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Financial Planning for Singles: How to Save Money and Enjoy Your Independence

Fact checked by John Boitnott

John Boitnott

John Boitnott graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Masters Degree in Education. He worked for 14 years as a broadcast news writer for ABC, NBC, and CBS News where he covered finance, business and real estate. He covered financial news for SAP for four years. Boitnott is now working as a columnist for The Motley Fool where he covers personal financial and investing strategies.... Read More

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Financial Planning for Singles

There are a lot of benefits to being single. Flying solo means you have complete freedom to make your own decisions and lets you focus on your own personal and professional development. But what about your financials. Financial planning for singles is typically never talked about. 

Single adults can live in smaller spaces and frequently choose to dwell in cities, where there are more high-paying jobs. They also have the free time and independence to socialize and network with new people, opening the doors for new career opportunities. 

But when it comes to financial planning, not having multiple incomes or someone to split bills with can make it more challenging to maximize savings. But just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to struggle to accrue wealth. Let’s explore some tips you can use to save money and plan for the future, all while enjoying the independence and freedom of being single.

Financial Planning for Singles: How to save money strategically

Saving money can be challenging, and it’s only gotten harder for younger generations. Mounting college debt prevents many millennials and Gen Zers from achieving milestones on the same timeline as their parents. Studies show that the average millennial carries $37k in college debt, far more than any previous generation.

Just because you have debt doesn’t mean you can’t focus on saving for your future, however. Here are some top tips for how singles can maximize their savings and enhance their financial wellbeing without having to rely on anyone else.

Get creative with spending and saving

Being single is fun – but it can also be stressful. Nights out with friends and going on dates while also paying all your bills on your own can easily land you in hot water if you’re not careful. This is even more of a concern if you are self-employed or an independent business owner with additional finances to manage. 

When approaching financial planning for your business or yourself, it is critical to consider your needs and timeframe. How much can you afford to save now? Will your financial situation be comparable next month and the month after? Do your best to think strategically about ways you can cut costs – every little bit helps. 

In your personal life, you may want to find ways that you and your other single friends can split expenses. For example, if you lease or own a home, consider renting out a room to a friend or family member to help with the bills. This is considered one of our top financial planning for singles tips!

Instead of ordering your groceries for online delivery, you and your friends can chip in to buy a membership at a local Costco so you can buy in bulk at lower prices and share. If you need something, think about whether you can simply borrow it from a friend before swiping your credit card.

Turn your spare time into spare cash

As a single adult, your free time is all yours. And chances are, you may not have to worry about a never-ending to-do list of home repairs, or other things that can be a drain on your time.

You can use this spare time to get a side hustle to bring in some extra income. Our economy and spending habits have changed during the pandemic, and there has never been a better time to explore freelancing as a secondary source of income. Freelancing is ideal as a second job because you only take the projects that you have time for, and most of these jobs can be done from home.

Alternatively, you can use your spare time to research investment opportunities and other ways to generate passive income, a surefire way to increase your net worth over time. Fintech has made it easier than ever for people to buy and trade stocks online, and cryptocurrency exchanges have made many young tons of money the past year. 

Passive income can be anything from a mutual fund or annuity to affiliate marketing or making t-shirts. As with freelance, consider your interests and skills, and see what opportunities are best suited for your time and experience. 

Don’t just save – invest

When we have spare cash, our consumerist society encourages us to spend it on things that make us feel good. However, saving and investing your extra money, especially starting at a young age, can provide huge benefits in the long run. It will make you feel more confident – and if you can make more money from your savings, all that much better. 

The phrase “pay yourself first” underscores the importance of investing and saving your money rather than promptly giving it away in exchange for a product or service that will just lose value over time. There are a lot of worthy businesses that require more investment to propel their growth, and you can benefit from their success.

Investing in an established or up-and-coming business can be a very lucrative technique for the financially savvy. You should reflect on your values and keep social responsibility in mind when deciding what companies to invest in. 

Although every investment comes with some risk, even low-risk investments like index funds have a far higher rate of return than that of a savings account. So, investing is a more lucrative option than merely setting your savings aside. Beginner investors can learn about online stock trading to increase their stock market savvy and start building wealth. 

Create a budget and stick to it

One of the most important aspects of maximizing your savings is understanding how to live within your means. Think about what your financial goals are, and ask yourself how much would you need to put aside every month to achieve those goals.

Sit down with an Excel spreadsheet and figure out exactly how much money you spend every month on things like rent, transportation costs, and other fixed costs of living. Then, figure out how much you have left over and how you’d like to divide that amount into budgets for groceries, going out, savings, and other categories.

And if you are already following some of the tips above, consider doing the same for your personal and professional activities as well. Break down goals and tasks into manageable parts by harnessing tech for your to-do lists, as well as your personal and professional accounting. Create a simple system for yourself so each week or month, all you have to do is plug and chug. 

All the single ladies (and gents)

Being single shouldn’t mean you have to worry about money. You can embrace the benefits of being single and make this your best asset in your quest for financial security. 

The good news is, as a single person, you aren’t tied down to someone who may have bad spending habits that will influence your own future. You are completely in control of your own finances and how much you will save for your future. By following these tips – and with a little time, patience, and discipline – you’ll be well on your way to a financially healthy future.

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We uphold a strict editorial policy that focuses on factual accuracy, relevance, and impartiality. Our content, created by leading finance and industry experts, is reviewed by a team of seasoned editors to ensure compliance with the highest standards in reporting and publishing.

Financial Research Analyst
Kiara Taylor is a financial writer and Research Analyst. She is an expert at risk-based modeling having worked in the finance vertical for the past twenty years. She has a Master’s Degree in Finance from Ohio State and has worked at Fifth Third Bank, J.P. Morgan and Citi in emerging markets and equity research.

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