Are you thinking about living alone for the first time? You’re not the only person who’s ever considered moving into their own place and exploring their freedom. Plenty of people decide that a life in their own property is much better than living with their parents or a roommate. However, it’s worth noting that when you don’t have anyone else to split the bills with, life can get pretty expensive.
Living on your own means that you’re going to need to make some compromises. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips that can help you to manage the tougher parts of making ends meet when you’re by yourself. Here’s what you need to know.
Get the Basics First
When you move into your own property, you’ll be tempted to buy all the furniture you can think of out-right. However, the truth is that you’re not going to be able to afford everything you want. Start by writing a list of the items you can’t do without like a cooker, a washing machine, and a bed. Other things, like games consoles, can come later.
Ask your friends and family if they have any old pieces of furniture that you can take off their hands to reduce your expenses when you’re just getting started. If you decide that you need to get a loan to pay for all the items you need, remember to compare your options before you sign on the dotted line. You can save a lot of money on interest rates just by checking online before you agree to a loan.
Make the Most of your Meals
When you’re used to other people making your meals, it can be tempting to order in a lot of the time. However, it’s incredibly expensive to live this way. Instead of ordering food from elsewhere, dedicate some time to learning how to cook, and remember to plan your meals in advance so you can reduce the amount of money you spend when you go to the grocery store.
If it helps, get slightly more than you need to cook each meal, and freeze what you don’t eat. That way, you’ll have some quick and easy food that you can heat up when you’re home too late from work to cook.
Learn to Budget and Live by Your Means
If you want to be successful in living by yourself, then you’re going to need to learn how to spend less than what you earn. While that might sound simple enough, a lot of people get used to swiping their credit card whenever they can’t buy something with the money in their wallet.
The best way to ensure that you’re not over-spending is to start building a budget. Figure out how much money you have coming to you each month and how much you have to spend on important things like paying off your debt, dealing with rent, and so on. After you’ve decided how much cash you need for the necessary costs, you can put a small amount of money aside for things like entertainment and extras.
Save a Little Every Month
When you’re living alone, finding any cash to save can be difficult. A good way to get started is to think carefully about the money you’re spending each month. A lot of us spend more money than we realize on monthly subscriptions for things like music streaming channels or game subscriptions. If you don’t need something, unsubscribe as quickly as you can. You can always start the subscription up again in the future if you end up with more cash available to you.
For the monthly plans that you can’t afford to get rid of, think about how you can cut costs or switch to cheaper tariffs. For instance, can you get a better deal on gas and electricity from another supplier. Would it be a good idea to get rid of your cable expenses and switch to Netflix subscriptions instead? Do your research.
Make Your Own Fun
Living on your own can get isolating at times, so it’s tempting to go out with your friends and spend cash whenever they ask you to. However, going to bars every weekend gets expensive very quickly. An alternative option could be to invite your friends over for movie nights or plan to visit their homes instead.
Let them know that you only have a limited budget to work with. Most of your friends will be able to make plans that suit you.