Our family lives on one income. I don’t know how many of you do, but what I can tell you? Is that it is super hard to do sometimes. One wrong step in your budget and you’re off track so far that it can take months to get back to where you need to be. Living comfortably on one income IS possible though. I have lived off of one income for the past 7 years…first as a single mom and now, with Tom as a stay at home Dad. There are a whole slew of things that we do to live comfortably on one income, but the 5 below are the main ones. Without these, we wouldn’t stand a chance.
If you’ve only got one income coming into the house, then everyone that spends money? Needs to be on the same page. Once a week, the hubby and I sit down and go over our budget. We balance our checking account, total up income that we have left for the month, total up our expenses and divide it up. We even take it as far as to assign each bill a paycheck so that when that check comes in? We know exactly where its going. If one person is left out of the loop on where the money is going, they could accidentally spend important money and not even know it until its too late.
5 Tips for Living Well on One Income
The second thing we’ve done is curbing most of our unnecessary spending. If we don’t need it, we don’t buy it. Cable was dropped for Hulu and Netflix. We shopped around and lowered our car insurance. We did whatever we could to reasonably lower our expenses. Even things like regular household items don’t get purchased on a regular basis. Instead, we make these items ourselves and save. Making those items yourself is a fantastic way to save and most of them are very quick to do. Here are a few tutorials to get you started:
- DIY Reusable Dryer Sheets
- Homemade Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
- Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent
- Homemade Lavender Diaper Rash Cream
- Homemade Shave Cream
- DIY Aftershave for Men
- Homemade Graham Cracker Recipe
- Homemade Pasta Sauce with Meat
- Homemade Strawberry Nutrigrain Bars
- Homemade Coconut Shampoo
- Edible Peanut Butter Playdough
- 42 Homemade Items You Will Never Buy Again
Menu planning is another thing that I consider a must do. When grocery money is tight, having a planned menu ready allows you to know just how long you can eat on what you currently have in your home and exactly how much money you’ll need to spend money to spend for the rest of your menu. Aside from that, it also make dinner time SO much easier! I personally only plan out dinners, but you can do breakfast and lunch if that’s what you want. It really is a personal preference and only you will know which will work best for your family.
I use my local Facebook buy sell and trade groups to get rid of clutter or no longer needed items that way. I also use Swap.com to consign Emma’s clothing that doesn’t fit, movies we no longer watch, books and more. I tend to not use Ebay if I can help it simply because of their high fees, but I will if I have to. I also have friends and family that will save their no longer wanted items for me so that I can resell what I can and donate the rest so be sure to ask yours if they are willing to do that for you too. If you have a lot of items to sell, Shopify can be a good option. It will cost you $9.00/mo to host your store on Facebook or $29/mo for them to give you a website to sell on, but reselling can be very profitable so it is worth it to take a chance and try it for one month.
Shop Your Way Rewards is actually another awesome way to earn extra money. How? By becoming a personal shopper. You will get paid commision for gaining clients (your friends, family and neighbors!) when they buy online at Kmart or Sears or in store! You can earn a nice tidy sum this way!
Another great way to bring in extra income is by starting your own blog. This blog originally started for that reason and today it provides my family’s sole income each month. Starting a blog does take some work, but if that is something you’re interested in, I walk you through the first 3 steps of getting yours live HERE.
While it won’t keep you from spending, if you do any shopping online, you need to be using Ebates too. Using them with the shopping you’re already doing means that they will pay you cash back for the shopping that you are already doing. It won’t stop spending, but it will help put back a little bit of the money you spent (plus earn you a free gift card on your first purchase).
Finally the final tip I can give you for living on one income comfortably is this:
Be consistent. If you wake up one day, get everything set up and then never look at it again? You’ll soon find yourself in a financial hole so big that you may not be able to dig out. Be consistent with your budget, track your spending and don’t give up the fight and soon, you’ll be on track and living comfortably.
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