They say money can’t buy love, but dating certainly comes with a price. While short-term commitments can be found on Tinder and other apps for bargain prices, singles looking for a serious relationship will most likely need to spend time and money during courtship. However, the price tag on love varies across from city to city.
How much does it cost being single and ready to mingle in America? To answer that question, GOBankingRates recently analyzed the largest cities based on four expense items that commonly relate to the single life: clothing, dates, gym memberships, and rent per square foot. The performance for each factor contributed to a final scoring that ranks the cities from most expensive to least expensive, with the standings controlled to favor cities with an even male-to-female ratio based on U.S. Census data.
“Movies and TV shows glamorize being single in a big city, but the unspoken factor is how incredibly expensive it can be,” said GOBankingRates Editor-in-Chief Casey Bond, in a press release. “Costs run especially high in major cities like New York, Washington and San Francisco, where the cost of being fit and looking fashionable to attract a significant other are higher than most other parts of the country.”
Let’s take a look at the 10 most expensive cities in America for singles.
Singles in Seattle may be sleepless because of money issues. The city ranks as the No. 10 most expensive city in the analysis. The cost of a date is quite high at $131, while clothing costs is the biggest factor working against the budget. The average cost of a clothing staple in Seattle is $77. Gym costs and rent are also on the more expensive end. On the positive, Tacoma, Wash. is one of the cheapest cities in America for singles, located only about 34 miles from Seattle.
Miami ranks as the No. 9 most expensive city in America for singles. The most expensive factor placing it on the list is rent, at $1.95 per square foot. In fact, Miami has the sixth-highest rent costs of the 89 cities surveyed by GoBankingRates. Clothing prices are about average, but date and gym costs are on the higher end. Interestingly, a separate study by Bankrate finds Miami is also one of the worst cities for credit card debt burdens, with the average resident needing 14 months to pay off their spending habits.
Alaska’s largest city ranks as the No. 8 most expensive city in America for singles. Costs in Anchorage are high across the board. Gym costs are tied for the third-highest in the analysis at $68 per month, and rent costs are $1.43 per square foot. The price tag on a date comes in at $122, which includes dinner for two, a bottle of wine, two movie tickets, and a 10-mile taxi ride. Yet having another body to help keep you warm on cold Alaskan nights might be worth the cost.
California is no stranger to expensive cities. Glendale is the first of three cities from the Golden State to appear in the top 10, and ranks as the No. 7 most expensive city in America for singles. Glendale has expensive rent at $1.87 per square foot, though the most expensive factor in the analysis is the average monthly gym membership, which totals $68 per month (tied with Anchorage). In fact, only New York City and Washington, D.C. have higher gym membership costs.
Staying in the land of beaches and startups, Fremont ranks as the No. 6 most expensive city in America for singles. Like other California cities, rent is high at $1.94 per square foot, which is more expensive than New York City. The cost of a date in Fremont averages $161, the second-highest of any city surveyed.
Boston ranks as the No. 5 most expensive city in America for singles. Expenses are high across every factor in the analysis. Rent is the third-highest in the nation at $2.33 per square foot. Gym membership costs an average $63 per month. Higher-than-average prices on clothing and dating activities also help Boston make the list. However, high incomes also help single Bostonians afford these steep prices. Boston has the second-lowest credit card debt burden in America, with the average resident needing 10 months to pay off their spending habits, according to Bankrate.
Maybe a nice long walk on the beach in paradise could save you some money on dates. Honolulu ranks as the No. 4 most expensive city in America for singles. The average rent comes in at a whopping $2.60 per square foot, the second-highest in the analysis. Clothing costs are also high with the average staple coming with a price tag of $80. The price of a date in Honolulu is $134, lower than some major cities, but still higher that most of the country.
3. Washington, D.C.
The political epicenter offers some of the most attractive incomes in the nation, but Washington, D.C. also has a high cost of living. The city ranks as the No. 3 most expensive city for singles. The cost of clothing is the only factor in the analysis that is fairly average. The average rent is $2.12 per square foot, and the average gym membership is the second-highest among all cities at $70. One date in Washington, D.C. can set you back $166, more than 50% higher than the median of $109.
2. New York City
The Big Apple comes with a big price tag, ranking as the No. 2 most expensive city for singles. The average gym membership is the highest in the nation at $90 per month, which is $20 more than second-place Washington, D.C. Clothing costs are the second-highest with the average staple priced at $82. St. Petersburg, Fla. has the highest clothing costs at $88. A night out on the town in New York City costs an average of $145.
1. San Francisco
San Francisco ranks as the most expensive city in America for singles. California is known as a pricey destination, but San Francisco’s housing costs are eye-popping. Rent prices go for $3.36 per square foot, 30% more expensive than the next highest rent price of $2.60 in Honolulu. In comparison, the median cost in the analysis is only $0.91 per square foot. The average cost of a date in San Francisco is the third-highest at $147.
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