How many times have you wondered how you could cut the cost of living alone? Money is a big issue for most people at the moment, and it could have a lot of solo tenants trying to find someone to split their bills with. There are ways of cutting your costs without having to share your space, though – and plenty of benefits to do so. Here’s our top 7…
1. Explore Housing Options
Housing can feel like a big expense when you are on your own, as most properties are much more comfortably afforded by two. Current advice is to spend no more than 25% of your annual income on housing costs each year, but that might seem impossible if you are alone. If you are willing to explore a little, you might be able to drastically cut costs. Living and working in the same place, for example, can cut costs. Becoming a caretaker or house sitter is another option, or living in a yurt or camper on someone else’s land. If you can lower your housing costs, you’ll cut the cost of living alone quite dramatically.
2. Cooking Cutbacks
Ever noticed that most food comes in couple or family packs – probably far more than you need – but the smaller single servings are more expensive? Avoid paying the single's premium by opting for a family pack anyway, and batch cooking meals. You can either freeze them for eating at a later date, or swap them with other singles to get a variety of meals for a much lower cost.
3. Shop Smart
Some foods, like meat and cheese, are expensive. If you have nobody to share the burden with, they can quickly add up and add a big chunk to your monthly food costs. Try to come up with a meal plan that uses mainly cheaper ingredients, and eat less of the expensive ones. You’ll also find that making things from scratch and avoiding pre-made foods is cheaper, and reducing waste will substantially reduce your food costs – use every last bit!
4. Join a Single Group
I don’t mean a dating agency, or a social group, either! Bulk pricing deals can feel impossible if you don’t have room to store masses of goods, or don’t want to spend a fortune, but singles' groups makes them possible. You simply choose what you need, such as household products, and pool together funds. Once you’ve bought the item, it’s split between the group.
Couponing is a great way for everyone to save money, and that includes singles. You don’t need to spend masses of time researching extreme couponing and devising strategies, either – simply check out the websites of grocery stores, take out customer cards and check manufacturers websites regularly. There’s usually a variety of frequently-changed electronic coupons that can save you a bunch, and you can sign up to have them delivered by email or text, too.
6. Consider Carpooling
Cars aren’t cheap, but they are convenient. Consider whether you really need your car – and if you can truly avoid all of the costs. Recent years have seen schemes designed to make car ownership more affordable explode onto the scene, and there are likely to be plenty of great options near to you. Investigate the costs for your likely usage, and see if you can save money. You might be surprised.
7. Budget and Check
Set aside a little time to budget each month, and use it to check over your deals on a regular basis. Are you on the best utility rates? Could you swap to a cheaper insurance group? Downgrade your car? Would your shopping be cheaper elsewhere? Are you using all the best coupons? It might seem tiring, but you’ll save a fortune if you can keep everything at its minimum, and prevent any bills or costs from getting out of control.
Once you are sure you are using all the ways to cut the cost of living alone, try looking into other options too, such as employing other income streams or reinvesting any spare money you can save. eBay, a second job or even some casual work can help you to build savings, and make the single life a bit easier! Have you found a great way to cut the cost of being single? I’d love to hear it!