Single? Live Like You’re Married to Save Money

This is a guest post by Philip Taylor, owner of PT Money: Personal Finance. Check out his blog to discover more ways to save money, make extra money, and spend money wisely. See his latest review of the best small business credit cards.

I remember the days of being single. My wife (then girlfriend) and I both worked full-time, had simple and affordable living arrangements, a car payment each, insurance, cell phones, and utilities. That was it. No children, no mortgages, no pets, no nothing. Like many people do in this phase of life, we squandered our money. Hemorrhaged it. Tore it up into little pieces and threw them at oncoming traffic. Well, not quite. But we might as well have.

At that stage in our lives, it seemed so logical to take the fat chunk of money left over from each paycheck and blow it on whatever looked fun. We thought nothing of dropping twenty bucks three times a week at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We bought new clothes all the time. We hit up the theater and the mall and the bookstore when we couldn’t think of anything else to do.

Now that we’re married with kids, our priorities have changed. Our focus is different. My wife and I have had to change our wasteful ways and start doing the things that people do when they want to make the most of their money. You know, like making a budget? Eating in? Telling ourselves no? … any of this ringing a bell? No? Sigh. Okay, you wasteful singles, get out your iPads. Here are my 4 tips for living like your married in order to save some money.

Develop the Long-Term Mindset

I’m not saying you need to open up college savings accounts, or get insurance on your “future spouse”. But you should start thinking about what you want in your financial future. If you plan on getting married and having kids one day, then it’s no stretch to say that you should start preparing your finances now. As a single earner, you have a great deal of flexibility now to create the financial life that you want. Getting out of debt, saving for retirement investing, and building side incomes are all things that single people can do much easier than us married folk; simply because it’s easier to move the pieces around to make it work.

Have a Simple, Automated Plan

The single most effective money management tool you can have is as simple as a piece of paper and a pencil. I know, I know– the word “budget” is so lame and married-sounding. But once you’ve saved a fat load of money and don’t have to worry about whether or not you can use your debit card, you’ll thank me.

For our budget, I simply check our bank balance online, add whatever money will come in that month, and write that figure at the top of the page. Then I subtract our monthly expenses one by one: first the fixed (unchanging) expenses, like rent and car payment, and then the unfixed ones. Some categories are up to you. Do you want to give yourself $50 for spending money each week? Or do you really need to apply that to your excessive credit card debt in order to pay it down? (My advice: pay it down, but also give yourself some play money or you’ll go crazy.)

Once you know how much money you’re going to have to spend, you may be surprised at the money left over. A good rule of thumb when first starting out would be to automatically invest or save half of the leftover money, and automatically put the other half in an emergency fund. Treat savings just like another bill. Make a plan for it. Give every dollar a place to go.

Make the Most of Your Spending

Everyone is different, so you’ll have to take an honest look at your own spending habits to figure this one out. Some people find it helpful (to the point of being an epiphany) to track their spending for a month and see where their money goes. I know my weakness. It’s dining out.

I love the convenience and fun of hopping in the car and going someplace where I get waited on and can have a zillion choices about what I’m going to eat. So that’s an area I’ve learned to do better with. And the math is encouraging: eating out costs my wife and I at least $15 per night, more if we eat somewhere nice. Monthly, that’s over $500. And that’s not counting all the other grocery spending on breakfast food for the weekdays, lunches for the weekdays, snacks, paper products, etc. However, if we cook, I’ve discovered that we can eat like kings for only $80 dollars a week or $320 per month, grocery bill included!

Embrace Minimalism

One of the best ways to save money is to adopt an old-fashioned mindset. Depression era stuff. No, I’m not suggesting you make your next winter coat out of a flour sack. I’m talking about saving energy, re-using things, and generally being a conservationist with your paycheck. Make every effort not to run your heater and A/C unless you’re truly uncomfortable without it– and even then, don’t just crank it up or crank it down. Try lowering the temperature only a degree or two. Invest in a programmable thermostat.

Make your showers brief– only take long, luxurious ones as treats at the end of a bad day or long week. Invest in re-usable products, like cloth dish towels instead of paper towels in the kitchen. A lot of money gets wasted on things that we throw away and re-purchase each week.

Make a real effort to buy real ingredients when you go grocery shopping. Convenience foods are often expensive, and not very good much of the time (which leads you straight back into the waiting arms of the nearest Mexican restaurant…). Buy fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry in bulk (freeze the rest and you won’t have to purchase more for a while!), pasta, rice, and spices. You can do a lot for very little, and it will be healthy, too.

I enjoyed my time as a single guy just as much as I’m enjoying my married life. They are just different experiences. But I do wish I had done more to prepare my finances when I was single. It’s so much easier.

If you are married, what tips do you have for living a money-saving single life?

4,823 Responses to Single? Live Like You’re Married to Save Money
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Single? Live Like You’re Married to Save Money

This is a guest post by Philip Taylor, owner of PT Money: Personal Finance. Check out his blog to discover more ways to save money, make extra money, and spend money wisely. See his latest review of the best small business credit cards.

I remember the days of being single. My wife (then girlfriend) and I both worked full-time, had simple and affordable living arrangements, a car payment each, insurance, cell phones, and utilities. That was it. No children, no mortgages, no pets, no nothing. Like many people do in this phase of life, we squandered our money. Hemorrhaged it. Tore it up into little pieces and threw them at oncoming traffic. Well, not quite. But we might as well have.

At that stage in our lives, it seemed so logical to take the fat chunk of money left over from each paycheck and blow it on whatever looked fun. We thought nothing of dropping twenty bucks three times a week at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We bought new clothes all the time. We hit up the theater and the mall and the bookstore when we couldn’t think of anything else to do.

Now that we’re married with kids, our priorities have changed. Our focus is different. My wife and I have had to change our wasteful ways and start doing the things that people do when they want to make the most of their money. You know, like making a budget? Eating in? Telling ourselves no? … any of this ringing a bell? No? Sigh. Okay, you wasteful singles, get out your iPads. Here are my 4 tips for living like your married in order to save some money.

Develop the Long-Term Mindset

I’m not saying you need to open up college savings accounts, or get insurance on your “future spouse”. But you should start thinking about what you want in your financial future. If you plan on getting married and having kids one day, then it’s no stretch to say that you should start preparing your finances now. As a single earner, you have a great deal of flexibility now to create the financial life that you want. Getting out of debt, saving for retirement investing, and building side incomes are all things that single people can do much easier than us married folk; simply because it’s easier to move the pieces around to make it work.

Have a Simple, Automated Plan

The single most effective money management tool you can have is as simple as a piece of paper and a pencil. I know, I know– the word “budget” is so lame and married-sounding. But once you’ve saved a fat load of money and don’t have to worry about whether or not you can use your debit card, you’ll thank me.

For our budget, I simply check our bank balance online, add whatever money will come in that month, and write that figure at the top of the page. Then I subtract our monthly expenses one by one: first the fixed (unchanging) expenses, like rent and car payment, and then the unfixed ones. Some categories are up to you. Do you want to give yourself $50 for spending money each week? Or do you really need to apply that to your excessive credit card debt in order to pay it down? (My advice: pay it down, but also give yourself some play money or you’ll go crazy.)

Once you know how much money you’re going to have to spend, you may be surprised at the money left over. A good rule of thumb when first starting out would be to automatically invest or save half of the leftover money, and automatically put the other half in an emergency fund. Treat savings just like another bill. Make a plan for it. Give every dollar a place to go.

Make the Most of Your Spending

Everyone is different, so you’ll have to take an honest look at your own spending habits to figure this one out. Some people find it helpful (to the point of being an epiphany) to track their spending for a month and see where their money goes. I know my weakness. It’s dining out.

I love the convenience and fun of hopping in the car and going someplace where I get waited on and can have a zillion choices about what I’m going to eat. So that’s an area I’ve learned to do better with. And the math is encouraging: eating out costs my wife and I at least $15 per night, more if we eat somewhere nice. Monthly, that’s over $500. And that’s not counting all the other grocery spending on breakfast food for the weekdays, lunches for the weekdays, snacks, paper products, etc. However, if we cook, I’ve discovered that we can eat like kings for only $80 dollars a week or $320 per month, grocery bill included!

Embrace Minimalism

One of the best ways to save money is to adopt an old-fashioned mindset. Depression era stuff. No, I’m not suggesting you make your next winter coat out of a flour sack. I’m talking about saving energy, re-using things, and generally being a conservationist with your paycheck. Make every effort not to run your heater and A/C unless you’re truly uncomfortable without it– and even then, don’t just crank it up or crank it down. Try lowering the temperature only a degree or two. Invest in a programmable thermostat.

Make your showers brief– only take long, luxurious ones as treats at the end of a bad day or long week. Invest in re-usable products, like cloth dish towels instead of paper towels in the kitchen. A lot of money gets wasted on things that we throw away and re-purchase each week.

Make a real effort to buy real ingredients when you go grocery shopping. Convenience foods are often expensive, and not very good much of the time (which leads you straight back into the waiting arms of the nearest Mexican restaurant…). Buy fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry in bulk (freeze the rest and you won’t have to purchase more for a while!), pasta, rice, and spices. You can do a lot for very little, and it will be healthy, too.

I enjoyed my time as a single guy just as much as I’m enjoying my married life. They are just different experiences. But I do wish I had done more to prepare my finances when I was single. It’s so much easier.

If you are married, what tips do you have for living a money-saving single life?

4,823 Responses to Single? Live Like You’re Married to Save Money
  1. even after all traduzione
    June 19, 2019 | 4:21 pm

    although internet sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they are really really worth a go by, so possess a look

  2. Gia
    June 19, 2019 | 4:23 pm

    This is true for funding advice as nicely.

  3. Alvaro Augusto Vidigal
    June 19, 2019 | 4:37 pm

    Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

  4. Socopa Corretora
    June 19, 2019 | 4:38 pm

    When some one searches for his vital thing, therefore he/she
    wants to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

  5. Socopa Corretora
    June 19, 2019 | 5:28 pm

    It’s very trouble-free to find out any topic on web as compared to textbooks, as I found this paragraph
    at this web page.

  6. tinyurl.com
    June 19, 2019 | 5:49 pm

    Thanks for your interest in Investment Recommendation.

  7. Alvaro Augusto Vidigal
    June 19, 2019 | 7:10 pm

    My spouse and I stumbled over here different web page and thought I
    might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i
    am following you. Look forward to exploring your web page again.

  8. Maria Elisabeth Bettamio Vivone
    June 19, 2019 | 7:16 pm

    of course like your website but you have to
    check the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I
    find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll definitely come back again.

  9. Alvaro Augusto Vidigal
    June 19, 2019 | 8:25 pm

    My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I may as well check
    things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page again.

  10. Banco Paulista SA
    June 19, 2019 | 8:28 pm

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank
    for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.
    If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  11. tom dooley text
    June 19, 2019 | 9:13 pm

    The data talked about in the post are a few of the most beneficial readily available

  12. Chet
    June 19, 2019 | 11:46 pm

    Investors do pay direct and oblique prices.

  13. GENPOWER PARTICIPAÇÕES
    June 20, 2019 | 12:16 am

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!
    It’s the little changes that produce the largest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  14. tinyurl.com
    June 20, 2019 | 2:10 am

    Consider investments that provide fast annuities.

  15. cheap flights
    June 20, 2019 | 2:54 am

    the time to study or visit the subject material or web pages we have linked to beneath the

  16. Epifania
    June 20, 2019 | 3:21 am

    This is true for funding advice as effectively.

  17. english translation
    June 20, 2019 | 3:34 am

    very handful of websites that come about to be comprehensive below, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out

  18. Alvaro Augusto Vidigal
    June 20, 2019 | 3:50 am

    Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is
    just spectacular and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  19. Alvaro Augusto Vidigal
    June 20, 2019 | 4:33 am

    I have read so many articles or reviews about the blogger
    lovers however this post is truly a good article, keep it up.

  20. GENPOWER PARTICIPAÇÕES
    June 20, 2019 | 7:49 am

    My brother recommended I might like this website.
    He was once totally right. This put up truly made my day.
    You can not believe simply how much time I had spent
    for this info! Thanks!

  21. Maria Elisabeth Bettamio Vivone
    June 20, 2019 | 8:21 am

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the
    most useful blogs on the net. I’m going to highly recommend this web site!

  22. GENPOWER PARTICIPAÇÕES
    June 20, 2019 | 8:39 am

    What’s up, its pleasant post on the topic of media print, we all know media
    is a wonderful source of information.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks
  1. Dyr Buster hundeseng
Leave a Reply


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