While you might not have two incomes to pay your rent and bills and build your savings — or the tax break — as a single person, there are ways you can save money that a couple might not be able to. One of the financial benefits of being single is that your money and how you choose to spend it is completely, 100 percent in your control. This kind of freedom can help guide your daily spending choices and those items — or trips — you splurge on.
"While couples can split many costs, that doesn't put single women at a disadvantage. In fact, being single can be a huge advantage,” account Michael Eckstein tells Bustle. “When you're single, you never have to clear ideas with a second person and you never have to compromise. This makes decisions a lot simpler and allows for extra savings opportunities.”
So after your holiday of overindulgence and overspending, try some of these tips from experts on how to take your single status to roll in more and more dough. Ain’t nobody need a partner to be financially stable!
1. More Time To Yourself Means More Time To Hustle
Relationships take time, and to be frank, time is money. When you’re coupled up, instead of coming home to a quiet apartment where you can sit down and concentrate at home that brings in extra cash, you’re often stuck figuring out what’s for dinner, catching up on the day, and generally having less time to just be. Take advantage of this free time by investing your energy into projects that could bring in extra income.
“When I was single, I had a second job. Singles can create a second source of income from a second job or hobby that can all go toward savings. They can minimize expenses and they don’t have to build up as much as a couple when setting aside savings for contingencies,” Zaneilia Harris, CFP, president of Harris and Harris Wealth Management Group, tells Bustle. “Treat raises and tax refunds as though an unexpected windfall. If you are living fine without, treat as though you didn’t receive it and put it towards your savings.”
2. You Can Decide Which Trips Are Worth Taking
“Singles can pick the leisure activities they want to engage in. While it’s fun and important to try new things, their partner may have expensive hobbies or travel standards that are a step up from your choices,” Valerie Rind, author of Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads: True Stories of Friends, Family, and Financial Ruin, tells Bustle.
Take advantage of the time you’re flying solo by truly setting travel goals for yourself that are achievable. You don’t have to worry about someone else taking time off or saving up their own money, and instead, once you’ve reached your goal, you can book, pack your bags, and go.
3. Your Only Debt Is Your Own
(Not so) fun fact: when you get married, regardless if you have separate accounts or not, you absorb all of partner’s debt, and you both become responsible for it on your taxes and your financial future in terms of buying a home, making big investments and more. “A single person with independent finances has complete control over their financial destiny,” says Rind. “They aren’t restricted by any pre-existing financial requirements their partner may have, such as credit card debt or child support obligations.”
4. You Can Take More Risks — And Move Wherever You Want
“No discussion is necessary when making final decisions when you’re single,” says Harris. “They can take on more risk since they only have to consider themselves. If they are not tied down with a mortgage, they have the freedom to move to a different area to make more money or live in a less expensive area.” If you’re not where you picture yourself forever and you’re waiting to meet a partner to move, why wait? Start saving for the life you want to have, regardless if someone comes into or not.
5. One Person = Less Food to Make
“Many say cooking for two isn't much more expensive than cooking for one. That is utter BS,” financial advisor, Laurie Itkin tells Bustle. "As a woman who eats like a bird, my supermarket bill went up threefold when I became part of a couple. As a single, a way to save money is to cook a big portion at one time (such as a one-pot meal) and refrigerate portions for later in the week.”
Couples will ultimately spend more money on dining in or out, because you’re feeding more than just one person. Take advantage of having complete control over what you’re going to eat, when you’re going to eat it and how much it costs. Better yet? Split groceries with a roommate to really cut down on cost.
6. You Can Make Yourself Financially Strong Before You Get Into A Relationship
Though you may look forward to sharing your life with someone one day, it’s important to make your own financial goals and plans.... yesterday. “The most important financial rule a single should follow is become financially literate. Really understand your finances — create and follow a budget, maximize your retirement benefits, pay down college debt, spend as little as possible,” says Itkin. “Make yourself financially strong. This will help you spot and avoid getting into a relationship with a financial train wreck.”
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