Watch any Hollywood flick with a single guy as the main character and you would have this idea of a bachelor’s lifestyle being all about girls, glitz, and glamour. This may be true in some cases but for the average single guy in America, there’s really not enough money for such a glittery lifestyle.
Even for men who do not have a family to support yet, the economics of it all practically makes it impossible for them to afford condominium units on high-rise buildings. That is, unless they’re already up there in the corporate ladder.
If you’re part of the male population who is still single, what exactly is it that you are spending money on if you’re not yet raising kids? If you would like to have more than enough funds to support an above average lifestyle, how can you save money to do just that? Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
What Do Bachelors Really Spend Their Money on?
First, let’s take a look at the items that bachelors spend their money on. According to the Census Bureau’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, single men in the US are far from the top tier of income earners. On average, they are on the 37% income bracket from the bottom. The Consumer Expenditure Survey consists of quarterly interviews and diary surveys which aim to determine the buying habits of American consumers.
Here are a few more bits of information about the spending of single men according to the survey:
- The average after-tax income of single men in the US is around $32,300. The consumer average is $51,330.
- Bachelors are less than half as likely to teach or get a job under the administrative support category. 50% are more likely to join the army, and are twice as likely to become a mechanic.
- Bachelors do not only earn less, they also work more, sweating it out for 42.2 hours per week. The average is 39.8 hours.
- Unlike what is depicted in most movies, very few single men can afford penthouse suites. 42% live in single-residence homes, while 28% live in an apartment unit.
- Bachelors do not splurge on furniture or interior design, but 12% of them do have swimming pools. They also spend around $400 on clothes per year. This is a lot higher than what married men spend for clothes, running at around $280.
- Bachelors spend $2,100 per year on entertainment expenses including alcohol, tobacco products, etc. They only spend half of what the average American spends on yearly vacations, amounting to $1,200.
Top 10 Money-Saving Tips for Bachors
You now have an idea about how bachelors generally spend their money. If you are a bachelor yourself, your short-term financial goals might be to get a bigger place or buy a fancier car. Or, you might already be thinking about settling down.
No matter which of these financial goals you have, the only way for you to achieve them is by saving money in the first place. This may sound like a huge challenge especially if you have buddies who are egging you to go out every Friday night. However, reaching your money-related goals need to start somewhere, so it definitely pays to exert some effort on your part.
To get you started, here are the top ten tips that you can keep in mind to save money as a bachelor:
1. Stop ordering takeout or fancy coffee
Just because you’re a single guy living alone does not mean that you should subsist on takeout food. This is not just unhealthy but it also puts a huge drain on your budget.
Learn how to do the groceries and cook simple, quick and satisfying meals. A plus point is that women swoon over men who have skills in the kitchen, so why not perfect that stir-fry recipe right now?
Another thing that you should not be spending so much money on is fancy coffee. That coffee chain branch might be a convenient stop on your way to work. But when you calculate how much you are spending per month on your daily trips for latte, you would really think twice because of the chunk that it is taking out of your bachelor’s budget.
If you cannot function without a cup of Joe first thing in the morning, invest in a decent coffee maker and brew one at home.
2. Know how to save money on dates
When going out, be open to the prospect of her sharing the bill – especially when you’re meeting at a fancy restaurant. You can also save on pre-dinner drinks by offering to have one at your place or at her place when you pick her up. Better yet, suggest a fun day or night outing where you do not have to spend that much money.
3. Cool down your need to own every latest gadget that comes out in the market
Gaming consoles, mobile phones, tablet computers – the list of the gadgets that make single men go crazy is practically endless. There’s no harm in indulging and buying these gadgets once in a while. But when it becomes a regular habit, it can put a huge dent in your budget. Remember that technology evolves very quickly.
That gaming console which cost you thousands of dollars to buy will probably end up being obsolete after a year or so, or at least decrease in market value because of a release of a newer version in the market. If there’s a gadget that you are really looking forward to buying, wait for at least a couple of months for the price to go down. You can also check out online reviews to determine if the purchase is really worth it or not.
4. Have a budget and track your expenses
While you’re at it, being a single guy does not excuse you from creating a budget and tracking your expenses. If you are saving up for a nicer bachelor’s pad or a better car, use that as a motivation to save.
Track down your expenses and check which areas of your monthly spending you can cut back on. Once you see that you are nearing your goal, save even more so that you can finally buy that fancy car or get a better place than the one you have now.
5. Pay down your debts
This may sound counterintuitive to saving money, but paying down your debts will free up a lot of room in your budget. This is especially true if you have been relying on your credit card for financial sustenance, yet you are only paying off the minimum amount every month.
Once you start slowly but surely paying off your credit card debts, you can increase the amount of money that you are setting aside for your more important expenses.
6. Start an emergency savings fund
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a single guy is not allotting money for an emergency savings fund. You will never know when you might lose your job, get kicked out of your apartment or have a really big expense that will drain your savings. For any kind of emergency, you need to have some emergency funds set aside so make sure to include savings in your monthly budget.
7. Know how to save money when shopping for items online
Whether it’s a gadget for yourself or a gift for your girlfriend that you are trying to buy, there are a few techniques that will allow you to save money when shopping for items online.
First, make a comparison of the price of the item from different online stores. Second, look for coupon codes or voucher codes that you can use to get discounts – or at least get free shipping. Before paying for your purchase, make sure that the site uses military-grade security codes to ensure that your credit card information will not be stolen.
8. Secure your assets
Even if you’re just renting an apartment, it pays to get insurance for your personal property in case something unfortunate happens, like a fire or a theft. You should also have health insurance and car insurance.
9. Look for ways to grow your money
Even during your twenties or thirties, you should already start thinking about saving up for retirement. For this, even a small amount that earns compounded interest will go a long way. While you’re at it, you can also look for ways to invest the money that you saved up in mutual funds, stocks or other investment types to let the amount grow. Diversify your portfolio so that you can minimize the risks that you are taking with your money.
10. When planning a trip, know how to cut back on expenses
Lastly, if you’re planning a trip somewhere with friends or with a significant other, know how to cut back on expenses. Secure your airline tickets around six to seven weeks in advance so you won’t have to pay very high rates.
You can also book your accommodations in advance – or look for cheaper alternatives to hotels if you are planning to explore a town with your beer buddies.
The life of a bachelor does have its financial ups and downs. But if you know how to budget and live within or below your means, you should have plenty of funds saved up to buy a bigger place, get a nicer car or move up into the world – whether or not you’re planning to settle down with a family sooner or later.