Financial management for people living alone

Many people who live alone are left to deal with all household expenses without the support of a second income. But these helpful tips could see your money go further.

For people who live alone, there is no financial buffer to protect against rising costs. Many people who live alone are left to deal with all household expenses without the support of a second income. 

But these helpful tips could see your money go further.

Smart budgeting

The first step in managing finances for those who live solo is to create a comprehensive budget that accounts for all income and expenses. This budget should prioritise all your essentials like rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, groceries, and savings. It's important to differentiate between 'needs' and 'wants' to ensure that your spending aligns with your financial goals and necessities.

Reducing housing costs

Housing is typically the largest expense for people living alone. If renting, consider options like finding a smaller space or living in a less expensive area to reduce this cost. If you own your home, think about ways to utilise your extra space, like renting out a room on a short-term basis to generate additional income. In terms of council tax, those living alone may be eligible for the single person discount which can cut monthly costs by up to 25%.

Cutting utility bills

Utility bills can eat into your budget. Save on these by implementing energy-efficient practices like using LED bulbs, reducing water use, and making sure your home is well-insulated to cut heating costs. You should also regularly compare providers for services like electricity, gas, and internet to check you're getting the best deal.

Grocery shopping and meal planning

Grocery bills can quickly add up, especially when buying and cooking for one. To save money, plan your meals for the week. This can help you to purchase only what you need, and take advantage of bulk buying for non-perishable items. Cooking at home is generally cheaper and healthier than eating out, and leftovers can often be repurposed into new meals to reduce waste and expense.

Minimising recurring expenses

Review your subscriptions and recurring payments to identify areas where you might be able to cut back. Do you really watch all the streaming services you're subscribed to? Can you switch to a cheaper gym or workout at home? Even small savings on these expenses can add up over time.

Building an emergency fund

For single parents and those living alone, an emergency fund is even more important as there's no secondary income to fall back on in tough times. Aim to save a portion of your income each month to build up a safety net that covers at least three to six months of living expenses.

Professional advice

If you're finding it hard to manage your finances alone, seek advice from financial advisors. They can offer personalised strategies to optimise your budget, save money, and invest wisely for your future.

For financial advice, ethical loans, and information on how we’re supporting our community through the cost of living crisis, get in touch with Great Western Credit Union today. Email us at or visit

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Posted on
05 June 2024