In the U.S. people who are living alone nearly doubled in size during the last 50 years or so. Adults who have gone solo number around 34 million, with a great majority living in major cities across the country. St. Louis, MO has the most number of independently-living individuals among all American midsize cities, Dayton, OH for small cities, and Cleveland, OH among big cities with the largest population of adults living independently.
If you have decided that it’s for you to go on your own and live alone, you should make sure that you have not just survival skills but also the financial savvy to manage your budget day in and day out. Here are eight simple hacks to make the most out of every hard-earned dollar and save money as you delve into the solo living lifestyle:
- Plan your meals. Meal planning will go a long way in helping you keep on top of your weekly grocery budget and make your trips to the supermarket quicker and more efficient. By having a clear idea and list of what meals you’ll have for the week, you won’t be tempted to buy things that are not included in your list.
- Prepare your own meals. If you happened to love eating out or buying take out food when you were still living with your parents, you’d have to drop this habit and consider cooking your own food to save money. While ready meals are extremely convenient, they are also pricier than home-cooked meals.
- If you are busy or have a second job, just have someone take care of your dirty laundry for you. A lot of people living alone take two or three jobs at any given time, which means they have very little spare time on their hands. If you’re better off earning money than doing your own laundry, then it’s more practical to take your dirty clothes to your neighborhood laundromat and let them clean your clothes as you handle more pressing matters.
- Buy in bulk, instead of piecemeal. There are big savings that await you when you buy a dozen instead of just one piece every single time. Buying in bulk, instead of piecemeal is one of the age-old penny-pinching hacks that the wisest homemakers follow to great effect, and so should you.
- Get your clothes from thrift stores. There are plenty of awesome clothing items in thrift stores whose quality is not at all shabby when placed side by side with those found in the department stores. The idea of buying clothes from thrift stores instead of getting designer clothing has been around for so many years, and this is definitely for good reasons when saving money is your primary goal.
- Stock up on food that doesn’t spoil easily. Gas prices these days can be quite pricey, which is why making trips to the supermarket to buy your food supplies should be kept to a minimum. As such, be sure to consider stocking up on food items that stay good for consumption for a long time, so you’ll have a ready supply of food without going to and from the market for weeks or months.
- Minimize your monthly or yearly subscriptions. Whether it involves your cable TV, streaming service, magazine, or gym membership, one easy way of getting big savings is to limit your subscriptions to the bare essentials. If you can, you should also go for a lower plan such as on your internet or call and text subscription to further save money every month.
- Go easy on your water and electricity. Be sure to find ways to minimize your use of water and electricity, such as using LED bulbs instead of incandescent and CFLs or recycling your bath water to wash your vehicle or flush your toilet.
With these awesome money-saving tricks, living alone should not be an expensive affair at all.