23.70 %
Mortgage deposit 14.40 % 19.35 % 13.80 %
Cleaner 12.70 % 16.95 % 11.20 %
New car every three years 11.10 % 14.75 % 9.20 %
Gardener 7.80 % 14.20 % 7.90 %
A new designer outfit every month 10.10 % 10.90 % 11.20 %

A complete executive summary of findings and the raw data are available upon request.

first direct has also compiled 'Top 10 Tips for successfully merging your finances'.

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first direct provides both telephone banking and online banking services to its 1.2m customers. It offers a full range of personal banking products including its award winning Current Account and offset mortgages.

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