Five ways people living on their own can save money on household outgoings every month


Much of the cost of living crisis has focused on how the financial squeeze will affect millions of households across the country, however, new research from Ocean Finance has uncovered that single people are paying on average an additional £7,564.50 more every year than their coupled- up counterparts.

Breaking down the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) even further, people living on their own are paying around £630 more in total for food, eating out, energy and utility bills and housing costs.

Ocean Finance analyzed the average cost of housing, utility bills, broadband services, a TV license and Council Tax to discover UK singles are shelling out an extra £363 every month, as they’re unable to split costs with a partner.

Rent was the biggest contributor with a single person paying, on average, £674 a month and a couple paying just slightly more at £866 a month, so £433 per person.

Council Tax was also a major contributor despite the 25% discount for a single-person household. For the average Band D bill, singles paid £113.60 a month, but individuals with partners paid just £75.75.

When it comes to the monthly food shop, Ocean Finance estimates that single people spend £90 more on their food and alcohol shopping compared to each member of a couple.

The extra cost comes from not being able to split meals with a significant other. Prices are also generally higher for smaller portions of food, which are usually the preferred option for singles.

On average, UK households have seven monthly subscriptions and memberships with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, Apple and Disney Plus. With this figure in mind, Ocean found that each month, singles pay an average of £82 whereas cohabiting couples pay just £48 each.

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Monthly cost of being single

Energy and utility bills

  • Single person: £956
  • Person in a couple: £593
  • Extra per month: +£363

Food and alcohol shop

  • Single person: £290
  • Person in a couple: £200
  • Extra per month: +£90

Recreation / Hobbies / Leisure

  • Single person: £258
  • Person in a couple: £202
  • Extra per month: +£56


  • Single person: £135
  • Person in a couple: £80
  • Extra per month: +£55


  • Single person: £82
  • Person in a couple: £48
  • Extra per month: +£34

eating out

  • Single person: £189
  • Person in a couple: £157
  • Extra per month: +£32

Total spending

  • Single person: £1,1911
  • Person in a couple: £1,281
  • Extra per month: +£630

Five top tips on how to save money if you’re single

To help curb rising costs, financial experts at Ocean Finance have shared five money-saving tips to help singles cut their outgoings and stay on top of their finances.

  • Partner with a friend – with offers like a Two Together Railcard or Spotify Duo account, you can partner with a friend to cut your outgoings.
  • Cut your subscriptions – cancel the ones you use least and see if you can reduce the ones you’re keeping by lowering your packages or buddying up with a friend to share an account – you might be paying for more than you need.
  • buy in bulk – the general rule when it comes to food shopping is ‘the smaller the packet, the more it’ll cost’, so try buying in bulk and splitting food into the portions you need, freezing or by storing the extra in airtight containers. You can also batch cook your meals to help reduce costs and save you time.
  • Look for discounts – some bills are cheaper for single-person households. You’re eligible for a 25% discount with Council Tax and you can apply for a rebate if you’ve been overpaying.
  • Switch to the right tariffs – by choosing the right tariff, a single person can reduce their monthly spending on bills. For example, changing your water bill to a meter rather than a set fee can give you a significant reduction.
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To read Ocean Finance’s full research and find more tips, visit the website here.

To keep up to date with the ongoing cost of living crisis, join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group here, follow Record Money on Twitter hereor subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter here.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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