Being single can be a great thing.
When you’re single, you don’t have as many commitments to worry about. You can live your life, however you choose, without worrying about the impact that your behavior will have on someone else. At the same time, you get to have all the fun of dating and looking for the right person.
However, when you’re on your own, you’re also missing the extra help that you would otherwise get if you had a partner to live with you and split the bills. That means that you need to be extra cautious with your budget, particularly if you’re living on your own too.
Here are some tips that could help you to be more financially independent while single.
Budgeting is an essential process no matter whether you’re single or in a couple. However, when you’ve got nobody else in your household to contribute to your bills, you do need to be a little more cautious about what you spend. Every dollar you spend needs to be accounted for, but it’s up to you how you choose to keep track of things.
Some people will find it easier to use a pen and a piece of paper to track how much they spend each month. Other tech-savvy individuals might prefer to use a budgeting app for some extra assistance. It’s up to you to find what works for you. Once you do, figure out what you have coming into your bank account each month, and how much you need to spend.
When you take a close look at your budget, there’s a good chance that you’ll notice some areas where you need to reduce your spending. For instance, you might notice that you overspend on food or entertainment. Cutting down is a big part of cutting costs. However, you won’t be able to stop spending entirely.
There’s always a chance that something will happen in your life that pushes you to make a big purchase. For instance, if you need to buy a car to get to and from work, you can’t ignore the purchase just because you want to stick to your budget. However, it’s much easier to take out a loan and find an extra chunk of cash each month, than it is to pay for something outright.
When you’re single, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared for the future and anything that it might bring. Remember, your retirement is your responsibility and no-one else’s. Although you might get some supplemental income from the government, it’s not going to be enough to keep you going on your own. With that in mind, think about how you’re going to support yourself in the future.
Often, the key to successfully saving for retirement is to make putting cash into your account as automatic as possible. If you have a retirement plan available at your workplace, you can enroll to make your life a little easier. Because these plans take cash straight out of your income before it hits your bank account, you’re less likely to forget about savings and overspend.
Although it’s tempting to spend your money as it arrives in your bank account, one of the most important things that you can do is a single person, is protect yourself from unexpected expenses. It’s challenging to plan for everything in life but having an emergency fund that you can tap into when a bill arrives on your doorstep, or an accident happens in your home will take a lot of the stress off your shoulders.
There’s no one-size-fits-all guideline to how much of an emergency fund you should have, but most experts recommend sticking to at least three months of income. Obviously, the more you have, the safer you’ll feel.
Finally, you’re probably going to have quite a few skills that you develop regularly anyway as a single person. Since your on your own, you need to know how to cook for yourself, fix your own devices, and even hang your own shelves. The more skills you learn, the less you’ll need to rely on paying for other people to do crucial tasks for you.
What’s more, becoming self sufficient means that you’ll have more ways to impress your other half if you decide to get into a relationship one day in the future.