Have you ever wondered how to live on one income? Have you ever wondered if YOU can afford to live on one income? Many of you may not realize that about 1.5 years ago, we decided to do this very thing – we went from being a two income family to living on one primary income. It was a scary decision, but it was one of the best decisions we ever made. Now that 2010 is here, I want to challenge all of you to consider this possibility for YOUR family. We used to never think it was possible to live on one income, but we have been living on one income now for awhile and are happier and better off financially than ever.
How can you afford to live one on salary?
Even in today’s world, I am convinced that most families can afford to live on one salary. Now I realize that not everyone can, but I truly believe that most families can make this a reality. First, take a hard look at where your income is going. Take a notebook and write down every single expense you have. When you buy something, write it in the notebook. After a month or two, analyze your spending. Where is your money going? You may be surprised at how quickly the “little expenses” add up – $2 for a cup of coffee here, $3 for a hamburger, there… and so on. Once you know where your money is going, you can start figuring out where to cut back on expenses and how to eliminate unnecessary spending. Use this information to create a basic monthly budget.
Explore income opportunities from home
Look at ways you may be able to make a small income at home. This may be as simple as selling extra things on Ebay or doing paid online surveys. Obviously you will not get rich from this, but even an extra $50 – $100 a month from such ventures may give you the extra padding you need to live on a single income. It may sound crazy, but believe me, we are speaking from personal experience here – The paid online survey companies give us a nice padding each month, and I encourage you to look into paid surveys if you haven’t started doing them already!
Do a trial period of living on one income
For several months, live off of one salary only. Put all the money from your second salary into savings. Pretend that you don’t even have a second salary. After the trial period is up, look at your results. Talk about how you did as a family. Is this something you could continue doing? Did you even miss the second salary? You may be surprised at what you find!
Living on one salary may require sacrifices and self-discipline
Yes, there may be sacrifices and self-discipline required to live on one salary. And let’s face it, sacrifice and self-discipline are NOT encouraged by our society these days. But I can personally tell you that all the sacrifices required ARE worth it. I am staying at home raising our two boys right now, and not paying someone else to raise our children. I will NEVER regret the time I have gotten to spend with them and the memories I will have watching them grow up.
Plus, we have less expenses now than before (no daycare, less gasoline, less work clothes, cheaper car insurance, less eating out) and more time to save money, find bargains, and use coupons! And the best part, I get to share all of the freebies and deals I find with all of YOU! 🙂
Living on one income may not be for everyone – it may not be for your family. I am not trying to judge those families living on one income, nor trying to judge those families living on more than one income. Everyone knows what is best for their family and must make their own choices. But if you have considered quitting your job to stay at home with the kids or dreamed about it for awhile, then let 2010 be the year to seriously consider this option for your family.
See our own blog posts when we struggled with this very decision in 2008. You may find some of the comments from readers inspirational in your own decision making.
- Can we afford to live on a single income?
- Our official decision: we are going to live on a single income
ASK THE READERS: Are any of you living on one primary income? How did you make the decision to be a one income family? OR – Are any of you wishing you could become a one income family? If so, what is holding you back?
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