Average Living Expenses for a Single Person

Although a single’s state impacts living expenses, there are average costs all individuals have to contend with.
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The cost of living for a single person varies given one’s state, occupation and health, among other important factors. However, there are average living expenses most individuals pay to make it on their own. These include bills ranging from cleaning supplies and groceries to rent, and it takes a conscious effort to keep these expenses at manageable levels.

1 $30 a Month for Housekeeping

Keeping homes looking sharp and smelling fresh requires the use of cleaning supplies. Singles need mops, floor cleansers and germ-killing solutions to remove grime, and housekeeping is a costly endeavor if one’s home is large. Kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms and garages all require special care, and it's up to singles to spend their money as efficiently as possible. For many, $30 a month is a conservative estimate for housekeeping supplies.

2 $88 a Month for Apparel

Apparel costs fluctuate given an individual’s tastes. Designer brand shoes and pants can reach into the hundreds of dollars. Women’s high-end clothing is especially expensive and is cost-prohibitive for most singles. Estimates available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey indicate $88 a month for apparel is an average clothing budget for individuals. It's important to note, though, one’s occupation significantly influences the cost of work and leisure clothing.

3 $315 a Month for Food

A well-rounded meal plan consisting of dairy products, fruits and vegetables costs singles an average of $315 a month. This figure includes shopping at the grocery store and eating out at restaurants. The establishments one frequents are a significant factor in monthly costs. Although one can buy Top Ramen and other mass-produced food staples for less, it does not represent the norm and may not be the healthiest way to eat.

4 $871 a Month for Rent

The United States Census Bureau notes the median gross rent in U.S. metropolitan areas was $871 in 2011. This figure includes items such as utilities and fuel costs. However, the state and area one lives in impacts the average rent expense, and those living on the west coast in particular pay higher rates than residents in the south or midwest. For instance, the median gross rent for Kansas City, Mo., in 2011 was $798 while it was $1,214 in Los Angeles, Calif. Renting an apartment, condo or single-family home also influences monthly payments.

Joseph DeBenedetti is a financial writer with corporate accounting and quality assurance experience. He writes extensively online with an emphasis on current trends in finance. As a Quality Assurance Analyst, he honed his technical writing skills creating standard operating instructions for a consumer finance organization.