America has made a great shift in social dynamics in recent decades. When once the goal was to settle down with a spouse and have children, more and more people are becoming comfortable with living on their own. According to some statistics, as many as 36 percent of all households in the United States are comprised of single-person households. A lot of this single-person households are also made up of women, with over 7.8 percent of women aged 30 years living on their own.

If you are woman who is about to live on your own for the first time, you may want a quick guide on how you can cut down on your cost of living.

Here are 10 tips on how you can reduce your costs when you are your entire household.

Despite living alone, you may have been able to afford your own home or inherited residential real estate from your family. However, these types of properties nearly always come with a sizeable financial commitment: the mortgage. If you want to be able to afford your place of residence, you should look for someone who can give you the best mortgage interest rates possible. Talk to your mortgage provider to arrange for affordable rates and to discuss payment terms.

One of the most expensive facets of living in the 21st century is that you will need electronics, from laptops to phones. However, there is no need for you spend all your money on gadgets. Go to online marketplaces and you can be surprised how affordable they can be. You could find smartwatches under $100 or even laptops below $500 if you go to the right online sellers or stores.

Food can be one of the most expensive parts of living alone, especially if you keep ordering take out from restaurants. Another way you can spend too much on food is if you buy meals based on what you want instead of what you can afford. Make a meal plan every week so you can plan your budget. Leave some room for night’s out or other treats but make sure you have the money for such expenses.

A time-tested approach to reducing expenses for any household is by purchasing products secondhand. The trick is to be strategic in what you should buy new and which things you can purchase pre-owned. For example, chairs and tables are alright to buy from a garage sale, but you may want to think twice before buying a bed mattress. Some gadgets like toasters and televisions can also be bought secondhand but you may want to think twice before buying a used laptop.

Some of your largest expenses can stem from you trying to keep up with your friends or wanting to spend more time with them. These purchases can be motivated entirely by fear of missing out or FOMO. This fear of not enjoying something your friends and loved ones are doing needs to be conquered if you want to avoid spending money you’re planning on saving. Learn to say no to plans and you will notice how much money you’re saving. Tell yourself that there will be other times for you to make these purchases and find cost-affordable ways to spend time with friends and loved ones.

Cars can be very expensive to maintain, from gas prices to car parking fees. You can be better served by your city’s public transport systems. Unlike with a car, you won’t need to pay for gas or oil changes if you take the bus to work. Of course, this depends entirely on how effective the public transport is in your neighborhood. Gage whether you can rely on your public transport before committing to it.

Although spending a handful of change for laundry may not seem like a lot of money, you may be doing more than one load of laundry every week. Add the cost of chemicals and you may be spending a lot more on laundromats than you may think. Try to do at least a few loads of laundry at home, perhaps in a tub in your bathroom or a small basin in your kitchen sink. This can reduce costs by a small but not inconsiderable amount.

Living on your own can be challenging but it shouldn’t be impossible, especially from a financial aspect. Learning how you can be smarter with your money is the best first step to establishing your single-person household.

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