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?

569 Responses to Single? Live Like You’re Married to Save Money
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    May 25, 2018 | 10:19 pm

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  7. Cori Altreche
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  8. home improvement era
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  14. home decore idea
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Trackback URL http://mynextbuck.com/single-live-like-you%e2%80%99re-married-to-save-money/trackback/

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?

569 Responses to Single? Live Like You’re Married to Save Money
  1. travel agency
    May 25, 2018 | 8:50 pm

    Thanks so much for giving everyone remarkably superb possiblity to read from here. It really is so great and stuffed with a good time for me personally and my office colleagues to search your web site really three times a week to find out the latest items you have got. And indeed, I’m so usually contented with all the wonderful knowledge you serve. Some 1 ideas in this article are particularly the very best I’ve had.

  2. Automotive
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    May 25, 2018 | 8:50 pm

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  4. online shopping
    May 25, 2018 | 8:51 pm

    Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic, let alone the content!

  5. mountain
    May 25, 2018 | 9:03 pm

    I needed to draft you this little bit of remark to finally thank you so much again regarding the fantastic principles you’ve featured on this site. It was so particularly open-handed with people like you to provide without restraint what a number of us might have made available for an electronic book to make some profit for their own end, specifically considering the fact that you could have done it in the event you desired. Those tactics additionally worked like the easy way to know that the rest have similar eagerness the same as mine to figure out lots more when considering this matter. I’m certain there are millions of more fun occasions ahead for individuals who look over your blog.

  6. click to read more
    May 25, 2018 | 10:19 pm

    Merely four celebrities due to the fact that this feels like the cushion top on that stores a whole lot from heat in – ideally my old topper will do away with that.

  7. Cori Altreche
    May 26, 2018 | 1:34 am

    HolaHey thereHiHelloGreetings! I’ve been followingreading your siteweb sitewebsiteweblogblog for a long timea whilesome time now and finally got the braverycourage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New CaneyKingwoodHuffmanPorterHoustonDallasAustinLubbockHumbleAtascocita TxTexas! Just wanted to tell youmentionsay keep up the fantasticexcellentgreatgood jobwork!

  8. home improvement era
    May 26, 2018 | 4:50 am

    I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks , I¡¦ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  9. home improvement agency
    May 26, 2018 | 4:51 am

    Thanks for another informative website. Where else may I get that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I’ve a undertaking that I’m simply now operating on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.

  10. home recycle
    May 26, 2018 | 4:52 am

    Thank you, I have just been searching for info approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered till now. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain concerning the supply?

  11. home decore idea
    May 26, 2018 | 4:52 am

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  12. home improvement agency
    May 26, 2018 | 4:54 am

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  13. home garden
    May 26, 2018 | 4:55 am

    I precisely wished to thank you so much once more. I’m not certain the things I might have worked on without these points provided by you over such a subject. Certainly was an absolute frustrating scenario in my opinion, nevertheless viewing a specialised way you processed it forced me to cry over delight. Now i am thankful for this support and then hope that you are aware of a powerful job your are putting in teaching some other people all through your websites. I am sure you’ve never come across any of us.

  14. home decore idea
    May 26, 2018 | 4:58 am

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  16. M88
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  18. German Shepherd
    May 26, 2018 | 8:16 am

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  19. M88
    May 26, 2018 | 3:28 pm

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again

Leave a Reply


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Trackback URL http://mynextbuck.com/single-live-like-you%e2%80%99re-married-to-save-money/trackback/