3 ways to rock your single finances

7 min watch

While singles can often have higher living costs than couples because they have to pay rent, buy food, save for a home and holidays and cover all their financial bases on their own, there are also heaps of benefits to being the sole driver of your financial goals.

Take advantage

Being single is a time of your life when there's no-one else's debts to consider, no-one to support, and no reason NOT to take advantage of your freedom and jump into some opportunities that will set you up for the future. In fact, as Bruce Brammall, author of Debt Man Walking - a 30 Step Investment and Gearing for Gen X, "couples have twice the bad spending habits to keep under control, will eat out more and might do something silly such as get married, with the average wedding blowing up to a whopping $50,000".

Take control

So with that in mind here are three great ways to not only take control of your finances, but also to really thrive.

1. Be prepared

While it's generally recommended that all financially independent adults have some form of emergency fund to fall back on if times get tough, this is especially true for singles. Job loss, breaking your leg at the snow, a change in circumstances or an unexpected expense could all put a big spanner in the works if you're not properly prepared and you don't have someone else's salary to rely on. If you get into the habit of saving money and treating it as a non-negotiable monthly ""expense"", pretty soon you'll have more than just emergency money saved up: you'll have retirement money, vacation money and even money for a home down payment.

The same goes for income insurance. If you're on your own, it's vitally important to have a back-up in case a situation arises where you can no longer work. Income protection insurance can provide this safety net.

2. Take an interest in your super

While looking into your super fund, the money that will pay for your retirement, might seem about as interesting as watching paint dry, you'll find that once you start taking more of an interest there are benefits to be had.

Sally Gerald is 28, single and a recent student of her own super fund. "Once I started looking into it I realised there were heaps of decisions being made for me that I could take charge of. I spoke with a financial planner about what my goals should be seeing as I have a fair few working years left in me, and now my strategy is one I feel confident in. I actually read my statements now, imagine that"

As a young, single person, the option to invest for aggressive growth is available, as you have more time to spare before you'll have to access your fund. In the long-term, this strategy could provide very well for you and your future family. Talk to an adviser about what would work best for you.

3. Invest

Your future is yours and yours alone, for all the single women out there, remember that a man is not a financial plan! Set yourself up financially regardless of what the future man of your dreams looks like in your head. Same goes for single men, both sexes are far more attractive coming into a relationship with their funds sorted.

Investing could make your money work harder for you, especially if you're planning a long-term investment strategy that can grow with you over time. Start doing your research into the kind of investments that interest you, and speak with a financial planner.

Take the opportunity

Whether you're interested in property, shares or perhaps even a part in a business venture, remember that the money you make while you have the freedom to take opportunities will serve you well when the situation changes down the line.

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This information is current as at 21/06/2013.

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Diana Saad is a representative of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL & ACL 233714.

For illustrative purposes only. Based on a real life examples.