Finance for Singles

By:  Kaitlin Yardley, CFP®

Published:  September, 2021


Have you ever thought of handling your personal finances like any other household chore? It’s always best to follow a schedule before the tasks get out of control. The laundry pile is a little less daunting if you attend to it every week and the bathroom is certainly more pleasing if you can get to the scum before it grows. While it is helpful to divvy up household chores – someone cooks and the other clean up – if you are single, all of the chores fall in your lap. Delegating the cleaning duties to an outside service, when possible, can be a great solution. However, when it comes to finances, this is your job. You, and only you, will reap the reward of a job well done or pay the price of missteps. Here are some tips for staying on top of your personal finances, even when you can’t share the job. 

  • Start your day with a Money Minute. A daily chore might seem extreme, but if you check your finances every day, it really can just take a minute (or two).  Sit down with your cup of coffee each morning and log into your checking account and credit card account. Use this information to update your cash flow statement – what money came in and what money went out? If you look at this every day, you’re more likely to pause and think before making a purchase. With your account information available to you through apps on your phone, there really is no excuse not to check these accounts at any point throughout the day.
  • Start saving for retirement – now. Everyone should get in the habit of saving for retirement as soon as they receive their first paycheck. But if you are single and won’t be able to rely on someone else’s pension or Social Security check, your retirement savings need to be even more of a priority. You can make the contributions to your retirement account automatic from each paycheck. This way you won’t forget to make the contribution and you won’t be tempted to spend the money elsewhere. Make sure you are contributing the most you need to get an employer match, and try to stretch yourself to contribute the maximum allowed.
  • Get a buddy. Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include someone else in your financial decisions. It can be really helpful to talk through big purchases with a friend. You also need someone who will be able to make financial decisions for you if you are no longer able to. There are health care directives for decisions that need to be made regarding your well-being, and there are other documents (Power of Attorney) that allow someone else to be in charge of your assets. Do yourself, and especially your loved ones, a favor by telling them where to find these documents. It is best practice to point them in the right direction of where to find your account passwords too.  
  • Set goals, write them down and share them. While you want to be financially independent and secure, what other goals do you have? Really think about what you are saving for: a great vacation? A down payment on a home? An electric bike? Do the work and calculate how long it might take you to reach that goal. Experience shows that by sharing your goals, whether it be with a trusted friend or someone from your regular workout class, you are more likely to be held accountable to that goal and more likely to reach it.


As the Compliance Manager for Schaeffer Financial, Ms. Yardley’s primary role includes, but is not limited to, performing routine reviews and evaluations of required compliance documents. In addition to working at Schaeffer Financial, Ms. Yardley has worked as a Financial Planner at a firm in San Francisco, CA and as an Insurance Consultant in Singapore. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association and participates in the Houston, TX Chapter.