Until now, you might have been enjoying your single life, being proud of your independence, living carefree and thinking that you have all the money in the world since you do not have anyone else to spend it on. But the sad truth is that you are unknowingly paying the single’s penalty without even realizing it.
For example, If you are single and borrow money from money lenders, you will be paying more money while returning in comparison to a couple who borrows the same amount. Another example would be your income tax. Single people pay more in income tax as opposed to married couples filing jointly.
Here are a few tips to help you cope with the single’s penalty:
1. Tackle Your Housing Bill
If you have been living alone in a one bedroom apartment, you are paying comparatively more money than a couple sharing a two bedroom apartment. You might be worried as to how you are going to meet someone to fall in love with so that they can move in and share the rent on such short notice. But the solution is much simpler.
You can instead try to find a roommate to share an apartment with if you have room to spare or try to find someone who needs a roommate and shift. Sure, the rent of a two bedroom apartment is going to be more than a one bedroom apartment, but when you factor in the fact that there are two people sharing it, you will see that you are going pay lesser rent and utility bills in comparison to when you were living alone (think about the money lender example).
If you are not willing to share a living space with someone new and house sitting is not an option, you could try and downsize your living quarters and maybe embrace minimalism. Cutting down on clutter can help save you space, rent and utility bills.
2. Buy in Bulk
Here’s where the economies of scale will kick in to save the day. If you are the kind of person who prefers to get their groceries every day on their way home from work, a simple change in your habit is going to save you a lot of your hard-earned cash. Instead of buying your groceries every day, you can choose a day to get your groceries in bulk for the whole week. You can even go a step further and get your groceries in bulk for a month. But be careful to not get perishable items like eggs or milk for a month in advance because these items will go bad and you will end up losing more money than you save.
You can even choose to cook in bulk to minimize the time spent by in the kitchen and prepare a week’s food in advance if you own a refrigerator. The refrigerated food can be consumed just by re-heating it every time you sit for a meal. Also, keep in mind to refrigerate what you can finish within a week and freeze the rest of the food that might take longer.
3. Buy in Bulk and Split Things With Friends
One more way to drastically reduce the amount of money spent on groceries is to get together with your group of single friends and decide upon a day of the month to get all of your groceries in bulk. Most supermarkets offer cash back, discounts and other offers on stuff that you buy in bulk. Check out the sites for NTUC Fairprice, Redmart and other local supermarkets to determine where you will save the most cash. Once you decide on a supermarket, you and your friends can go buy your groceries but keep in mind to get only the non-perishable items such as toilet paper, detergent, soaps, dish detergent, paper towels etc. which won’t get spoilt. If you are unable to convince your friends to go shopping with you, then give them the example of the money lender.
4. Change Your Mode of Transportation
Living too far away from your college or place of work means that you have to spend money on transportation. And if you own a car or a bike, every time you use it to go somewhere alone you are losing cash. Now, it might not be possible always to find someone to carpool with but using public transportation as much as possible means saving money on gas.
Owning a car can be a drag if you are struggling to repay the bank loan. But you can sell your car and rent a car if you wish to cut down on more cost or get rid of the car altogether and invest on a bicycle. Your wallet will thank you for it, as well as the environment.
5. Reduce Your Transportation
This doesn’t mean that you decide to never leave the comfort of your apartment and get everything you require delivered to you via e-commerce websites. This simply means that the next time you decide to find a place to rent or buy, try to find a place closer to your college or your place of work. This way you can cut down on your dependence on your car or public transit and simply walk or cycle to where you need to be.
6. Get a Part-time job
Sometimes your primary job may not be enough to keep you afloat, financially speaking. Therefore, it is always a smart idea to try and get a part-time job to supplement your income. Your part-time job does not have to be lucrative like your regular job but it should get you enough to help you survive be it dog-walking, babysitting, or house-sitting.
7. Make a Budget
A budget always helps keep an eye on where your money’s being spent. Always try to keep a few Dollars aside as your savings and contingency plan. You never know when you might need the extra Dollar. Also, making a budget helps inculcate good spending habits.
There’s no greater joy than being single and independent and being single should not be the reason for you to suffer paying more every time you spend your cash. These were just a few tips on how to deal with the single’s penalty. If you are smart enough you can find even more ways to lower your bills and maybe even find a way to pay less the next time you borrow from a money lender.