It’s never a bad time to start saving money. However, single people need to manage their budget on only one income. Since there is no one else to rely on, every saved dollar counts. Here are 10 money-saving tips for singles:
Start paying off debt
Large amounts of debt can put you in a financial stranglehold. Sure, everyone would like to be free from debt, but just wishing it away won’t make your loans disappear. You need to actively work on paying off your debt, and here is how to make it happen. Create payment goals and stick to them. Figure out which debts are the smallest and which you can pay off the fastest. Focus on getting rid of those debts first. You’ll feel a sense of liberation once you start getting rid of your debts one by one.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “stick to a budget”. However, to do that, you first need to do some math. Make two columns and put your income on one side. Put rent, utilities, food, and all the other expenses on the other side. Realistically, for most people, rent is usually the most significant expense. You can consider moving to reduce your monthly costs. It’s pretty easy to find a cheap city to live in – there are many affordable West Coast cities. Now you need to monitor and keep track of how much you are spending. If you were to ask your friends to break down their weekly budget, they probably couldn’t give you an accurate answer.
Take your phone and write down every single expense, even for leisure activities, drinks, brunches and coffees. If you aren’t sure, just make a note every time you spend money and add it up at the end of the month to get a realistic picture. Without knowing exactly how much you are spending, it will be easy to go over budget.
3. Realize what your biggest luxuries are
This will probably be a hard pill to swallow, but everyone has more unnecessary splurges than they think. Most singles’ biggest drain on the income is nights on the town, followed by buying clothes and tech (phones, laptops, and other gadgets).
If you are looking for money-saving tips for singles, luxuries are the place you can save the most. You shouldn’t starve yourself with ramen while spending a small fortune on cocktails. Don’t take this the wrong way because it’s alright to treat yourself every now and then. You just need to find a balance.
We just mentioned giving up some luxuries and wanting to save money is great. However, you need to give yourself some space to vent. If you budget too hard and give everything up, you won’t be able to last too long. Restricting yourself from everything can cause unplanned splurges and lead to a yo-yo effect. Be moderate in everything, even in moderation. Have treat days where you buy something fun. Only you know what you can give up and what is essential to your well-being at the end of the day.
5. Learn to cook
Many singles don’t bother to cook for just one person and instead choose to live on take out. Cooking actually isn’t a complex skill to pick up. What’s best is that once you learn how to prepare food, it will be helpful for your whole life. Home-cooked meals are healthier and cheaper than fast food alternatives. You can also grow your own ingredients if you have a yard or even a balcony for spices. Going green is great for the environment and your budget as well.
6. Not all entertainment options need to be expensive
People often use the movie theater evaluation as a baseline for spending on fun. This is how it works: How much does an evening at the movies cost you per hour of entertainment? Then use that to calculate if alternatives for entertainment are more or less expensive.
What most forget is that there are cheap and free options that everyone can take part in. Go for walks, hikes, or picnics – alone or with friends. Entertain guests at home and play charades or board games. Revisit your stack of unread books or your online gaming library before you pick up anything new.
7. Don’t give in to peer pressure
Comparing yourself to others and feeling the need to match their spending can quickly leave you broke. Fear of missing out on activities with friends can cause people a lot of anxiety. You need to realize that there will always be something going on, and you can’t be everywhere. Don’t be pressured to spend money when you are on a budget – that’s one of the most important money-saving tips for singles I wish I could give my younger self. Once you have set your goals, nothing should impact your planned spending habits. You don’t even need to share your goals with others. Just politely decline and move on.
8. Make additional income
Working a side job can give you extra cash and provide breathing room when times are tough. However, balancing two or more jobs is not something that everyone can pull off, especially for prolonged periods of time. Try to find a temporary gig or something you can balance in the long run. Extra money is always welcome, but don’t burn yourself out.
A rainy day budget will take a load off your shoulders. Promise yourself to put a bit of money aside every month. It can be just a few bucks here and there, don’t worry – it will grow over time. You might be tempted to dip into it, but you know better. Use that money only for emergencies and not to order fast food.
10. Work towards your retirement
It’s never too soon to start thinking of your retirement. Give yourself options by saving up early. Invest in stocks and passive income. Inquire with your company about their 401(k) and discuss options with a financial planner.
We hope you enjoyed our list of top 10 money-saving tips for singles and that you learned something that will help you budget. It’s perfectly fine to take a few small steps on the road to fiscal responsibility. What’s important is that you start the journey!