If you are a single person paying off debt, you are probably aware of some of the negatives of doing this by yourself. However, it is not all doom and gloom as there are also positive things. Having gone through my debt free journey whilst single a few years ago, I thought I’d share some of these positive points. I will also share some things I did to help myself combat the negatives, too.
Positives of being a single when paying off debt
1. You don’t have to worry about anyone else being ‘on board ‘with your plans.
The only person you need to make sure is on plan, is yourself (and that can be hard enough!). The best part of being single is that once you decide to do something, you do not need to consult someone else.
If you have older children, you might want to ask their views and opinions, or at least tell them that things will be changing. You will need to explain to them that your money situation is changing, because up until the point you start paying your debt off, they would have been used to getting toys, sweets, games etc.
You can use this to teach them about why debt is bad, and how important it is to spend less that you are making. This can be much easier to explain if your children are older, however, the younger you teach kids about money, the better!
2. You have total control of the budget.
As a natural control freak, I love that there is nobody’s opinion to consider, except mine. You do not have someone telling you to put more/less money towards debt, less/more towards sinking funds, or to add new things into the budget. The only arguments you will have about the budget, is with yourself. Of course, this has its downsides too, but we will discuss this later.
3. You don’t have to be concerned about another person’s debt
This is hands down the biggest positive about being single on a debt free journey. You will not have unexpected or unknown about debt popping up! One of the main issues that I hear from married/co-habiting couples is the fact that they did not really know ALL debts that their partner had.
If you are single, you do not have to worry about that!
4. Generally, your expenses will be cheaper.
Things like gas, electricity, water, and food bills should all be cheaper if there is only one person in the house. Also, you will probably only have 1 car (so 1 monthly petrol amount, 1 insurance, MOT and Tax to worry about), 1 set of hobbies to pay for, 1 category for adult clothing. The list goes on!
Also, if you are a single adult living alone or are a single parent living with children, you can get a 25% reduction on your council tax bill! This is often overlooked by most, but it is something I took full advantage of.
Negatives of being a single when Paying off Debt
Now on to the not so positive aspects of being a single and paying off debt. This is NOT meant to be a downer, but it is meant as a tool to keep you on the ball. It also allows you to be aware of the pitfalls so you can avoid or find ways around them.
1. You only have one income
This is the biggest barrier to being single and paying off their debt. You may only have one set of expenses and debt, but you will also only have one income. Of course, this may not be the case if you have more than one job, but for most, you may only have one income.
A great way around this is to find a second income stream. This includes things like matched betting, freelancing, taking online surveys, etc. You can then use this additional income to pay off your debt faster. There are so many ways to make money in your spare time.
2. You may not have any real-life support
I found this one hard. Nobody is as invested in your financial future as you are. Therefore, nobody wants to talk about it 24/7. If you are anything like me, you LIKE to talk about it 24/7 and are slightly obsessed.
What you can do to get around this is to look for support in other places. This means looking for local support groups, both offline and online. I have found and am part of many Facebook debt support groups.
When I got home from a long day at work, I didn’t have a partner to tell how I didn’t spend any money that day, how I stuck to my budget, or how I felt I had failed and needed encouragement. That is where the Facebook groups comes in. We all support and encourage each other, and sometimes give each other a ‘nudge’ if we are going off plan.
I hope this post has shown you that single people living alone can pay off debt too! It may take slightly longer, but final result is just the same.