How to Live off One Income

How to Live Off One Income

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How to Live off One Income

Is your home a two-income household?  Do you spend over 1/2 of your day away from your family?  Your children?  Nearly 48% of US household are two-income households where both parents work.  Have you ever given thought to what it would be like to be a one-come household?  It is possible to do so!  Only 7% of households in the US have a stay at home parent and live on one income.  My husband and I have been able to live off one-income for the past 9 years.  We have been fortunate enough to have one of us home at all times during the raising of our girls.  While at times it has been tough and tempting for us both to work, we have stayed on the path of our goals.  How did we accomplish this?  Communication, goals and planning!

We saved up money.  Plain and simple.  We spend time visiting family, friends, going to the park and cooking at home.  We lived within our means and put away as much money as we could.  We never felt like we were sacrificing, never missing out.  The thought of being able to raise our daughters with a parent at home was going to be our reality.  And we were going to make it our reality by hitting our financial goals.

In order to live on one-income, it truly must be a joint effort.  Communication has to happen, budgets have to be set in place and all parties involved need to be on the same path for their goal to succeed.

Take a look at expenses.  Where can you cut back?  Is there any area that you can improve on?  Do you eat out for dinner 1-2 times per week?  Not anymore.  Focus on eating at home, making a cooking night.  Do you eat out every day for lunch at work?  Pack your lunch.  It will save you so much money to just plan ahead!  The average person spends anywhere from $6-$12 daily for lunch when they fail to plan ahead and pack.  That’s a lot of money that can be saved and spent elsewhere!  PLAN AHEAD!  Use a lunch tracking calendar to write out your menu for the week.  Trust me, it helps!!!

Other ways that my husband and I live off one income?

  1.  We share a cell phone.  We use Boost mobile, and we pay only $30/month.  Yes, seriously!  We save a ton of money this way, and still stay connected to our friends and family very easily.  And side note?  It’s funny to confuse our friends sometimes by them guessing who is in control of the phone and texting them back. 🙂
  2. For the first 6 years of our marriage, we rented.  Renting definitely has its pros and cons, but we were longing to be home owners….have a more stable place for our daughters.  A place that was our own, a home.  A place that our daughter didn’t refer to as our “borrowed” home. 🙂  How did we move forward in making this dream a reality?  We budgeted.  We set an amount we were willing and able to spend for our home, and we stuck to it.  Did the bank approve us for more?  OF COURSE!  (Isn’t that what banks do?!)  Did we spend the max amount we were approved for?  Nope.  As a matter of fact, we bought our first home at auction.  True story.   On a whim.  With no planning.  BUT, totally within our means.  No way did we want to be house poor.  Check out the crazy story here of how we bought our house at auction!
  3. We wait 30 days before making any big impulse purchases.  (Okay, minus the whole buying a house on a whim thing…;-))  IF we find something we want over a certain dollar amount, then we wait 30 days and see if that want is still there.  If it is, we then will purchase at that point in time.  If not, we knew it was an impulse at the time and we move on.  Easy Peasy.

Related Article:  How to Combat Impulse Purchases

4.  We cook at home.  A lot.  Have I mentioned that my husband is an amazing cook?  He totally is.  He can BBQ like no one’s business, and his skills in creating his own spices and seasonings is insane.  He can literally look at two food items and find a way to make them compliment each other in tastebud heaven.  My skill?  I make a mad PB & J sandwich.  For real.  My children have honestly told me that if I could live off popcorn as a main food staple, I would.  They know me well.

Related Article:  Cupboard Cooking- Eat it up!

5.  We shop the sales for groceries.  Who doesn’t, right?  I know the stores that will price match.  I know the stores that have the best produce.  I know the stores that will match coupons and I know that days that food items get discounted.  I’m a flipping food detective! 🙂  Call it what you may, it has helped our family out so much.  We eat delicious, healthy fresh food and limit the food we eat out of the box.  Processed foods are not good for you!  Just stop!  If I find a good sale on meat, I buy ahead and freeze it.  We love our deepfreeze!  Best purchase we ever made in regards to helping save money!  Today, for example, we got a GIANT rack of ribs for $4.  $4!!!  and it went right into our freezer.  How awesome!!!

Do you dream of staying at home, or having one parent at home?  Make it happen!  Turn it into a reality.  First, find out your expenses.  Then, see where it can be trimmed.  Break down everything and really look at your finances to see if it can be done.  If it is possible, it is worth it 100%!

What ways do you save money to live off one income?

How to Live off One Income



38 thoughts on “How to Live Off One Income

  1. Grace says:

    Great tips! We mostly live on one income… meaning that we’ve always alternated schedules so that one of us is always home with the kids. It’s not always easy (actually, it’s rarely easy), but so worth it ! Totally agree with not being house-poor, too.

  2. Taylor says:

    This is something that has played on my mind for a while, and I have to say – well done, you’ve done amazingly!! And thanks so much for the tips! I’d love to be in your situation one day when I have kids, but I currently live in the French Alps, and things are very different here. I’m not sure how doable it is! But I can definitely take your tips on board! Thank you 🙂 x

  3. Chevelle says:

    These are great tips. I strongly encourage everyone to try to live off one income regardless of whether you work or not. It provides such peace of mind. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Rachael says:

    I am trying to be a stay-at-home mom. (Hopefully by the end of the year.) Our major fallback is that we we eat out way to much! I know, though, if I were to stay at home it would be a lot easier to find time to cook.

  5. Margaret Westhoff says:

    Good tips. I’m a stay at home mom and my family lives primarily on one income. (I do a little side hustling, such as a 1 hour a day work from home job to bring in some money.) We save money by limiting how much we eat out and we also have a garden. Our biggest expense is groceries, and I need to work harder to find sales, coupons, and cheap meals to cut down on our monthly grocery expenses.
    Margaret Westhoff recently posted…How to Rock your Beach Vacation with 2 Kids Under 2My Profile

  6. Connie @Lessons and Learning for Littles says:

    Yes, yes, yes! Great information. Thank you! We made it down to one income, and it was quite the adjustment at first, but we actually managed to buy a house about a year after dropping down to 1 income,. using many of the strategies you shared. Thank you for the reminders.

  7. Collette says:

    Meal prepping my lunches has saved us a lot of money! I like that idea of the 30 day big purchase plan for impulse buying… my husband and I are both bad about that….

  8. Liz W. says:

    Great advice! Thank you for sharing, and I’m really looking forward to reading more of your blog! I’m heading over to check out your post on buying your house at auction. Definitely something my hubby and I have been considering if we find the right place!

  9. Becky says:

    I have been a Stay at home mama for 5 years. We agreed it is what is best for our daughter. I never buy groceries that are not on sale or that I don’t have a coupon for. I always look for Manager’s Specials when purchasing meat and always freeze it. I buy generic instead of name brand. He brings his lunch to work. We keep the thermostat up in the Summer and down in the Winter. We have been renting because it just seems more practical to rent right now. All my daughters clothes are either from yard sales or consignment stores. She will grow out of them in a month anyway! We also have one cell phone. It does work very well and saves a TON. My family is happy and healthy. For fun, we walk at the park, go fishing, watch movies, play games, etc. So many things to do for little to no cost! As you said, it can be done. Just takes communication and planning!

  10. Alethea says:

    I like your tip about waiting 30 days before making “impulse decisions.” I’ll think I’ll try that for 2018. I definitely need to save more in the new year.

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