By Mike Dang, Bundle editor
Adam Edelman, a single, 25-year-old copy editor, met up with two friends, a newlywed couple in their early 30s, for dinner recently in New York. They talked about what's happening in their lives: Adam got a new job, and wasn't dating anyone seriously. His married friends were excited about a "buy one, get one for a penny" sale on Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the Food Emporium.
"They've gotten really frugal ever since they got married," Adam observed. "Before they got married, they were doing the regular New York thing — shopping, going out to restaurants — but the minute they got married, it seemed like they got much more frugal. They see movies on Sunday at 11 a.m. to get the matinee price, and they only go to restaurants where the menu is reasonably priced."
While New York's singles are burning holes in their wallets footing their date-night bills, New York's married couples are managing to keep their spending in check. According to Bundle data, from July 2009 to June 2010 the typical 26- to 35-year-old single (female or male) earning between $40,000 and $50,000 in New York City spent a combined average of $5,255 a month, not including rent or mortgage. If they got married and combined their incomes, our data shows that they would have spent $4,079 within the same period. This means that these single New York men and women spent a combined average of $1,176 a month — or $14,112 a year — more than they would have if they got hitched and were living the married life.
As we'd suspect, our data shows that the single men and women in the demographics above put a third of this extra spending toward dining out. Date night drinks and dinner — followed by more drinks (if the date is going well) — helped the average single New Yorker spend a combined average of $796 a month ($319 for single females and $477 for single males) in bars and restaurants, nearly twice the average amount of $402 a month that a married couple spent to dine out.