There’s a lot to be said for living solo. You don’t have to pick up anyone else’s dirty socks, argue over whose turn it is to do the washing up, or fight with someone for the bed covers. But living alone does put a pretty big strain on your purse-strings.
When you live with a partner or friends, all your household expenses are split making getting by much easier. How then, can you save money when you live alone – without having to compromise on your social life?
Here we look at a number of small changes you can make that can making living solo a much more affordable alternative for anyone:
1. Sensible grocery shopping
One of the biggest expenses for lone livers is their groceries. You only have to head down the aisles in the supermarket to see that all the bulk buys and discount deals are aimed at couples and families. However, it’s easier than you might think to save on your shopping bill – without having to eat the same meal for a week.
For example, items such as meat, cheese and many vegetables can be frozen and defrosted with no compromise on taste. This means you can make the most of those bulk packs of sausages, without feeling like you need to eat 3 packets in two days.
Keeping a meal plan and writing a shopping list is also a great way to avoid waste and cut costs. When you live alone, you’re completely in charge of your diet so make the most of this and plan with precision. If you know exactly what it is you need to buy and what you plan to eat, you can drive down your costs considerably.
2. Improve your energy efficiency
Your energy bills are probably your biggest expense, after your mortgage or rent that is. Gas and electricity prices seem to always be on the up, encouraging everyone – including solo livers – to take steps to become more energy efficient. Here are a number of ways you can ‘go green’ and reduce your household expenses:
- Switch energy providers – The first thing you should do is check that you’re currently on the best energy deal and if not, switch. When you live alone you will use considerably less water, electricity and gas so shop around to find the best tariff for your requirements.
- Insulate your home – If you own your house rather than rent, proper insulation can really help drive down the cost of living. Cavity wall and loft insulation will keep the heat in your home during the winter months, helping you use less energy.
- Customise your energy – Living alone gives you the freedom to customise your lifestyle, so you only use the energy you need. For instance, you can set you boiler, heating and lights to a timer so they only switch on when you’re in the property.
3. Stay in touch for less
Staying in touch with your friends and family is really important when you live alone, but it is something that can be very expensive. land-line phones and broadband are by no means cheap, so savvy spending here is essential.
First off, ask yourself if you need a land-line phone? If you’re already paying for a mobile phone contract, you might prefer to take all your calls here and save yourself the line rental and monthly bills.
When it comes to choosing a broadband provider, shop around for the best deals. Many options will include landline telephone and cable television; these package deals can work out cheaper so do your homework. Remember though, that if you brought the package on a special offer your costs may increase so factor this in too.
So there you have it; 3 simple ways to save money on your household expense when living alone. What other ways would you suggest?