When our family became a one income household it was not by choice. I was promised a job that would increase our income and free up more of my time. However, once I gave a notice to my previous employer and left, I received a call that my job offer was being rescinded due to ” a project delay” (I was a property manager). At first despair set in. My salary was a large chunk of our total income and now it was gone, with no advance notice. In the end I truly felt, and still feel, that this was God’s way of forcing me to let go of that job since it was physically taking a toll on me. However, it was a scary time for us and one that forced us to buckled down on our finances in order to make ends meet.
So I wanted to share with you some actions you can take now if you plan on going from a two income household to one. Even if it’s not in your future plans it’s always a good thing to financially prepare for, in case your family has to face a sudden loss of income.
Living On One Income-Taking Action
Don’t wait until your income decreases to implement changes. If you plan on living on one income in the future, start practicing now by placing the second income into a savings account. This will be a great way to experience what it will be like to live on one income while having a safety net to help you in the transition process. Also, if you have debt make every effort to pay if off while you still have two incomes. Paying off your debt while you still have two income will also help reduce your monthly expense which will help when you’re down to one income.
Make your money stretch
I can’t stress enough how important this is. We work hard for our money, so why not spend some extra time trying to stretch it as far as we can? Figure out where you’re spending the bulk of your money and then make it a goal to decrease it. Start small. If you currently spend $150 per week on groceries then make it a goal to reduce it by $15 per week until you reach your desired budget.
Check out these money saving tips:
Assess what’s truly important
Not only should you stretch your dollars, but you should also make sure that you are not wasting your money on unnecessary expenses. Now unnecessary for you will look different than it will for my family. You’ll have to truly evaluate what’s important to your family and what your income can afford. Ditching cable or pricey cellphone plans may be a great place to start.
Check out these articles to help you get started:
Have a back up
What if you have an unexpected expense or a sudden illness? Ideally you’ll want to have a nice cushion saved up for emergencies or unexpected life events. However, if your income loss is a result of a job loss or circumstances beyond your control make sure you still have a plan in place.
Here are some tips to help you to start saving today:
Consider other income earning alternatives
Even if you voluntarily give up one income, you should still consider other income earning alternatives. Why? Because even if you can survive on one income it’s always nice to have some extra spending cash every now and then. The times when we had less income is when we allowed our entrepreneurial juices to flow and it’s also when I devoted time to growing my virtual assistant business. I know that not everyone wants to own their own business, but even a small sideline business can be a great way to have some extra income coming into the home.
Do you have any tips for living on one income? Please comment and share with others below!