Rich and single or Poor and In Love?

by Erika Torres


Would you rather be rich and single or poor and in love?

This was the question recently posed by DINKS Finance (Dual Income, No Kids).  This was a good question for me because while  I wouldn’t have considered myself rich and single, I was definitely doing well for myself before I got married.

I went out almost every weekend with friends. Trips to Vegas and Cabo were not uncommon. My entertainment budget was spent on drinks, clubs, and bar outings–I was a single twenty-something living it up. And I do not regret it one bit–because if you can be reckless at any point in your life, shouldn’t your 20’s be it?

Then I got married.

And all of a sudden, we had no extra income to do any of the fun things we were doing before we got married. My single self was living in a three-bedroom townhome in Newport Beach and now my poor married self is living in a shack.

You would think that with two incomes we’d have more money, but two incomes also meant more expenses. Our rent was higher, my food bill tripled, and utilities are expensive. Eric also came with a few thousand dollars in credit card debt, which took us six months to pay off. And in the first few months of marriage when we were still figuring out how to combine our finances, we were easily spending way above our means.

Paying for Eric’s education, his travel for job interviews, and all his academy stuff (from registration to books to uniforms) has also caused a hit to our finances.

Fast forward to the present, and we’ve completely hunkered down on our spending and living a much more budget-friendly lifestyle.

It’s been hard to change our ways. There are times I would really love to go to a restaurant without thinking how it will affect our budget. My lifestyle today is completely different from two years ago.

You could say I was more well-off when I was single and I am more poor now that I am married.

But would I change it?

I have told Eric that if I were to do it over again, I probably would have waited to get married until after he was hired as a firefighter. And he completely understands; there’s been a big weight on me to provide financially and run the household on my own while he focuses on building his career.

And yet, despite all this, despite everything, I really love having him in my life. He makes my life brighter. He keeps me from being too serious. Except for the times when he’s pissing me off, I am always smiling around him. It is a joy when he comes home. He is almost always in a good mood and it’s infectious. Whether we’re out on the town, or walking to our favorite coffee shop on a Saturday morning, I always have a great time with him. And I can’t imagine life without him in it.

So while we may have taken an unconventional path to get to where we are today, I can’t say that I would change a single bit of it.

Would you rather be rich and single or poor and in love?

28 comments September 8, 2016 - 10:05 pm

I would much rather be rich and single than poor and in love. I have been in love and it’s not that great. I would rather have money to spend on myself and my wants, and I enjoy being free and not having to compromise with another person all the time. Freedom beats love!

jen September 8, 2016 - 10:03 pm

I’d go for rich and single. I like having freedom, including the freedom to spend all my money on myself. I don’t want kids or someone telling me how to live my life. I don’t like compromising a lot, so I would be happier rich and single.

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Lizzy September 6, 2012 - 1:59 am

I was in a similar situation, I was neve really rich but when i was single i was less concerned about money and used to go out a lot shopping and eating out etc. Since I got married I hardly go shopping, I only eat out or go to the cinema on certain days when i can get special deals, or I desperately save up pennies and nectar points to get a good deal. I hardly ever buy coffee at work and take packed lunch every day. It’s made me a lot more careful with money because I have to be – I’m supporting my husband through uni which means all the financial burden is on me. We also have a baby on they way. It is stressful sometimes but I would never ever change my husband and future baby for money. I’m hoping one day we will be reasonably well off and still together, but for now I’m happy being poor and single and would never swap it for rich and alone…

Harri @ TotallyMoney December 15, 2011 - 11:11 pm

Just to be outrageously corny here- this whole discussion begs the question what does ‘being rich’ really mean? Just because you’re rich monetarily doesn’t necessarily mean you’re rich in life.

I’m not married but I live with my boyfriend. I definitely spend more in a couple and I am worse off now than when I was single. Would I change that? Not at all. He makes me extraordinarily happy and I don’t think you can put a price on that 🙂

(Told you it was going to be a corny comment).

Hannah December 15, 2011 - 4:34 pm

Can’t I just pick rich and in love?

Please?! For us we’d rather poor and together but we’re working so very hard on saving money and making good financial decisions so we can be rich and in love 🙂

Jana @ Daily Money Shot December 14, 2011 - 10:59 am

I never had the opportunity to be rich and single. I’ve been with the same person for 15 years, since we’re 19. So my entire college, grad school, and working life has involved me being in a relationship with someone. And when I was making “money”, he was in school and I was doing most of the providing–much like you’re doing now.

So, my vote is for poor and in love.

World of Finance December 13, 2011 - 9:06 pm

Congrats on amazing progress you have made 😉 It’s amazing how much more food men eat than women… another friend even commented to me that their food bill is much higher than she initially budgeted for.

MARIBEL December 13, 2011 - 10:52 am

I think being rich and single is lonely… I don’t like being lonely…. so poor and in love.

I think the answer would be different if money is really all that matters, but the most important to me is my family and everyone in my life, so yeah. POOR and in LOVE.

Melissa December 13, 2011 - 7:42 am

Are there actually people who would want to be rich and single, over poor and in love?? I couldn’t even out a dollar value on the idea of having someone in my life for the long haul.

Just Real Happy December 12, 2011 - 7:30 pm

I love love. So I’m leaning towards love. You know me, girl.

Aaron Hung December 12, 2011 - 7:00 pm

ahh I think it depends, what truly makes you happy? if being rich and single makes you happy then it’s all good right?

Aloysa December 12, 2011 - 6:30 pm

I am a big romantic. So, I would rather be poor and in love than rich and single. In fact that’s how I met my husband, call him Beaker. We both were poor and we both are still working towards out financial goals. It is so much more rewarding! We are together and we can get through anything! Together.

The Miracle Journal December 12, 2011 - 5:35 pm

It doesn’t even feel like a choice to me. Of course, I have a lot of experience at being poor and single, so poor and in love sounds infinitely better. 🙂 And I’ll work up to being rich and in love!

Teacher Girl December 12, 2011 - 5:09 pm

Poor and in love, but I will never be rich and single. Teacher = no money.

Doctor Stock December 12, 2011 - 3:55 pm

I suppose it depends on what day you ask… how about rich and in love?

Hawaii Planner December 12, 2011 - 3:42 pm

Most definitely poor & in love. We can always make more money, but I could never find someone to replace what I have with my husband & our family.

Niki December 12, 2011 - 1:29 pm

I think with your mind on your money and your money on your mind you can be rich and in love at some point in your life. Yeah, I made a snoop dog reference

When my husband and I got married we were poor too. And very shortly after we said “I do” we were no longer DINKS. Which made us even poorer. BUT, I feel like we are at a comfortable place now.

I am pretty positive you guys are going to get there too.

Maria@moneyprinciple December 12, 2011 - 1:21 pm

This is a very hadr choice? Could I be rich and in love, please? No! Well I thought so. It will have to be…poor and in love then.

Nichole C December 12, 2011 - 11:34 am

I seriously love this post. Both hubs and I work, but we both have some major cc debt on the table and we’re still attempting to figure out how to merge our finances together. But before my hsuband, I lived the single/fabulous life too and yea I’d have to agree I don’t regret it and I def didn’t have to answer to anyone about how I spent my money and sometimes we are way more responsible because we have financial goals then before we met so we’re broke a lot of the time. But there is no one else I’d rather be broke on the couch with than my husband (cheesy but true!)

Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter December 12, 2011 - 10:10 am

Poor and in love for me too. I think if you are happy and have a partner in that happiness than you can handle whatever life throws at you including being poor.

Stacey December 12, 2011 - 8:36 am

I would definitely rather be poor and in love…and i was for some time after I lost my job and we had to live off of my husband’s salary alone. Things are better now, but I wouldn’t trade any of the time and love for money!

Michelle December 12, 2011 - 6:52 am

Poor and in love of course!

Ariella December 12, 2011 - 6:08 am

I have no idea how it would feel to be rich and single because I was one of those girls that was always in a relationship and I never had a great-paying job so I’ve always been pretty broke. But, my husband was probably the brokest out of my boyfriends.

When we met he was in grad school and I had just been laid off. About a week into our “relationship” his university cancelled his program and he found himself without a job. We started our journey together unemployed and now that we’re married, just the fact that we both have jobs is a giant leap from where we started. We’re still incredibly broke, but we’re doing what we can in this crap economy. He’ll start grad school next semester and we’ll have a better income, but money will still be tight.

The only thing I would do over again is SAVE MONEY. Ugh, I spent so much money on things that I didn’t need. But, in terms of changing our relationship, I wouldn’t. We’re broke and happy and doing way better than where we were when we started.

A Super Girl December 12, 2011 - 6:04 am

Such a timely post as the fiance and I prepare to move in together next month. I already know our rent will go up, but then there’s things like utilities and groceries and furniture. We sat down and did a skeleton budget and it seems we have enough money to maintain our lifestyle, but you never really know until you get there. In some ways, I’m glad we’re doing this a few months before we get married as I imagine the transition will be fun, but also challenging, and there’s a part of me that is anxious to get that out of the way!

jobo December 12, 2011 - 5:31 am

aww! I love this post! I am so glad you wouldn’t have changed anything…except the marriage part (and even that, I think, was obviously the right decision at the right time for you guys! I believe that!). I would rather be poor and in love than rich and single. Absolutely.

Tanner December 12, 2011 - 5:29 am

To be honest… I think I’d take the poor and in love. (I think you need to change the first sentence of the post, it is a bit contradictory to the rest!).

I’ve been single, or rather, I’ve been alone for way too long of my life, and I’ve always been in financial hardship. I think that having someone would really make a difference for me, but I am not pushing or looking to get together anytime soon/ever. I guess every person is different, but for me, there are some things you just can’t experience just from being rich.

newlywedsonabudget December 12, 2011 - 9:30 am

perhaps what i failed to mention as that There is no monetary value for some things in life. and maybe love is one of them.


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