The Financial Struggle of Living Alone
I’ve shared on here that I live alone. I’ve lived alone for almost 2 years, and there’s a lot of things I absolutely love about it. Even though I rent, I don’t have to answer to much of anyone, I can have friends over when I please, and I can stay up late and/or wake up early (or late) if I please. Overall, it’s a pretty sweet deal.That is, until I look at my finances.
It’s hard to live alone. I was reading some articles on MSN money today, and this one caught my eye. Not only are people my age moving home, but single senior citizens are starting to struggle financially as well. Here are three big reasons that it’s especially hard to live alone.
1. Cost of food. The cost of food is a big one. It only costs a little more to feed two than it does one. For example, my best friend and her husband spend around $60 a week on groceries, about $240 a month. I spend around $200 (now that I’m more focused on eating healthy; I could pull off $100 but eat a bunch of crap). Wow. It’s a lot easier to carry that load with 2 incomes than just one.
2. Cost of housing. This is the killer. When I had roommates, it was rare to spend more than $300 a month. Now I spent $525. In general, one bedroom apartments are cheaper. And guess what? It’s even worse if you’re dealing with a mortgage. Honestly, this is probably why a lot of single people end up renting for a time or for their whole lives. My grandma, after her divorce, lived alone until she passed away 3 years ago, and she rented.
3. Medical bills. Especially with older adults, this is the stickler. Unless you’re married, you probably don’t share medical costs, but your roommate and/or family members can help carry other financial burdens until you get stuff paid off. Medical bills are expensive; hospital stays can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that can throw you into bankruptcy without even trying. It’s a shame, really.
There’s things that can be done: the cost of health care could get fixed. I know it hasn’t, but it’d be nice if it could be. The housing market is in a slump but when people aren’t making money it doesn’t matter HOW cheap a house is, you can’t make it very easily. Food… well, there are food stamps, but that’s a big blow to someone’s pride and/or independence.
Some people, even older adults, have taken up living with other people. Younger adults started the trend, but it’s starting to spread. Maybe it’s time for the nuclear family to become the norm again? It’s looking that way.
What can be done to help people who live alone? What avenues of assistance are there to lift the burden off their shoulders? What’s out there to help? Leave some thoughts in the comments, have a great day, and we’ll see you back here on Thursday! Until then, spend smart, save smart!