The following is a guest post by Lisa at Frugal Living, an Australian personal finance blog created to help readers figure out how to save money and watch your own spending habits
Single individuals have an advantage over their married counterparts, as providing for one is easier than two. Figure in the possibility of children, and the cost of living rises dramatically. However, that doesn’t mean that single adults are safeguarded from the dangers of a loose budget. Try out the following rapid-fire tips to save money and enjoy life.
- Use Coupons
Buying in bulk isn’t exactly a strong option, at least with perishables such as food. However, coupons provide a strong way to save money without qualifying your purchase, in the comparison with buying in bulk. Save those coupon books and visit manufacturers’ websites to get some coupons.
- Stay In the Know
From Personal Finance to Living on a budget, money-saving blogs and websites have grown into a money-making market. Read articles from Money Magazine, Forbes, and Kiplinger’s. Better yet – read those articles from magazines you picked up as giveaways at your local public library – for free! Be informed about the latest in budgeting software, daily deals, and ways to supplement your income. Personal Finance blog Wisebread offers a Top 100 listof the best – and up-and-coming – personal finance blog sites across the nation.
- Eat Out, Intelligently
While you should work toward eating home-cooked meals every day in order to save money, you don’t have to break the bank to eat out. Choosing the time of the day you eat out (lunch instead of dinner), and getting food that reheats well will help you stretch your dollar. Restaurant.com offers money saving certificates (think $25 for $10!) in cities throughout the U.S.
- Ditch the Movie Theater
Head to the rental store instead of the movie theater; invite some friends over to save and take advantage of cheaper entertainment. When you are heading to the movie theater, opt for matinees that can take a fraction from the purchase price away. Or – save even more money by searching for movie codes online. Blockbuster codes and Redbox discounts are easy to find – and offer enough codes to get a free rental every day of the week, if desired.
- The Local University
Some of the best entertainment options are at the local college and/or university. Look for theater, sports, and other interesting options – including classes of all kinds. Sporting events run at least 50% less than professional events. Speaking of classes, perhaps you could brush up on your cooking skills to help save money and still eat good food. That’ll save moneyfor yourself and when you cook for friends – or dates!
- Join Forces
In some situations, you could potentially not be in a good place to save money. When you head to a birthday party or wedding, for instance, you might find that this is true. Instead of paying the full price of a gift, talk to a friend who is single and attending the same event. Both of you can split the cost of a gift, going in on it together. This could be an easy way to save money in a social situation.
Keep some of these ideas in mind as you enjoy being single and free. Try to stay away from situations where you might spend a lot of money, such as pricey restaurants or over-the-top dates; opt for gatherings (you can cook or set up a cookout/potluck) where you can avoid these pitfalls. Also, you might want to consider leaving the credit cards at home. Try bringing the cash that you decide is enough for the night, so you can keep a tight rein on the money you’re spending.
How do you save money? Do you find splitting costs is cheaper than flying solo? Comment below and share your tips!