So you’ve finally done it. You took the leap and moved out, and now you’re alone in your own house with nobody to answer to but yourself — which is both empowering and a little bit scary. It’s exciting, but there’s something that might be stopping you from feeling it – the price tag on all of this independence. So, you might be wondering how to save money when living alone. It’s not always easy, but it is doable.
How to Save Money When Living Alone
Now that living alone, your monthly bills are going to be higher than they were when you were splitting them with roommates or a partner.
But don’t worry! This article has some simple ways for how to save money when living alone.
Here are some ideas you can put into practice today.
1. Start Meal Planning
I know it isn’t a lot of fun, but start planning your meals at least a week in advance.
Taking an hour or two each week to plan meals can save you money on your food bill.
If there are things that you buy on a regular basis that are expensive, try to find ways to cut corners and save some money by buying in bulk and when they are on sale.
Once you’ve made your meal plan, stick to it. Don’t be distracted and only buy what is on your list.
Go to the grocery store with blinders on – figuratively.
2. Cut Back on Take Out Food
Take out food is expensive.
Preparing your own meals is cheaper than take-out.
In today’s world, take-out is always available and you can buy just about anything at any time.
Even so, learn to cook and eat more meals at home. It is an easy, and tasty way to save money.
You can also save money by brown-bagging it for lunch.
2. Save Money on Entertainment
When you’re living alone, you may feel a bigger urge to get out of the house and socialize than if you were living with someone else.
It’s only natural.
Unless you are a real introvert, chances are you like to be out and about, but that comes with spending a lot of money, so do what you can to find less expensive entertainment.
You can still do things that are fun, but don’t cost a lot of money.
You can go on a hike or take a long walk in the park, have an inexpensive dinner at home, or invite friends over for cards.
Use your imagination and find ways to entertain yourself that don’t cost you much money.
3. Plan Ahead For Bills
The best way to save money is to plan ahead for your bills.
You can save money by setting up payments with companies on autopilot each month so that you are not constantly trying to avoid late fees and overdraft notifications.
If you know you will have a larger bill in the coming months or an expense that you don’t normally have, then start saving for it beforehand, so you have the cash in your budget when you need it.
4. Get Rid of Your Cable TV
Do you still have cable TV? More and more people are getting rid of it.
Cable TV can be a lot of money each month whether you have an extra package or not.
Most people end up paying for more channels than they are really interested in watching, which means that their bill is higher than it needs to be.
Some people feel as if they need cable, but they don’t. These are some alternatives:
Set up an antenna to get local television channels over the air for free.
If you want to add movie channels, like HBO, make sure you check out Netflix instead.
You can stream movies right onto your TV with Internet access.
This will let you enjoy your favorite movies without the expense of cable TV service.
5. Do Your Own Laundry
Are you paying someone else to do your laundry?
The expense of dry cleaning and laundry services can add up each month.
To save some money, you can do your own washing and drying at home, which will help you save a lot of cash each month.
You can get a good washing machine second hand for the price of a few visits to the professional cleaners — an excellent choice for new money-savers living alone.
6. Get Rid of Unnecessary Subscriptions
If you are like most people, you might have a lot of subscriptions and memberships that you pay for each month that you don’t use.
You might be paying for everything from Netflix to your local gym, or even a magazine subscription you no longer read.
Check over all your accounts and cancel any services that aren’t serving the needs of your lifestyle anymore.
You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save in just one month by getting rid of some of these extra subscriptions or memberships.
If all this sounds a little too overwhelming, try starting out small.
You can start with just one small change that will help you save money when living alone to get things started.
7. Lower the Temperature
You can save a great deal of money by simply keeping your apartment a degree or two lower.
It will take a little while for your body to get used to the cooler temperature, but once you do you will be glad you made the savings.
Use a space heater
If you live in a cold climate, you might want to consider getting a space heater.
This can help keep a room warm without needing to turn on your central heating system or it will allow you to turn it down a couple of degrees and still be warm.
8. Rent a Smaller Apartment
Consider renting a small studio or smaller apartment than you would normally.
This will not only lower your monthly expenses, but it can also help you to save money in other ways — like not having to buy furniture and household items.
You might even be able to negotiate with your landlord about canceling some of the fees and charges just for moving into a smaller place.
This way, you can save money on rent and on some of your utility charges as well.
9. Walk Instead of Taking Uber
You can save money when you’re living alone by walking instead of taking an Uber.
It might be tempting to just pull out your phone and request a ride from an Uber driver, but you are going to pay a lot for that ride.
Instead, exercise some patience and walk.
You’ll get some great exercise while saving some money in the process.
10. Put Your Car in the Rearview Mirror
Once you live alone, you can save a lot of money by getting rid of your car.
Many people are perfectly fine just walking to where they need to go, or using public transportation when possible.
The benefit of living in the city is that everything is pretty close together — such as work and the local grocery store.
When you live alone, it really doesn’t make sense to own a car and pay for insurance and upkeep.
You could also try carpooling with other people in your building or in your neighborhood who are headed in the same direction as you are.
You could potentially split the cost of things like gas and parking between multiple people.
Not having a car can save you hundreds of dollars a month and thousands over the course of a year.
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11. Ditch the Delivery Apps
If you have a delivery app on your phone you are more likely to order food to be delivered instead of preparing your own meals.
Yes, it is super convenient to have food delivered to your doorstep, but it comes at a price.
If you want to make living on your own more affordable than doing your own cooking is a great start.
You should also consider skipping out on the delivery charges and tips by going to pick up your food in person if you do plan on getting take out.
Even though you are living alone, you can still use coupons to save money on food.
You don’t have to stock your entire kitchen with food you buy with store coupons.
You can shop for your favorite foods and just buy what is on sale or use coupons to get a discount.
There are even some coupon apps that can help you find the best deals without having to clip anything at all before you head to the grocery store.
Coupons are kind of a pain, but if you can save a few dollars a week, then they are worth it.
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To Sum it All Up:
There are many ways to save money when living alone. From cooking for yourself to renting a smaller apartment and walking instead of driving, you can start saving money today. Don’t forget, you know yourself better than anyone else, so come up with ways that will work best for you specifically.