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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?
- 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. 🙂
- 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!
- 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?