Monday, January 16, 2012

12 Savings Tips for Singles

According to Forbes, millions of unmarried women over 65 are struggling to survive on social security payments. A single person forfeits social security benefits, and in some plans also forfeits pension benefits, when he or she dies. Singles standard of living decreases due to the economy, changes in health or marital status. The majority of minimum-wage workers are single.

Married couples usually do better financially than singles. Singles: pay more in taxes, pay more in interest rates and fees and it is harder to receive government and social assistance if you do not have children. Singles also have fewer employment benefits, higher levels of unemployment and, lower wages and unemployment benefits. Singles are more likely to face poverty, have increased health costs and bad credit.

The financial disadvantages of being single are: you are the sole provider and usually don’t have many options if you need financial assistance, spend more of your income towards housing, spend more on entertainment or fun activities such as movies, traveling, gym, etc. and wait longer to begin saving for retirement. Here are 12 ways to save money living as a single person.

1. Discounts. In some cases couples are offered discounts or better rates than singles because singles are more of a risk. Couples have double incomes and are more favorable to lenders and other companies. Ask what discounts are offered to save money.
2. Utilities. Do business with non-mainstream utility companies that offer a flat fee, that don’t charge fees on top on your usage such as distribution and transmission services, or that offer budget or payment plans. Compare well water or sewer rates versus standard water meter rates.
3. Insurance. Some insurance companies penalize single drivers by charging more for insurance. Lower premiums by including another person on your policy such as a parent.
4. Housing. Unexpected expenses can occur such as repairs, appliance replacement costs, homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc. In some cases renting may be more affordable than owning a home. Ensure you purchase a home warranty.
5. Reduce spending. Reduce spending by 30-50% each month to save money. Turn off lights when you are out of a room for 20 minutes or more. Use a programmable thermostat. Rinse clothes in warm or cold water. Turn off water if you are not using it.
6. Furnishings. Save money when buying appliances and furniture by buying used, from yard sales or discount websites such as or Avoid buying rental furnishings.
7. Cook at home. Make meals that require easy to find ingredients that don’t cost a lot of money such as casseroles, soups, pasta dishes or stir-fry. Cook enough for a few days and eat leftovers. Eat breakfast at home, take your lunch to work at least twice a week and cook at home at least twice a week to save money.
8. Create a budget. Record how much you earn and how much you spend. Look for areas where you can reduce spending. Create an emergency fund. Save enough money to cover your monthly expenses for 9-12 months. Try to reduce spending by 30-50%.
9. Transportation. Consider buying a compact or hybrid car which is cheaper in price and has better gas mileage.
10. Food. Buy produce from local farmers. Shop at discount stores such as Sam’s Club or Costco or at co-ops. Buy items on sale or regular used items in bulk to save money.
11. Entertainment. Look for free activities, rent DVD’s and CD’s from the library. Cancel your cable service and use Netflix.
12. Avoid getting a pet. Pets can be a huge expense. Avoid getting a pet until you live in a dual-income household.

No comments: