It’s not uncommon for people who live by themselves to talk about “the single tax”: the extra money that you have to spend because you can’t split costs with a significant other. Plenty of people choose to love alone because they like the independence that it brings, but unfortunately the financial hit is real.
Consider the cost of a one bedroom flat in your area… and then imagine how much you’d save if you were sharing that bill with someone else. The same is true for bills and groceries – all fixed costs which end up using up a higher percentage of your income if you live by yourself.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though, and what you spend in some areas, you may be able to save in others. We’ve taken a look at some of the best tricks for saving money if you live alone.
Get a council tax reduction
Your local council should reduce your bill by a pretty impressive 25%, if you let them know that you’re on your own. This is known as the single person rebate, and you may not even need to fill in a form to get it. Simply find the contact details for your local council, get in touch and ask them to apply the discount.
Get a water meter
If you don’t have a water meter currently, then your water bill will be based on the supplier’s estimate of how much water you’ll use. They’ll base this on what they think average usage for a property like yours would be, rather than on your lifestyle and needs. You can request for them to put a water meter in and start charging you based on your actual consumption. So long as your economical with the amount of water that you use, the bill is likely to go down.
Cook in bulk
One of the hidden perks of being alone is getting to eat whatever you fancy each night: you don’t have to cater to anyone else’s taste-buds. But cooking for one can get pricey, as you either end up wasting ingredients or buying smaller portions (typically more expensive). We recommend setting aside some time to whip up a few of your favourite dishes in bulk, and then freezing the excess. This doesn’t just save money on ingredients, but also ensures that you have some comforting food ready to reheat on those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking.
Make sure you’re only paying for what you use
It’s tempting to go for the top packages on things like internet and TV, but these are often designed with multi-device, family usage in mind – which means that you may be paying over the odds for stuff that you don’t need. When it comes to broadband speeds in particular, make sure you’re not being ripped off by getting a higher speed than is needed for your usage. If you’re not sure what you need, then check out the Which? guide to broadband speeds.