That's A Stretcher
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I am an Australian single, (divorced), and have lived alone for most of my life. Ten years ago I read 'Your Money or Your Life' and began to form a plan to become mortgage free and cut back my work hours, (I have worked continuously since I left school and thought I deserved it!). As with all plans there were a few hiccups - the main one being the unexpected find of a very cheap 10 acres with a derelict cottage on it and, with the equity I had built up in my other house I extended my home equity loan, bought it and owned 2 houses for a year, while I was putting the finishing touches to the one for sale and renovating the other to a liveable condition! Renovations are now complete, mortgage has been paid off, (almost a year ago), and I am only working 30 hours a fortnight, (3 x 10 hour shifts - I am an RN). With renovations and piling as much money off the Home Loan as I could I have lived on less than half my income for so long it was easy to painlessly reduce my work hours/income by half.
People have already mentioned the cons of single living - the fixed living costs whether you are one, two, or more in the household, the single income, food purchase and cooking for one, etc. so I will concentrate on the pros. The first and main thing for me in being a single frugal person is you can decide what you want and when you want it by, and go for it. You don't need to negotiate with anyone to set combined goals and how they will be achieved. This is the most important point to me, In any decision to be frugal or save money the thing that should come first - before reading books, searching the Dollar Stretcher or planning a strategy, is setting the goal that will be achieved by your savings. It could be like mine, to downshift and go part time or your's could be to buy a new car or invest so you can retire at 40 or pay off your student loans - whatever your personal goals are they should be clearly defined and kept in the forefront of your mind. This will be the driving force or motivation to choose not to spend - on whatever doesn't further your goal savings. Otherwise it would be easy to say, Why deprive myself?' In my local frugal groups I find there are frequently conflicting ideas/goals between couples. In fact many couples 'assume' each others goals and are not working toward the same thing at all. Luckily singles don't have this problem
The next difficulty for couples, once they have decided where they want to be, and checked where they are now, (levels of debt, fixed living costs, etc), they have to decide where to cut back - they have 2 sets of wants v needs! Needs are easy - wants are more contentious!!!! Its much easier to 'deprive' yourself, and see the value in your own 'treats' than someone else's A personal budget is much easier to develop, adhere to and track/monitor when only one person is spending!
As for the cons - I think we still win from the grocery/food angle - we can choose to have breakfast cereal for lunch, rice and vegies for breakfast, tuna salad for dinner, (every day for a week after a special on tuna!!) and we can cook the same amount as we would for a family and have 4 or 5 individual 'ready meals' frozen for the days we choose not to cook, (stored in the free takeaway containers collected from friends of course!). We can be as flexible as we want to be frugal, question all our spending and answer to no one but ourselves.