20 Budgeting Tips for Singles – A Bachelor’s (or Bachelorette’s) Guide

Hero

I launched FinanceSuperhero in April 2016 to help others save money, get out of debt, earn more money, and live the best life possible. Send me an e-mail or a comment if I can help you in your journey. Thanks for reading!

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23 Responses

  1. I always had roommates until I got married. That’s a huge relief on expenses. On the bonus side I have made some of my best friends being roommates.

    • Hero says:

      Friendship is definitely an added bonus of having roommates, Mr. Crazy Kicks. Unfortunately, my roommate and I had a business-only friendship, but I’m still thankful to have landed in such a good situation when starting out on my own.

  2. Brian Lund says:

    What a fantastic resource. Thanks for sharing the personal details. Makes it so much more relatable! I especially like #18. It’s really hard to save money on eating out, if your friends, colleagues, family etc. are constantly inviting you to go and you have a hard time telling them no. But if you’ve told them what you’re trying to accomplish, it becomes easier to say “remember how I was telling you about xyz…” when they extend the invitation.

    • Hero says:

      I appreciate the feedback, Brian. #18 might be the hardest of the tips to implement, but in many ways, it is also the most critical.

  3. Great tips, FS! I began tracking my expenses in 2007 and got a good grip on my lifestyle and true cost of living. I began formally budgeting / forecasting in 2010 and have done fairly well with it. It’s definitely helped accelerate my road to FI.

  4. TheMoneyMine says:

    I think I did the opposite of most of these when I was single 😀 But I did have an emergency fund very early on and I did cook at home often.
    I couldn’t do a budget (and I still don’t really do), but I knew exactly how much I could spend every month.
    If I knew I had gone out a little more than usual, it meant that I wouldn’t travel as much. If I had to buy new furniture, I would slow down on bars & clubs for the month. I had created a ‘mental credit limit’.
    This has somehow worked for me and it has helped me fight lifestyle inflation.
    You have lots of goods points and I think implementing just a few of them would provide great financial gains.

    • Hero says:

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience, Money Mine. I’m just wondering – do you use Personal Capital or any other tools to take a broad look at your monthly spending? Are you pretty consistent from month to month, making it easy to just pay attention to the expenses that are out of the ordinary.

  5. Excellent tips! I agree about the car. Even if you HAVE to buy a car, never buy a brand new one because it’s just not worth it in the long run. I bought mine used for about 5 years now and it’s all paid off and I’m planning to keep it.

  6. I really like the idea of a zero-based budget. And the whole eating out, getting coffee is where you can really save an incredible amount. I am worried for kids who go to college now and think it is normal to get fancy coffee each day (or even twice!) And the way they have “food courts” set up at college also gives the “restaurant feel” when years ago it was much more like a cafeteria…

    • Hero says:

      Colleges seem to be getting their acts together and making dining halls much better. I distinctly recall returning to my alma mater a few years after graduation and realizing that the food had improved by leaps and bounds. Most students don’t have a good reason to blow their money on $6 coffee and meals out, in my opinion.

  7. ZJ Thorne says:

    I was once really lucky to find a room in a lady’s basement that was the same as sharing my living space with others. It came with its own issues, but I loved a bathroom of my own.

    Figuring out how to budget when you are new to earning and paying for all things is definitely a learning curve. I like these tips.

    • Hero says:

      Ah, having your own bathroom must have been great. I grew up in a house with only one bathroom; now my wife and I have three, and I don’t think I could ever go back!

  8. Ray Ray says:

    Great list FS! Ahhh those were the days… the days when I had some much extra cash (earning a lot less!) with not a care in to world about day care fees or mortgage repayments. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and my wife and kids to death! but sometimes I like to look back on these days and smile about how foot loose and fancy free I was with not a care in the world.

  9. I really like the fact that these tips focus on starting at the bottom like buying a used car, staying in, and maintaining a college lifestyle. Even with the surge in income post-grad, no one should start out by getting into the spending mode. I’ve spent the past two days getting groceries that will probably last meet 2 weeks. Bill came out to be around $100, way less than how much I would spend eating out!

    • Hero says:

      And the best part about your grocery trip is that the food you purchased is almost assuredly more healthy than what you would have purchased dining out, Finance Solver. Investing in your physical and financial health all at once is a great move.

  10. I think number 5 is one too many people completely ignore. Three of my friends bought brand new cars right after getting their first job post-graduation. I think it’s crazy.

  11. If you’re a guy, live with a bunch of guys in a dumpy house with a minimum of three other roommates. You’ll pay a pittance for utilities and your rent will be rock bottom too.

  12. Todd Wimpy says:

    Thanks, it was a good read.

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