Savvy ways to save when you're single
6 min | 30 May 2023
Stats show that everyday living can cost a lot more if you’re single compared to living with a partner. So where can you save money and boost your finances if you're flying solo?
Being partner-free has its perks. You’re accountable only to yourself and control what you spend your money on. But single life can work out to be more expensive – around £860 a month more to be precise – compared to how much a couple spends per person on the same things.
Data from the Office for National Statistics also show that people living on their own spend on average 92% of their disposable income, while households with two adults spend 83% each.
With this in mind, here are some tips for tipping the scales back in your favour.
Holidays: steer clear of "single supplements"
Many hotels price their rooms as doubles and don’t offer a discount if only one person stays there. This makes sense if you consider that the cost of supplies in the room as well as the heating and cleaning cost are the same regardless of how many people are staying. Some holiday companies will only charge you as a single occupant even if you’re staying in a twin room, which could save you money.
Although it's tempting to only buy what you need, weigh up whether bigger packets work out cheaper in the long run. When they do, consider bulk buying your non-perishables, like cupboard essentials and household supplies. Want to do the same for fresh food? Freeze any excess to try to avoid waste.
Try some money hacks
It's important to save as a single person so that you have a buffer for unexpected costs. There are plenty of fun and interesting ways to help you save money and hit your goals in our savings hacks guide.
An ISA could be a great way to earn tax-free interest or returns on your savings – and you can still access your money if you really need to (although you may have to pay early withdrawal fees).
Review your utility bills
A common drain on your pocket can be rent and utilities, especially if you live on your own:
- Council tax: if you live in England or Wales, check to see if your local council offers a single-person discount, which could cut your council tax bill by 25%
- TV and music subscriptions: some streaming services have friend and family packages that might work out cheaper than paying for your own account, but check the T&Cs first
- Broadband: look for deals that offer broadband along with a TV streaming service
- Mobile phone: your provider could offer rewards like free streaming subscriptions for a limited period, but don't forget to cancel once the free period ends
- Energy: turning down your heating by one degree, using the oven less, and washing at 30 degrees could help save on your bills
- Water: consider asking your water supplier to fit a water meter – it could save you money, as the bill will accurately reflect your water usage
- Insurance: See if you can get health coverage through work, take out gadget insurance with your parents, or sync up with a flatmate for contents insurance for renters
Time for a side hustle?
One of the perks of being single is having more flexibility and autonomy with your time. If you're looking to make some extra cash, you could turn your hobby or interest into a side hustle.
Don’t forget the power of your pension
Whether you’re single or partnered up, contributing to your pension as early as possible is an easy – and tax-advantageous – way to give your finances a more secure footing when retirement does come along.
Take control of your money
Whatever you're saving for, trying to do it with a single income can feel unrealistic – and you might feel like you're missing having a partner to spur you on or share your goals with. Here are four ways you can make sure your solo savings have an impact:
- Budget. Create your budget and try to stick to it. If you have some specific budgeting goals in the coming year (like saving for a holiday), you could open a separate account to help you stay on course
- Ask a friend for support. Everyone’s different when it comes to reigning in their spending, but if you thrive on support and encouragement, ask a friend to act as an ‘"accountability partner" to help you stay motivated. Social media is a great place to find like-minded people and groups going through similar savings challenges
- Practice delayed gratification. It could be harder to resist impulse purchases without your other half asking whether you “really need it.” This is where the art of delayed gratification could be your friend
- Deal with debt. Clearing any debts will help you feel more financially empowered. After taking care of secured debt (such as a mortgage), start with the smallest ones first, and think about how you’ll reward yourself once you’ve tackled each one. If you need guidance, it might be worth seeking out the help of a financial adviser
Being single may feel like it puts you at a disadvantage in some ways when it comes to money, but being aware of how you could save could help close the gap.
Whatever you decide to do, look after your money. Chase's easy-access saver account lets you start saving with as little as you like.
18+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver account. T&Cs apply.
The Hub is intended as a knowledge portal to provide information on a range of topics, including financial products and lifestyle management. ISA rules are subject to change by the UK government. This article provides general information on current position. These articles are not tax, legal or financial advice. Readers are responsible for their own tax affairs and should obtain advice if they are unclear as to their tax position.
As with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. A pension may not be right for everyone and tax rules may change in the future. If you are unsure if a pension is right for you, please seek financial advice.