So I’ve been keeping a secret for a few months: I am not currently single. Surprise!
Okay, I guess some of you know this already. Military Dollar and I are getting married (Reaching Dollar 4eva). I’m tired of paying so much damn money for my rent every month, so I’m going to stay home and cook and clean for Mil$ and she’s going to pay for everything for me. It’s an excellent arrangement, plus I get unlimited cuddling time with her pup. And awesome military spouse benefits.
Actually we kinda sorta got married at Disney after FinCon. We just need to actually turn in the paperwork to make it official. And also do the paperwork.
Okay but really
My impending marriage of convenience aside, I’m not single.
It’s certainly been an adjustment for me, since the last time I was in a relationship I didn’t have two jobs and a blog (aka three jobs) and—newsflash—it turns out being in a relationship requires time. AND I’m not having all my expenses covered in this relationship, so I must really like this person ?
One of the things I thought a lot about while single is the financial perks of not being single. I’ve long considered what combining finances with a significant other would do for me and my FI timeline (same for my partner since the benefits of combining finances aren’t one-sided). Especially in HCOL DC, two incomes and one split rent payment would make a huge difference, even if other line items would increase (because yes, I know that not all expenses would go down).
THIS IS WHY I’M MARRYING MIL$ AND GETTING THOSE SWEET MILITARY SPOUSE PERKS
Obviously I’m not in this relationship for the savings! Financially I’m still single: we aren’t combining finances anytime soon and don’t live together. We haven’t even had any conversations about what combining (or not) finances would look like in a theoretical future together. So in theory nothing has changed.
In fact, I might end up spending slightly more than usual both on groceries and on eating out. Although I guess the groceries might end up being a wash since there are now times I’m cooking for zero people instead of one or two and am inflating my partner’s grocery spending instead.[*]
But even in a still relatively new relationship where we haven’t combined finances, I’ve been enjoying some perks. And as a result of not being single, I’ve been saving money on something that I hadn’t even considered would be an advantage. Specifically, I’ve saved some money on travel these last few months.
Travel hacking alert!!
And no, this isn’t a post about why the Southwest Companion Pass is awesome. Although that’s a fantastic travel benefit!
I’ve done a lot of traveling this year. A lot of it has been for blog-related events (a lot of it). That also means I’ve bought way more plane tickets this year than I normally do.
DC is great in that in theory I have three options of nearby airports so that I can pick and choose my flight times and prices; however, two of the airports are considerably less convenient for me, and even the closest one isn’t just a casual walk from my apartment. So regardless of which airport I’m going to, it costs money to get there and back home.
Enter a major perk of being in a relationship!
On a couple of occasions I’ve been able to get to the airport without paying the approximately $40 I normally would by taking a Lyft each way. Sure, I could take public transit, but not at 5:00 in the morning. For one, I’m not getting up that early, and also thanks to a reduced schedule the metro is no longer open as early or as late. I take the metro when I can but sometimes it’s not feasible.
Plus, as demonstrated by the early morning party from DC to FinCon, money bloggers fly the cheap flights at both extremes of the day so I’ve got a reputation to maintain!
— Erin | Reaching for FI (@reachingforfi) September 26, 2018
Yes, my hack for free airport transportation is being in a relationship: I’ve gotten both early morning and late night rides to or from the airport when my boyfriend would normally be asleep. He’s the best (and is also constrained by the fact that it’s easier to make those requests of a partner than of a friend, since I suspect many friends wouldn’t feel as obligated. My friends are also lucky that very few of them have cars so I don’t ask them anyway ?), but also sometimes I question his judgment when he offers me a ride at some ungodly hour without me asking for one. But that’s okay, I’ll go ahead and benefit from his questionable choices and take the ride!
The plane ticket equation
Knowing I have a ride (after checking to make sure my partner’s willing to disrupt his sleep a bit, of course) has affected which plane tickets I’ve bought.
I’ve made the decision to take different flights/fly into a different airport than the one I normally would because I have a ride. That means I can choose a cheaper flight, knowing it’s actually cheaper; sometimes the cheapest flight isn’t worth it if I have to pay a ton and/or spend a whole lot of time and effort getting home from an airport that’s further away. I often end up spending a bit more on the slightly more expensive ticket because it’s way less of a hassle to get home.
On the other hand, on one occasion I chose a slightly more expensive flight into a further away airport thanks to having a ride because it was at a more convenient time for me. Normally I would’ve chosen the cheapest option since it was to the airport closest to my apartment. But that particular flight got in at 11:45pm. I am willing to pay more to get in more than an hour earlier and not be so miserable the next morning!
But I’m much more willing to do that when I don’t have to pay for transportation on top of the extra cost of the ticket. Especially when said transportation I didn’t have to take would’ve probably gotten me home more or less the same time as the later flight, given how big of a pain it is to get from that far-flung airport to my place. Without a ride, I probably would’ve sucked it up and taken the later, cheaper flight with the less awful/long and less expensive transportation option.
Wait, it’s only about free taxi rides?
Clearly that’s not the only financial benefit (or benefit, period) of changing up my relationship status. Even without combined finances, having moral support (and someone else to look at my resume so I can maybe work on closing the gap between our incomes?) is a really awesome feeling. But having a ride to the airport is a benefit that I never would’ve considered before experiencing it.
Then again, I am going to have to get myself to the airport next week when I leave for Christmas. So maybe I’ll just move in with Mil$ after all and then I can write a post about the benefits of having a 100% savings rate 😉
[*]Just kidding, I’m actually pretty sure the groceries aren’t a wash since somehow he’s in the sweet spot (pun not intended, but damn, I’m funny) of pitting his family and me against each other in terms of who can make the tastiest baked goods. Since I have to regularly defend my title after he visits his family (“I don’t know, those cookies my mom made were pretty good and now they’re the ones I remember instead of the ones you made the week before…”), I’ve been doing a fair amount of baking lately. Plus, ’tis the season where I will take any excuse to turn on the oven since it warms up my apartment. And I don’t do nearly as much baking as I’d like to because I do not need a ton of goodies around for me to eat, so having someone else help eat them is definitely a win. But there’s nothing like a little friendly manipulation in a relationship when both parties know it’s happening ?