Living alone takes a toll on finances

Don’t cry, but the loneliness is gaining ground. I can’t tell you anything about morality, but it certainly puts a strain on the wallets of those affected.

According to the latest census data from Statistics Canada, the proportion of people living alone in the country continues to increase. Without the contribution of men, whose longevity is improving (and leaving fewer widows), the phenomenon would be even more pronounced.

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

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

This number may explain why these households are not particularly blessed, both in terms of consumption and in terms of taxes.

What ? Just take a look…

More expensive groceries

Sylvain Charlebois, senior director at Dalhousie University’s Agrifood Analytical Sciences Laboratory, recently pointed out that the agri-food industry is not adapting quickly to the growing number of single people.

Grocery offerings are by volume (thanks Costco!), which favors large families, and when custom-prepared meals take up more space in ready-made counters, they’re still twice the price of cooking them ourselves.

Real estate less accessible

Not so long ago we could say that the industry that had best adapted to the phenomenon was housing. Small 500 square foot condos are well suited for the solitary lifestyle.

With housing prices soaring in recent years and interest rates suddenly rising, a single salary is hardly enough to buy a condo, even a tiny one. Added to this is the explosion in insurance costs and the increase in the costs of filling up the provident funds, which alone have to be borne.

All in all, individuals will shell out more and more for real estate. It can never benefit from economies of scale or the bundling of expensive parts (kitchen or even bathrooms).

Besides, she has no one to share her internet, electricity, and subscription bills of all kinds with. Not to mention the car.

More fragile finances

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

Financially, a single person is always more vulnerable. First, for all of the reasons just mentioned, it’s harder for them to accumulate an emergency cushion.

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

A ridiculous tax

Make no mistake about my intentions, I am not advocating tax breaks for loners. I watch…

Over the past 20 years, taxpayers have been entitled to substantial tax breaks.

Most of this went to the family in the form of allowances. I understand the idea that the state is trying to support the birth rate. Individual people are not the best prerequisites for participating in the survival of the species.

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

The Quebec measure provides a maximum rebate of $270 per year for an adult under age 65 (without children). Once the income reaches $57,127, the credit disappears entirely.

Let’s face it: it’s ridiculous!

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