5th May 2016
Being the sole breadwinner of your household is a huge responsibility. On the bright side though, living alone leaves only one person accountable, you, for spending. So if you budget and spend wisely, you can save and pay off debt easily while going solo. Here are a few tips to keep your monthly expenses down.
Living alone entitles you to a 25 percent reduction in your council tax bill, which can add up to a few hundred pounds each year. Council tax is automatically calculated on the supposition that two people live at a residence. Contact your local council office to make the correction.
You may be entitled to some financial assistance that you aren’t aware of, especially if you earn a low income or are suffering from illness or disability. You can check your eligibility using a benefits calculator.
Like the council; water companies also generate bills by estimating the number of residents. This is done based on the amount of bedrooms. So if you live in a 3 bedroom, your water bill is determined under the assumption that 3-4 people live in the home. To reduce your water bill, you can request to switch to a water meter, which is usually free and fitted within about three months. If for some reason your supplier can’t install a meter, the company can assess your tariff and bill you based on estimated usage.
Contact your energy company to ensure you have the correct tariff. You don’t want to be charged for family usage when you live alone. Compare energy prices of all providers for your area. You may be able to save hundreds by switching suppliers and opting for a fixed energy tariff to protect you from future rate hikes.
Do you have a spare parking space or garage you don’t use? Parking at a busy train station can get very expensive, especially in and around London. Consider renting your space and you could earn a substantial amount of passive income.
If you have had shared accounts in the past, whether it was current, credit, council, or a utility bill, make sure your name is removed from the account ASAP. If your name is still on the account, you will still be liable for payments. If the other party becomes delinquent on any account, it could ruin your credit, subject you to late fees and make any future borrowing more expensive.
One of the easiest ways to cut your costs living alone is to simply not live alone. If you own your place, you can rent out a spare room for £50-100 per week, even more in London. This type of passive income can be used to contribute to your mortgage. If you are renting, subletting may not be an option for you as it may be against your tenancy agreement.