These days, more and more Canadians are falling in love with the idea of flying solo. And why not?
Despite what rom-coms would have you believe, there are a lot of benefits to being single. The independence. The extra time. The freedom! Want pizza for dinner? Go for it. Want to binge watch the new season of Queer Eye on Netflix? You do you. Want to hog an entire queen-size bed? You’re in luck.
When it comes to finances though, going it alone can seem a little scary. Single life also means single income—there’s no one to share the financial burden. Sure, you get the entire bed, but you also get the entire utility bill. And not to mention, dating is expensive. According to the 2018 Cost of Love study from RateSupermarket.ca, a year of dating can cost over $12,000.
But being single doesn’t have to suck financially. Here are five tips to help you save money while living your best single life.
Find your “Friends with Financial Benefits”
One of the perks of being in a relationship is always having someone to split things with. Rent, groceries, vacation costs, even the Uber home—it all gets halved. Good news: You don’t need a significant other to significantly reduce your expenses.
The biggest thing that would help is, of course, getting a roommate. Or roommates. You can also split more than just the rent and utilities. Consider taking a communal approach to things like basic groceries (particularly perishable items), cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and even entertainment subscriptions. Splitting responsibilities can have financial benefits as well, since having help with tasks reduces the likelihood of you simply outsourcing them. That cleaning service won’t seem quite as necessary with a few pairs of hands pitching in.
Don’t forget to think outside the house! There’s no reason you can’t bulk-buy groceries with a friend with a similar diet. Know someone with the same fashion sense and clothing size? Share or swap clothing to double your closet. Found a great two-for-one Groupon restaurant voucher? Invite a friend. Or just need someone to help you stay on track financially? You guessed it. Find a friend.
Learn to love your budget
You’re young, single, free… and probably spending a lot of money.
As previously mentioned, dating is expensive. You also tend to spend more money on social activities when you’re single, like meeting up with friends for dinner, grabbing drinks, or catching a movie on the weekend. And while you’re probably having the time of your life, these things don’t come cheap.
Don’t worry, we’re definitely not suggesting you stop having fun! You do you, remember? But moderation is key, and a budget will help you keep an eye on your spending and know when to rein it in. Need help setting up a budget? Here’s a great monthly expenses template, or make use of an app like Mint.
Pick up a side hustle
Being single means lots of free time. Luckily, time is money. Take advantage of the lack of weekend obligations, and the fact that there isn’t anyone waiting impatiently at home, to earn a little extra income. Join the freelance community on Fiverr, offer up your services through Handy, sell your creations on Etsy, or put your car to good use with Uber.
Say hello to an emergency fund
Research shows that only about a quarter of Canadians have an emergency fund. But the unfortunate reality is that sooner or later, we all face financial hardships and emergencies. Not having a partner to help shoulder the burden can make things even more difficult, and increases the chances of you having to take out a loan or use your credit card.
So why not make sure you’re ready for anything by setting up an emergency fund? Here’s something to help you get started. Tip: You can also automate the process by putting a little aside each week with Moka. Soon enough, you won’t just be independent, but financially independent as well.
Embrace your independence
Let’s talk a little more about this ‘independence’ thing. It’s got to be one of the best things, if not the best thing, about being a single adult.
When you’re on your own, you only need to worry about your own preferences and priorities. And you’re in total control of all your own money. Spend it, save it, or even give it away. It’s entirely up to you.
Which is why your single years are the best time to be working towards any financial goals. Every Mylo user creates a financial goal to invest spare change towards, but if you’re ready to save even more, we suggest paying yourself first by automatically putting away 10 to 20% of your income (you can set this up as a weekly deposit in your Mylo account).
Because as we’ve already established, when you’re single, the most important person is you!