Budgeting is as important for single men and women as it is for couples. Nobody wants to worry about money, which makes financial freedom a universal objective.
Here are a few budgeting tips specifically applicable to singles, which can act as a starting point towards your financial betterment.
Single people can save significantly on transport costs
If you live in a central location or a country where the public transport system is in good shape, you can easily get around the city without a car. If you’re single, chances are that the other 3-4 seats in your car are usually empty, so why pay full for something you only use 20 to 25% of? You can save a few thousand dollars if you avoid purchasing a car. To get around, you can ride a bike, carpool with a friend or use the subway.
Of course, this option isn’t viable for everyone. Some cities have terrible public transportation, and some individuals do not live close enough to their work places to bike or walk.
Budgeting money for a single stomach – cook your own food
If you’re single and live with your parents, you may be lucky enough to have a home-cooked meal everyday, but if you happen to live alone because of academic or professional reasons, you may not have the time to cook food for yourself on a daily basis, if at all. That’s understandable. After all, you can only do so much.
However, if you manage to squeeze in some free time for cooking at home, it’s a great way to save lots of money. There are plenty of frugal recipes online, which are both cheap and easy – and of course, highly nutritional, compared to fast food.
There is also a possibility that cooking just isn’t your thing. In that case, you’re still better off ordering a home cooked meal from a local freelance cook who makes home cooked meals at a semi-commercial level. These kinds of small businesses deliver a small variety of home cooked meals to offices and homes. This option may not be as thrifty as cooking your own meals, but it is certainly better than eating out everyday.
Single people are in greater need of an emergency fund
If you have a good source of income thanks to a good job and are currently living well within your means while enjoying a fairly good standard of living, you should not allow yourself the liberty to think you do not need to manage your money. You may not have a spouse or children to support now but your money could still run out and your circumstances, while remaining a single person, could change at any time. It does so happen that seemingly well-established people suddenly find themselves in dire situations because of:
- Medical emergencies concerning the individual or his family (parents or siblings)
- A road accident,
- A sudden layoff from work,
- Being affected by a natural disaster.
The list is pretty long, and unfortunately, it is common enough to be labelled a harsh reality of life. Everybody needs an emergency fund that should ideally be about a half a year or year’s worth of salary. If you’re single, you need to be extra careful because you will not be able to rely on your spouse or children for financial help during difficult times.
Single people also need saving accounts for their retirement and/or future family
So you’re single and you tell yourself that you don’t need to make an effort to save extra money because you don’t have dependants.
Firstly, even if you plan to remain single, you still need to budget your money for your retirement, during which time your medical bills with undoubtedly increase and if you do not have a family to stay with, you will also need to be able to afford a decent old age home. It’s never too early to plan for your retirement, regardless of whether you’re single or not.
Secondly, you may decide to get married in the future and start a family, and of course, that requires a good amount of financial planning, which should start at the earliest possible time. I might add that it is usually not a good idea to plan on marrying a rich person to improve your financial situation, even though it works out for some people. 🙂
Frugal entertainment for singles
Single folks may keep themselves busy with a number of hobbies and activities and if you regularly socialize with friends, your entertainment bill may be pretty steep. You can fit a lot of activities in a small “fun budget”, such as checking out food trailers, going for a hike, running and walking in groups, and inviting your friends to your home instead of meeting up at a public venue.
An apartment for one person
As a single person who has no money issues, it may be tempting to buy or rent a huge apartment or house that can be used to host amazing parties, but that isn’t the most frugal thing to do.
Instead, consider getting a living space big enough for yourself and your possessions (and an occasional visitor, in case that applies).
What other ways can you think of saving money as a single person?
This article was written by Fehmeen, editor of Top Money Hacks, which is a personal finance blog about east tips for better money management.