Being single is not always as much fun as it is made to look by girls like Carrie Bradshaw and the like, and one of the most frustrating parts of being a single girl can be making your money stretch further from one income so you can still budget to go out with the girls in the relationships, with the pooled finances.
Saving money when you are single is very different to saving when you are part of a twosome, but one of the main advantages is that you have complete control over your budget, there is no one else to blame when the supermarket trolley is filled with chips and ice cream, and no enough stables to make dinner, and that accountability can see you taking more control and more responsibility of your finances.
The following are six simple savings tips for single girls in any situation to make your money go further.
1 Have a budget
This is sound financial advice for anyone in or out of a relationship because if you don’t know where your money is going you have little chance of diverting it to your savings.
Therefore find a way that works for you to create a budget so you know exactly how much you need to set aside for bills, food, and fuel, and do so that you know where your money goes during the week.
Just because you have done your budget and found that you should have $100 spare at the end of each week, doesn’t mean the reality is the same because you may forget about incidentals like cocktails with girls, or lunch with a friend which can eat into the money you thought you had spare.
When you take an accurate account of what you spend in a month you can see where your money is going and you will be able to nominate places where you can save.
For example, you may meet a friend once a week for lunch instead of twice a week giving you more spare savings.
2 Think about your future
Saving as a single girl is not just about having money left at the end of the month so you don’t have to live from paycheque to paycheque, it is also is about saving for the future.
As much as you may loathe managing your finances, no one is going to come along and save you from it is time to step up and implement money-saving plans for your future.
Even when your Prince Charming does come along it still makes sense as an intelligent and independent woman to know how to manage your money without him.
Therefore as you are doing your budget think about your long and short-term savings goals, whether you want to invest in a new computer so you can work from home and save money commuting, or you want to save money for an investment property to help offset some of the tax you’re paying.
It is also important to think about your retirement plans and put in place a savings plan to build up a retirement fund.
3 Save by cooking
You don’t have to be gourmet cooks to be able to save money by making meals at home.
Even if you only have a small repertoire of recipes you can still make more than you need and use the leftovers for lunch, or freeze it for other meals.
Cooking larger meals and reheating smaller portions later can also help save you money because you do not need to heat up your oven every single night.
It is also very tricky to cook for one and you invariably end up with two and a half serves for example which is not always the best use of your time or money, however, if you plan to cook a meal of four serves you can take some for lunch the following day and have two meals planned for down the track.
In planning your meals in this way you can also save money when you go to the supermarket because you will know the exact ingredients you need and there will be no reason not to cook.
4 Avoid packaged waste
Packaged food can also cost you a lot of money in the long run because most packages are not sized for one person.
Therefore you may open a packet of pasta and need just a quarter of the packet.
To avoid throwing away food which you can’t or don’t eat all in one sitting, invest in a vacuum sealer or zip lock bags to keep things fresh.
Also, freeze what you can and if you know you’re not can eat a full loaf of bread take out a few slices and put the rest in the freezer, taking out just a few slices at a time when you want them.
Also consciously buy less, or smaller packages because there is no shame in just buying two apples or one lemon if that’s all you need, and look for the smaller milk cartons so the rest of the liter doesn’t go to waste.
5 Eat healthier and save
We all know that meat, red meat, in particular, is good for us, but it is only good in moderation.
Too much meat is not good for your diet, or your budget and rather than planning meals around meat use it as an accompaniment rather than as the star.
Meat is also often not packaged for one person so you are again at risk of wastage.
Plus meat is one of the most expensive items likely to be in your grocery cart and eating less can save you more.
6 Save as much as you can
Just because you can only afford to save $10 a week for example is no reason to give up on saving altogether.
Instead, make a conscious effort to save a portion of your uncommitted income from your budget each month and it will soon add up.
Also, take the time to shop around for the best interest rates and the lowest fees on dedicated savings accounts to make sure that your money works hard for you long after you have worked hard to follow these money-saving tips.