How to sustainably live on one income, tips for wanna be SAHM’s
To live on one income does not mean you have to give up every luxury, but it may mean scaling back and prioritizing other things. There is so much to be gained from living on one income like learning to save more, to be frugal, to make things yourself, and to be content no matter your financial situation.
Living on one income can be difficult, but it can also be so good for you. It’s hard, but doing hard things builds character and we need more of VIRTUE in this world.
Is it possible to live on one income?
Absolutely! It is possible to live on one income.
However, this looks different for everyone. How you do so depends on your income and what you are comfortable doing. It can’t look the same for everyone especially since we all have our preferences and things that we won’t do without.
Living on one income is possible. Just make sure you are doing right by your family and don’t worry about what other people think you should or should not be doing in order to live on one income.
How to afford to live on one income?
Living on one income can be a daunting task, especially if you have always been used to living on two incomes. Whether you are a single parent, a couple expecting their first child, or you are wanting to become a stay-at-home parent; it is possible to live comfortably on one income. Here are the tips to help you successfully live on one income.
- Create a Budget
- Plan for Emergencies
- Use Credit Cards
- Be Frugal
- Grow your own Food
- Use it up, Wear it out, Make it Do, or Do Without
- Stick to a Shopping List
- DIY Projects
- Make your own Products
- Cook from Scratch
- Eat at Home
- Save on monthly bills
- Invest in good quality items
- Have financial goals
- Prioritizing Expenses
- Find Ways to Increase Your Income
Create a Budget
The first and most important step to becoming a one-income family is creating a budget. You should list all of your expenses, including rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, car payments, health insurance, and any other expenses you have. Don’t forget to list what goes into your retirement accounts and what you already have in your savings account and any other bank account. Once you know how much money you need to cover your expenses, you can start to look for areas where you can cut back. This might mean downsizing your home, reducing your grocery bill, or cutting back on entertainment expenses.
This is a great resource on budgeting that can help you get started. It breaks down Dave’s Ramsey’s budgeting principles so that’s easy to apply.
Making a budget will also show you what your spending habits are.
Plan for Emergencies
When you are living on one income, it is important to plan for emergencies. You should have an emergency fund that can cover at least one month if not three to six months of living expenses. This will provide you with a safety net in case you lose your job or have unexpected expenses. Start building your emergency fund by setting aside a portion of your income each month. You can also look for ways to save money on your regular expenses, such as switching to a cheaper car insurance provider.
Use Credit Cards
If you can trust yourself to not overspend and to keep up with the bill, using a credit card that gives you a percentage back on groceries, gas, and other household items can help you make a decent amount of money on things you would normally purchase anyways.
A credit card is a helpful tool if managed well and is the easiest way to bring in extra money. You have to stay on top of paying it off and not accumulate credit card debt. The best way to remember to do this is to set a reminder at the end of each month to make the monthly payment.
Being frugal is an essential part of living on one income. It means being mindful of your spending and making conscious choices about where you allocate your resources. One way to be frugal is to avoid unnecessary expenses, such as buying expensive clothes. Instead, look for deals on clothing and other essentials. By being frugal, you can stretch your income further and create a more stable financial future for yourself and your family.
Grow your own food
If you don’t know how to garden, now is a good time to learn. Start small and just do something. Overtime, you’ll gain a lot of experience and get really good at growing things.
Growing your own food can save a lot on the grocery bill. It’s a good experience and great way to get out of the house.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without
Look for ways to repurpose and reuse items you already have, such as using old clothing as rags or turning old jars into storage containers.
Old food containers like sour cream containers make good planters to start seeds in.
Cardboard boxes work great for organizing things.
Get creative and don’t throw anything away or get rid of anything unless it has no use any more or can be turned into something useful.
Stick to a shopping list
Make a list before you go grocery shopping and purpose to stick to it. This can help you save a lot of money by not buying unnecessary things.
I’m old fashioned so I like to use a good old piece of paper to make my lists on. There are, however, plenty of apps if would rather go digital. Find what works for you and stick with it.
If something needs to be done around the house, look into how you can do it yourself. This can help cut down on costs and expenses of hiring someone else to do it for you.
There’s also plenty of resources online to learn how to do things so it’s a good idea to see if you can do it on your own before paying extra expense and hiring someone.
Ask around, too. You probably know people who could take care of the project who would give you a discount on it or offer to do it for free. People are always willing to help.
Make your own Products
There are so many recipes and ideas out there on how to make your own products and household items at home. Whether it’s make up or even dish soap or laundry detergent, not only will you save some money but you will have the satisfaction of creating something.
Easy things to start making are…
- hand soap
- dish soap
- laundry detergent
- make up
- baby wash and shampoo
- spices mixes
Cook from Scratch
Making your own meals can help you stay healthy and live better on less. This doesn’t mean you have to slave away over a hot stove. There are plenty of easy recipes that are both delicious, healthy, and cheap that your family will love.
Not only will you save money, but you will learn a valuable skill as well. Besides, homemade food always tastes better!
Eat at Home
Eating out easily costs double or even triple then making a meal at home.
There are some times when it is better just to eat out or order in. Just make sure to budget for it.
Save on Monthly Bills
There are summer AC programs or you can save a good bit of money by only using the AC during certain times of the day.
Another way to save on bills is to adjust the temperature a few degrees or more lower than what you normally have it in the winter and bundle up. Bumping the AC up a few degrees in the summer can also help save on monthly expenses.
This is a good time to evaluate your subscription services. If there is anything unnecessary that you are paying for, end it and put that money where it really matters.
Invest in good quality items
Invest in high-quality items that will last a long time. While it may be tempting to buy the cheapest option available, this can often end up costing you more money in the long run.
By investing in durable, high-quality items, such as furniture or appliances, you can save money on replacements and repairs.
Buying better quality clothes though it might be more expensive up front can be better than buying something cheap that you will have to replace in six months. Make sure you do your research though. This is not always the case.
Unfortunately, just because it is more expensive, does not guarantee that it is better quality.
By adopting a frugal mindset, you can become more resourceful and creative with your spending, which can help you live more comfortably on one income.
Have Financial Goals
Just because you don’t have a second income doesn’t mean that you can’t save up for things or make plans. You may have less money, but you can still have financial security and with careful planning, can still afford nice things.
To make this happen you have to understand your financial situation and your household budget and make it work for you.
Don’t forget to keep dreaming even though you may not have as much money coming in as before. Remember to think ahead and make plans for where you want your family to be. Dreaming of the future helps you stay excited when things start getting a little tight.
Prioritizing expenses is an essential part of living on one income. You will need to make choices about what is essential and what is not. For example, you may need to cut back on eating out or entertainment expenses to make room for necessary expenses such as rent, utilities, and groceries.
Find Ways to Increase Your Income
While living a single salary can be challenging, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways to increase your incomes so that you can have enough money. You could consider taking on side hustles, a part-time job or start your own business to supplement your income(something that you could do from home). There are many online opportunities that you can explore, such as freelance writing, graphic design, or tutoring. You could also look for ways to save money on your regular expenses, such as switching to a cheaper phone bill.
Any extra income helps when you are on a tight budget.
Living on one income is not easy, but it is possible. You can do it successfully. Remember to be patient and persistent, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can thrive on one income and achieve financial stability for you and your family. Your family life does not have to suffer just because you want to be a stay-at-home mom. You can flourish without a second salary as you long as you plan accordingly and budget your household income.
It’s important to remember that living on one income requires discipline and sacrifice. The only way you will succeed is if you plan. You may have to forego some luxuries or adjust your lifestyle to make ends meet. However, by following the tips outlined in this post, you can create a sustainable financial plan that works well for you and your family.
I hope that you are excited to be home with your family and have all the time in the world to love on them and make a wonderful home for them!