Does Marriage Make You Wealthy? | The Frugalista

Does Marriage Make You Wealthy?

by frugalista on July 16, 2012

The New York Times did a fantastic job writing about how being married can make it easier to live a life of financial prosperity. The article profiles two mothers – one who is married and one who is not- and chronicles their extremely different lifestyles. The mom who is married and graduated from college has her offspring in a lot more extra curricular activities than the single parent mother who didn’t finish college. The story was heart wrenching. There’s a marriage gap, if you will.

A quote from the article:
“It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University.

The single mother has to shop at discount grocery stores and couldn’t take as much time needed off work after a cancer surgery because she couldn’t afford to be without pay. Despite working as a manager, she has to rely on food stamps. Meanwhile the married mom is able to spend $3,500 on activities – boy scouts, summer camps, soccer and baseball. The single parent mom can only afford one extracurricular activity for her son. It is hard for her to save money or make extra money. Shopping on a budget is a way of life.

I am not a mother, but I am single. I can speak from experience that two incomes are better than one. The times that I have worked more than two jobs at once were the times that I was the most financially secure. I work in an industry that is notorious for its low pay and for laying off its workers. It’s one thing to be a young professional, but unless your career earnings are at a certain level, it can be hard to live a middle-class lifestyle. Working two jobs or having a husband who would bring home an extra salary helps alleviate financial pressure.

I kind of wish that the article had profiled a married college educated mother and a college educated single parent to see if the economic disparities were as great. I guess the New York Times didn’t do that because only fewer than than 10 percent of the births to college-educated women occur outside marriage, according to the article.

I don’t think you should get married just for the financial benefits, but I think there is a economic element to being married with two partners who are Frugalists. Ok, I just added that last part, but I still meant it!

Does marriage make you wealthy? What do you think about the New York Times article? Do you think there’s an assault against single mothers? Is the article catering to smug marrieds ore speaking the hard truth?

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