How you can save money if you live on your own


May 2024
How you can save money if you live on your own

How you can save money if you live on your own

Couples and families are able to split bills between themselves but if you live by yourself, then you may struggle to cover all of your household bills. Especially during a cost of living crisis when prices are increasing for everyone. Here are five ways to save money if you live by yourself:

1) Check your council tax

If you’re living in a property on your own, you’re entitled to a 25% reduction on your council tax bill through the ‘single-person discount’. If you’re not currently receiving this discount, you can apply by contacting your local council – find their contact details here.

It’s also worth noting that you could be eligible for a bigger discount of 50% if you’re considered ‘disregarded’, which applies if you are:

  • Under 18 years old
  • On certain apprenticeships
  • 18 or 19 years old and in full-time education
  • A full-time student at college or university
  • Under 25 years old and get funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • A student nurse
  • A foreign language assistant registered with the British Council
  • Severely mentally impaired
  • A live-in carer for someone who is not your partner, spouse, or child under 18
  • A diplomat

Add a named driver to your car insurance

A named driver is an additional person that you add to your car insurance policy, that will then have permission to drive the insured vehicle. 

Adding a more experienced driver to your policy (such as a parent or even a friend) can reduce the cost of your premium significantly, as it may reduce the overall risk in the eyes of your insurer. They don’t have to live with you, so if you live alone and are finding car insurance expensive, this could be a great way to cut down your bills.

Switch to a water meter

There are two ways to pay your water bill; it could be an estimated ‘unmetered charge’, which is based on your home’s size, if you don’t have a meter. If you do have a meter, you only pay for what you use. Most new homes will have a meter installed, but older homes may not.

This means that if you’re living alone in a relatively large house and are currently unmetered, you could be paying for more water than you actually use. Installing a water meter, in most cases, will be much more cost effective for you.

You can use the Consumer Council for Water’s calculator to see if you’d save money by switching to a metre.

Sign up for loyalty schemes

While this suggestion isn’t specific to people living alone, it’s still important, as you’re likely to be paying more for your shopping. Very few items are sold as single servings, and without careful planning, it’s easy for the extra to go to waste.

For this reason, it’s important to recoup some of these additional costs by signing up to loyalty schemes and cards. For example, research by Which shows that signing up for a Tesco Clubcard could save you 6% on your shopping, while Co-op claims their loyalty scheme could save regular customers up to £300 per year.

Most schemes allow you to build up points and vouchers, too, which is essentially free money to spend in-store. Remember, most loyalty schemes offer digital versions of their card, so you don’t need to clutter up your purse or wallet to benefit.

Improve your energy efficiency

Energy bills have soared over the past couple of years, and if you live alone, it can be tough to cover the cost of heating your whole house. While keeping an eye out for cheaper tariffs is important, being savvy with your energy usage can be an impactful way to cut costs.

For example, only heating the rooms you use, rather than the entire property, can cut down your bill drastically. You should be able to turn your radiator on and off, or adjust the temperature, by turning a valve. An easier solution long-term is to install smart thermostats, which allow you to individually control separate radiators or rooms with ease. 

Consider turning the thermostat down by just one degree, as it could save you around £12 per month on your heating bills. Using draught excluders and investing in electric blankets (which are very cheap to run) could help to make you feel more comfortable doing so.