Have you ever been unexpectedly plunged into the “single life?” Living life as a single person has its perks, however, it has been proven that singles spend more money than couples on everyday necessities.
How can that be possible with one fewer person in the equation? Well, there is one word that can sum up the entire problem: budget. Even though you are only buying things for yourself, budgeting for single life can be pretty difficult. You want to buy yourself things, go out more and who wants to cook a meal for one?
Sadly, not many people are budgeting, whether they are in a relationship or not. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, only 32 percent of United States households have any kind of budget in place. An even more shocking number is that only 70 percent of people with a budget in place check their weekly and monthly spending against the budget they have in place.
You cannot ignore your budget just because you are single. Be sure to assess your monthly income, your savings and investments, expenses and then set goals for yourself. If you are looking for places to make cuts in your budget, here are a few things you may be able to cut if you’re newly single:
Food Costs for Singles
Food is something that everyone needs to survive. However, as a newly single person, you are likely spending much more than you need to on food. Many singles go out to eat often because they don’t feel like cooking for themselves or they buy single-serve food (which is expensive). Here are a few tips to cut your food cost as a single person:
Pre-plan your meals (all of them)
Cook from scratch
Eat less meat
Only go out as a planned treat
By eating out less and cooking simple meals for yourself at home, you will notice you’ll have more money leftover at the end of the month for savings or fun activities.
Cut Your Housing Costs
If you’re newly single there are a lot of areas of your budget that can be cut. The number one expense for people (not just singles) is housing. Because singles don’t have a significant other or children to support within their living space, they can get away with less.
Efficiency apartments are a great way to ease into single life and save your budget. You may also be able to rent a guest house that is a part of someone’s home. Other great ways to cut down on housing costs is to become a caretaker of a property (you live there and get paid to care for the place).
Transportation Costs for Singles
Some singles may have a car payment that, prior to the break up, they had no problem paying for. However, without a second income, a car payment can be a heavy burden. You can trade your car in for an older model vehicle that you can pay for in cash, eliminating the car payment completely. You can also ride a bike or walk if you are close enough to your destination.
Save on Household Items
As a single person, you shouldn’t have to spend as much money on household products because you are the only person using them. Only buy the things that you need and always use coupons.
Budgeting really boils down to how much money you are willing to save and how much you’re willing to sacrifice to stick to your budget and save that money. Many people refer to this as the “singles penalty.” Being single isn’t a punishment and living alone doesn’t have to be such a burden. You simply have to take the first step towards establishing a balanced budget.
Photo: Flickr: GotCredit