By Elyssa Kirkham, Editor
To help single adults see if they are paying too high a premium to live in their city, GOBankingRates surveyed 89 major U.S. cities to compare the local costs that affect singles the most: the prices of wardrobe staples, gym memberships, date night expenses and rent.
Singlehood is often lauded as the perfect time to save and work toward money goals because it doesn't carry the same financial obligations and considerations that come with marriage and family. But singles' financial situations aren't so simple, and the investments required to stay attractive and dateable while trying to find one's mate can quickly add up, especially in high-cost cities where even everyday necessities carry luxury-level prices. Click through to see if your city is among the 15 most expensive cities for singles in the U.S.
15. Madison, Wis.
Madison rounds out this list at No. 15. This city has high costs in all four categories assessed in this survey, but its clothing price puts the city in the top 20 for that category, and the city comes in at No. 9 for average date cost. A date in Madison costs around $132, while an average wardrobe staple will set a single shopper back $69.
14. Oakland, Calif.
At No. 14, Oakland offers a slightly more balanced cost of living for a single lifestyle. Its average clothing cost is actually lower than the median. But a high average rent price of $1.94 per square foot will easily offset those savings. Gym and date expenses are also high in Oakland.
13. San Diego
San Diego singles pay a high premium to live in Southern California. San Diego has costs above the median in every category in this study, with its average clothing and rent prices both coming in at No. 13 in the nation.
12. Los Angeles
Los Angeles' high average rent price of $1.87 per square foot is the biggest factor that pushed it to No. 12 among the most expensive cities for singles. The other costs affecting singles in L.A. are also higher than in most other cities, with expenses priced well above the median of the cities surveyed.
11. Irvine, Calif.
Yet another California city to land on the list, Irvine has high date and rent costs. At $137, the average cost of a date in Irvine is the fifth-highest in the study. Irvine's average rent is $1.80 per square foot, which is pricey enough to put it among the 15 highest rent costs in this survey.
Coming in as the 10th-most expensive city for singles, Seattle's high average clothing cost is the factor that works against it the most. The $77 average cost of a clothing staple in Seattle is the fifth-highest in the survey. The cost of a date is also fairly high ($131), and gym costs and rent are both on the more expensive end as well.
The costliest factor that puts Miami among the most expensive cities for singles is the rent, which at $1.95 per square foot is the sixth-highest of the 89 cities surveyed. Date and gym costs are also on the higher end, but the average clothing price is closer to the median cost in the study.
8. Anchorage, Alaska
The gym costs in Anchorage tie with Glendale's for third-highest in the study at $68 a month. Higher rent costs ($1.43 per square foot) and steep dating expenses ($122) also work against singles in the city, making Anchorage one of the most expensive cities for this demographic.
7. Glendale, Calif.
Like the other California cities on this list, Glendale has expensive rent at $1.87 per square foot. The highest cost factor for this city, however, is the average monthly gym membership, which comes in at $68 per month and is the third-highest behind New York City and Washington, D.C.
6. Fremont, Calif.
While Fremont falls on the more expensive end of most of the categories in this study, the excessive cost of a date is what puts Fremont among the most expensive cities for singles. The $161 price tag of a date is the second-highest of any city surveyed; only Washington's date costs are higher. The other expense that puts Fremont at No. 6 on this list is its costly rent, which at $1.94 per square foot is among the 10 most expensive -- even higher than New York City.
Single Bostonians might struggle with high rent, which at $2.33 per square foot is the third-highest of any city surveyed. Gym memberships in Boston are also pretty steep; the $63 monthly cost ranks among the 10 highest. These high costs, along with steeper prices on clothing and dating activities, earned Boston the No. 5 spot on this list of the most expensive cities for singles.
For singles in Honolulu, the highest lifestyle-related costs are clothing and housing. Honolulu's average rent cost, which is $2.60 per square foot, is the second-highest of any in the study. The average $80 cost of a clothing staple in the city is the fourth-highest. The price of a date in Honolulu is slightly lower than in other high-priced cities at $134, but this cost is among the study's 10 highest for date nights.
Clothing costs are fairly average in Washington, but among the categories included in this study, that is the only reasonably priced factor for singles in Washington. The city's $70 average gym membership is the second-highest of the 89 cities included in the study, and its $2.12 per-square-foot rent cost is the fourth-highest. It's the huge cost of a date that hurts Washington singles the most, however: The $166 cost is more than 50 percent higher than the median of $109.
2. New York
New York also has high prices across all categories, with its gym memberships costing the most of any city at $90 per month -- $20 more than the next-highest cost of $70 a month in Washington. Clothing costs are also second-highest in the nation, with the average clothing staple priced at $82 in New York. A date night in the Big Apple is the fourth-most expensive at $145.
1. San Francisco
San Francisco is notoriously pricey, so it's no surprise that it is the No. 1 most expensive city for singles. San Francisco has high costs across all categories but scores the worst for rent: At $3.36 per square foot, it's 30 percent more expensive than the next-highest rent price of $2.60 in Honolulu, and over three times the median cost of $0.91 per square foot. The cost of a date in this city is also the third-highest in the study at $147, compared with the median cost of around $109.
GOBankingRates evaluated cities to determine affordability for singles based on four expense categories, with data sourced from Numbeo.com: clothing, dates, gym memberships and rent per square foot. For clothing, the costs of four clothing staples were averaged, including business shoes, sports shoes, jeans and a dress. The cost of a date was the sum of the following costs: a bottle of wine, dinner for two, two movie tickets and a 10-mile taxi ride. Gym memberships were based on monthly subscription costs. The rankings for each factor contributed to a final scoring that ranked the cities from most expensive to least expensive, with the rankings controlled to favor cities with an even male-to-female ratio based on U.S. Census data.
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