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How to Live Well on One Income

Posted by on Nov. 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • 72 Replies


Couple with kids often chose to become single-income families. Transitioning from two incomes to one, for any reason, can be challenging, but here are tips to help you live well with less:

1. Create a new, realistic and detailed budget together. You and your partner need to make sure you're on the same page in terms of how you'll spend your significantly reduced income. Make a list of all your monthly expenses, and try to find ways to cut back on every single one while you do this. Taking the time to look into all this and having a solid budget and plan before you quit one of your jobs is ideal. But it's never to late to start, even if you've been on one income for a while now.

2. When making your budget together, remember that the ONE single income must be divided equally for each family member's needs -- you cannot ignore anyone, especially not the spouse who just left their job. Just because someone stops earning does not mean they stop existing.

3. Clear off credit card debt. Ideally you would do this before you forego one income, but if not, make sure you're making as much of a payment as you can, and factor this into your new monthly budget, so that you pay that debt off ASAP.

4. Consider reducing your largest expenses: These are usually mortgage / housing costs and cars, so reduce these if possible. It does not have to be forever. Maybe you just get a smaller home and car pool extensively for the next 3-5 years.

5. When a whole family is relying on one income to survive, you should definitely consider life insurance and disability coverage for the person with a job, because if something should happen to them, you'll all be left with NO income and a serious problem.

6. Do NOT stop saving. You should always be saving, even if it's only a few dollars a week. Ideally, you want to try to save up to 20 -30 % of your income, but any amount is better than nothing. It will give you something to fall back on in times of need or crisis, it will bring peace of mind, and it will set you up for retirement, and even help your kids through college maybe. It's extremely important, so don't cut it out entirely.

7. Spend more smartly and economically. Staying home has major benefits, and these can be financial too (and need to be). You will save on course on child care, and you will save on food because you can prepare all your own healthy meals while buying bulk, buying on sale and planning ahead to avoid extra trips to the grocery story and rush / impulse buying, or overbuying. So DO these things. Make yourself a new schedule, as a stay at home parent, to make this an effective job. You won't get a  paycheck, but you can make yourself a savings goal instead and stick to it!

Do you have any tips for living well as a family on one income?

© iStockphoto.com/ericsphotography

by on Nov. 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
letstalk747
by on Nov. 24, 2014 at 12:46 AM

not to add

melindabelcher
by on Nov. 24, 2014 at 5:59 AM
Meal Plan
melindabelcher
by on Nov. 24, 2014 at 6:00 AM
Plan cheap/free date nights
michiganmom116
by Gold Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 7:10 AM

have a garden, big or small.  any little bit helps

michiganmom116
by Gold Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 7:11 AM

meal plan

michiganmom116
by Gold Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 7:12 AM

cook/bake from scratch...including making your own bread products, yogurt, sauces, seasonings, etc.

johnny4ever
by on Nov. 24, 2014 at 7:13 AM
1 mom liked this

I am finally back at work.But I still meal plan,coupon.Shop Thrift stores.

michiganmom116
by Gold Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 7:13 AM

barter for things you need

michiganmom116
by Gold Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 7:14 AM

Learn how to DIY for as many household and car repairs as possible.

michiganmom116
by Gold Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 7:16 AM

shop thrift stores for clothing and household items

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