Living alone may be a choice, or it can mark the end of a serious relationship, whether through a break-up or bereavement. A sudden shift to living along can be an emotional time, with tackling your finances a long way from your mind.
Yet the cost of managing a mortgage or rent, bills and other essential household outgoing can add up. Here are some tips to manage the financial implications.
Remember the discounts
If you live alone, you get 25% off your council tax bill. However, you will need to apply for this. Contact your local council to ask for this discount to be put on your bill. It can make a significant difference to these payments, slashing this bill by hundreds of pounds a year.
Could you save money by reducing your council tax band?
Reduce utility bills
Consider your energy bills, as while there aren’t specific discounts for single people there may be tariffs that are more suitable. For example, these could be plans that reward low usage or that don’t have a standing charge attached.
You cannot switch water supplier, as there will only be one for your area. However, getting a water meter fitted may slash your bills.
According to the Consumer Council for Water, people living alone are among those who are most likely to benefit from a meter. Try this calculator to see if you could save.
How to save money by being energy efficient.
Check benefit entitlement
A lower household income may mean you become entitled to certain benefits. Many are based not only on your personal income, but also your household income. Even if you don’t think you are able to claim anything, it’s worth checking.
If you are in poor health or over age 60, you might be able to get help with health costs. This could help provide for dental charges, eyesight tests and prescriptions.
Are you missing out on benefits you are entitled to?
Cut insurance cover
If you have fewer possessions in the property, your contents insurance could reduce. Work out the value of your possessions, including any valuable items, and give your insurer a call with an estimate to see if you can cut costs.
Reduce food costs
One of the biggest weekly expenses is food, and it’s easy to waste this. Set yourself a weekly budget and stick to this.
Look out for buy-one-get-one-free offers in supermarket, on food that you can freeze.
Make sure you need the things you buy before paying at the till. This may sound obvious, but it’s easy to overspend if you have been used to buying more. Supermarket own brand and basic ranges are also worth considering, if you’re struggling to make ends meet.
Seven ways to save money at the supermarket.
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