While plenty of people are pursuing FI on two incomes, there are also plenty of us entering the space as a single person on the path to FI.
Truly, being single and working towards early retirement has its perks. There are some great things to consider in pursuing FI while single, whether you plan to stay single or not!
You May Only Have One Income, But Also One Budget!
While it might not be as exciting to see the incoming cash flow that two people can bring, you also have total control of the expenses and outflow. You can set a budget that works for you and reflects your values without compromise or having to nag someone’s slip-ups at Starbucks, nor will someone nag you.
If you’re saving for a big goal or need to make serious cuts to your spending, you can do so on your own accord. You can be a little bit fluid in your wants and needs while keeping your FI big picture in mind. It is up to you to determine what is a priority in your budget and lifestyle, and you get to make those adjustments. Not too shabby.
You Can Be Both A Spender And A Saver
Many couples have skills, talents, and strengths that complement each other on the path to financial independence–the yin and yang of financial planning. One might be a spender, the other a saver. For a single person pursuing FI, you get the freedom to be both–the spender and the saver.
You can be the type-A planner and the person who is just seeing where the season will take them, from time to time. You are afforded the freedom to batten the hatches some seasons while loosening the reins in others to maximize your joy and hit your personal goals.
Your role is fluid and you have a bit more agility to adapt to changing circumstances and needs without needing external counterbalance, permission, or motivation. You get to be your own money boss.
Related: The FI Roadmap For Your 20's
You Can Move
Live in a high cost of living area? Not thrilled about your rent going up? You can move. Feeling a bit burned out at work and wanting to hop jobs to get a better salary elsewhere? You can pick up and go.
Being able to move is a huge plus for the single person. It can be much easier for one person to decide to simply go and take advantage of lower costs and higher salaries elsewhere without the complication of uprooting others.
When it is you, one person, you have the freedom to choose when and where to go on your own terms.
It can be challenging to get a spouse on board with having roomies, especially if you’re over 30! Many people think it’s kind of weird to share a home when they’re coupled, but are comfortable with roomies when they’re single.
If you want to do Airbnb or have long-term renters, you can choose to do so. Paired with the other location freedoms you can take advantage of, you can be quite strategic in where and how you live!
Additionally, you also have the freedom to find alternative lodging–like living in a tiny house, Airstream trailer, couch surf, or do short-term rentals for cheap with Airbnb. It seems being creative and a bit unconventional about your living arrangements can be simpler for the single person.
Related: What Is House Hacking
Freelancing & Side Hustles Abound
Singles can sometimes benefit from not being too deeply rooted in a routine where they can explore networking opportunities, side hustles and freelancing opportunities which they may not have seen otherwise. When you’re single, you have the ability to set your own schedule and can decide how to spend your time as you please.
For example, because you can set your own schedule, you can spend your evenings after work learning photography, figuring out how to code, or spending hours building a blog without having the worry you’ve been neglecting someone dear to you.
For this season in your life, you get the flexibility to set your own schedule and work, learn, and explore as much as you see fit.
It’s Just You, And That’s A Great Motivation
FI’ers often state one of their biggest reasons for pursuing this path is that they want a better life for their partner or kids. As a single person, with or without family members to care for–you often are faced with the fact that you’re on this path alone and you only have yourself to rely on.
In all honesty, this can be a lonely place for someone on the path to FI, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing you are in charge of your destiny, both the good parts along with the challenging parts of it–can be a motivator. You have the freedom to pull various levers that others in different life stages or lifestyles may not be able to deploy.
While it truly is “just you” working on FI, it also means that you can be creative and optimize on your own terms. Singles put the “independence” in FI and if anyone can reach it, it’s a savvy single who is willing to get creative, house hack, and hustle!