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10 Cheapest Ways to Live Alone: In Depth Guide

Living alone has its perks. People value the freedom and personal space it offers. But, affording a solo lifestyle is often easier said than done. When you’re responsible for all household expenses, budgeting becomes critical. 

The good news is that with a bit of know-how and planning, it’s possible to live alone without breaking the bank. This article aims to share ten cost-effective strategies for independent living.

10 Cheapest Ways to Live Alone

Finding Affordable Housing

Choosing the Right Location

The cost of living can vary greatly from one area to another. Cities are usually more expensive than rural areas. Yet, living on the outskirts of a city or in an up-and-coming neighborhood can significantly cut costs. 

Before settling down, compare the living expenses of different areas. Pay attention to both the rent and the general cost of living.

Smaller Spaces Save Money

A smaller home like a studio will cost less. Not just in rent, but also in utilities and upkeep. Learning to live in a compact space can mean huge savings. 

Innovative furniture that maximizes space can make a small apartment feel like home. Think Murphy beds, foldable tables, and wall-mounted storage.

Cheapest Ways to Live Alone: All You Need To Know

Managing Utilities and Services

Reducing Utility Bills

Your electric bill can be more manageable. Invest in energy-efficient appliances. Use LED bulbs. Consider installing a smart thermostat. 

These changes make a difference in your energy consumption. Remember to unplug devices when they’re not in use. Water bills can also decrease with efficient fixtures.

Bundling Services

Look into bundling internet, cable, and phone services. Better yet, think about what you can live without. 

Many have ditched cable for cheaper streaming services. Examine your needs and make a choice that fits your budget.

Smart Shopping for Essentials

Food and Groceries

One of the largest monthly expenses is food. Plan your meals. Buy in bulk and use coupons. 

Cooking at home is more economical than dining out frequently. Learn to make delicious and simple meals that are cost-effective.

Furniture and Supplies

Useful second-hand furniture can be found at thrift stores or online marketplaces. Be patient and hunt for deals. 

Make sure to buy essential items that are durable and necessary.


Public Transportation and Carpooling

Public transport and carpooling can be much cheaper than owning a car. Many cities offer commuter discounts or monthly passes. 

These options are not only kinder to your wallet but also to the environment.

Walking or Biking

If possible, consider walking or cycling. It’s free and good for your health. Invest in quality walking shoes or a decent bike. 

These modes of transportation are efficient and cost-effective in the long term.

Side Hustles and Additional Income Streams

Living alone means managing your finances wisely. But sometimes, cutting expenses isn’t enough. It may be helpful to look into side jobs. 

This could be freelance work, weekend gigs, or passive income opportunities. Select something that’s doable in your free time without overwhelming you.

Budgeting and Financial Planning

Tracking Expenses

A budgeting app or a simple spreadsheet can help you track your expenses. Be vigilant about what you’re spending money on. 

Review your budget regularly. Adjust it to avoid overspending.

Saving and Emergency Funds

Savings are crucial, especially when you’re living alone. You never know when an unexpected expense will arise. Try to save a portion of your income each month.

Community and Socializing on a Budget

Free or Low-Cost Events

Look for community events, which are often free. Meet new people while keeping your budget in check. 

Libraries, community centers, and online platforms are great resources for finding local events.

Networking and Relationships

A local network provides friendship and resource sharing. Join clubs or workshops that interest you. They can offer opportunities both socially and professionally.

Planning for the Future

Investing on a Budget

Even with limited funds, investing is feasible and crucial for financial growth. Start with small, manageable contributions to a diversified portfolio or low-cost index fund. Regular, consistent investments over time can compound, significantly impacting your financial future without straining your current budget.

Insurance and Protections 

Securing renters, health, and other personal insurance is non-negotiable for safeguarding against unforeseeable financial setbacks. 

These protections provide a safety net, ensuring that an accident, illness, or loss doesn’t derail your financial stability. It’s an essential step in responsible financial planning, offering peace of mind amidst life’s uncertainties.

smaller living spaces

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make living alone more affordable in an expensive city?

Research different areas, opt for smaller living spaces, and use public transportation.

What are some unexpected costs of living alone that I should budget for?

Maintenance issues, healthcare expenses, and sudden rent increases.

Are package deals for utilities convenient and cost-effective?

They can be, but evaluate your actual needs and usage first.

Is it cheaper to live alone or with a roommate?

Roommates can split costs, but living alone has other potential savings if managed well.

How can I find reliable and safe second-hand furniture and appliances?

Check certified refurbished products, or buy from reputable sellers on second-hand markets.

Are there any specific budgeting tools recommended for single-person households?

Basic budgeting apps like Mint or YNAB work well for individuals.


Living alone doesn’t have to be a financial strain. With strategic planning and smart choices, you can make the most of your solo living situation. 

Embrace your independence and take control of your finances with these practical tips.