It makes sense that those who live on their own are forced to spend a greater amount of their income on day-to-day living expenses compared to those who have a roommate or are in a relationship. When looking at the typical person’s monthly budget, it usually includes mortgage or rent, cable, Internet, utilities, groceries, etc. However, when two people share in these expenses many of it is consolidated. On the other hand, singles deal with the increased costs as a sort of penalty for living by themselves. That being said, finding where you can cut corners allows you to live alone without it being a financial burden. Here are five frugal tips to save money when you’re living single.
Save Money on Your Housing Expenses
Single people tend to pay a lot more for their living expenses than roommates or couples, including their housing costs. It’s recommended that you spend no more than 25 percent of your annual income on your housing expenses, which likely will require some careful planning. You may even want to consider looking into getting a housemate or roommate, as this is one of the best ways to lower your expenses by mimicking a two-income household. To cut costs you can also look into living in a guesthouse or a part of another person’s home. Start by creating a budget to figure out what type of housing situation you can afford. If you can’t afford the apartment or house you want, then sit tight and remember that it won’t be that way forever.
Get Rid of Your Cable
The average television bill, not including phone or Internet, is $86 a month. If you’re single and on a budget, then that money can surely be used elsewhere. This is especially the case as cable costs are increasing by an average of 6 percent every year. Besides, in this day and age you can get a much cheaper entertainment service online from such streaming websites as Netflix or Hulu.
Save Money on Your Food
Every time you go out to eat or order in food, you’re spending an unnecessary amount of your food budget. One of the best ways to cut down on your food costs is to make your own meals at home instead of going out to eat every night. Another great way to save money on food is to host a frozen potluck with your other single friends in which everyone brings a large frozen dish and you divvy all of it up into single-servings so that everyone goes home with a variety. Other ways to save money on food include cutting cheese and meat from your diet and avoiding single-serving packages. Additionally, go to the grocery store with a set list of what you want to buy so you don’t splurge on anything unnecessary.
Don’t Overspend at the Bar
Single people tend to like mingling at bars, which means spending beaucoup bucks on drinks. One study found that single people between the ages of 21 and 29 spent almost $660 each year on booze alone, which is three times the amount that couples tend to spend. Avoid the bars if you want to save money. If you do want to hit a few bars on occasion, then don’t tip the bartender up front. Instead, run a tab and then tip him or her when you’re done. This way you will give a fare tip for the total amount you spent instead of handing the bartender a few dollars for every drink.
Share the Internet with Your Neighbor
If you live in an apartment or a one-bedroom house, then you likely have close enough neighbors to share the Internet. Although you may have to sacrifice a bit of speed for doing so, if you’re serious about saving money, you can do so by shaving-off half of your Internet bill. Try to find neighbors that are in the same boat as you financially to have best chance of them agreeing to share Internet costs with you.