While there is a lot to be said for living alone, it’s not cheap. It places more strain on your finances, as you have to cover the cost of everything yourself, from rent and mortgage payments to utility bills.
However, there are many ways that you can cut the cost of living alone. Here’s how:
The single person rebate is available to anyone who lives alone.
Council tax is calculated on the assumption that two or more people share each residence. If you live by yourself, you will be eligible for a 25% discount, saving hundreds of pounds per year. If you weren’t aware of it and hadn’t claimed it before, contact your local council and see if you can get it backdated.
In any case, you should receive a letter from the council asking you how many occupants there are in the property.
Even if you live alone, it is still possible to cut your water bill quite drastically.
The majority of water companies estimate the number of people living in a property based on the number of bedrooms and work out the size of your bill from there.
If you don’t use an excessive amount of water, you should be able to save money by getting a water meter installed. It’s a simple way to save money year on year.
Check your benefits
Many benefits are not only based on your individual wage but also on total household income.
If you live alone – or with an elderly relative – you may be eligible for financial assistance that you are not receiving or even be aware of.
Literally billions of pounds worth of benefits go left unclaimed every year.
Go to Citizens Advice for further information or drop into your local citizen’s advice bureau.
Reduce your car costs
Car insurance – If you are not the only driver using your car, you can save on your insurance premiums by adding a second driver to your existing car insurance policy as a named driver. If they have a long history without any claims, it can sometimes significantly reduce your insurance costs.
Named drivers do not necessarily need to drive your car; although obviously they could should you so wish. They can be added to your insurance policy on a ‘just in case’ basis.
Many insurance companies consider that you will be less likely to make a claim if the car is shared with a low-risk driver, potentially lowering your premiums.
Breakdown cover is often cheaper per individual car rather than each person who drives it, so if you only have one car, this could be an excellent way to save money. Check if you could reduce the cost of your breakdown policy by switching to vehicle-based cover.
Make money by renting out your drive
If you live in a city centre or near a railway station that has limited parking, renting out your driveway is a brilliant and easy way of earning money. Those who live near the tennis courts at Wimbledon make money by renting out parking space during the Wimbledon fortnight. The same can be said for those living near mainline train lines or London Underground stations where parking is scarce.
Living alone – whether by choice or circumstance – can also be quite difficult for some people, and many find themselves isolated and not just alone but lonely. It’s important to find social groups and be part of a community.
www.meetup.com is an excellent way of meeting new people in your area who share the same interests as you. Whatever hobby you have – from photography to farming – you’ll find like-minded people close by to meet up with!