Living on one income is no joke. Especially when you’re used to living in a dual income household. But we are living proof that it is totally doable! Being completely transparent with you: it’s not easy but if it’s something you really want to make happen you absolutely can. It takes plenty of creativity and a good bit of discipline (more on that later), but it is so worth it in the long run! And this is coming from the wife of a first-year entrepreneur! So what’s the secret? I can’t tell you about any magic formula, but I can tell you how we’re living on one income and loving it (spoiler: there’s a free budget printable in it for you to help get you started)!
- We took a hard look at our monthly expenses: we examined the big things: bills, debt, etc. Things that had to happen each month. Then we started shopping around to see if there were any areas where we could cut back. Switch cell phone providers? Drop cable? You get the idea. Any area where we could switch or get rid to save money, we did. And it made a huge difference on our monthly expenses!
- We examined our spending habits: this one was painful! But we both sat down and looked over where our money was going. Once we had an idea of our budget, we knew we had to seriously cut back. No more pedicures or Starbucks runs. Things like eating out became a treat, not an expectation.
- Learn to live with less: it took some adjusting, but we had to learn that every want we had wasn’t always a necessity. And while it meant learning to live without some really cool things, what we gained by saving was always worth it in the end.
- Stop trying to keep up with the Jones: learning that we didn’t have to have the latest and greatest of everything was also pretty tough at first. But we soon realized that not having the latest iPhone or trendiest home was okay. The world kept turning!
- Embrace it as a creative challenge: I found that when I viewed making the most of the income as a challenge I suddenly got really excited when I would score side money from phone apps, or if I would find a new way to save money that we hadn’t thought of before. It felt earned and left me feeling not only creative but accomplished.
- Learn to live within a budget: one of the hardest parts for us has been adjusting to living life within a budget (grab your free budget printable below). It’s not something that comes easily to us, and we’re definitely still a work in progress in this department. But what I can tell you is that it makes a world of difference! We have found sitting down and physically writing out our monthly budget helps us see what we’re working with, and therefore helps us stick to our financial goals for the month. Even families that aren’t living on one income can benefit greatly from getting into the habit of writing out a monthly budget.
Bottom line: living on one income has definitely been an interesting transition for us, like I said, work in progress over here. But we’re learning, and every sacrifice we make to continue going down this journey has been completely worth it. So if you’re transitioning to a one income household or are considering it for down the road, don’t let the fear of financial change stand in your way. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it can definitely be done.
Remember one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family financially is start living within a budget. To help you get started here is a FREE monthly budget printable! Don’t worry the first few months may take some practice but you’ll definitely be glad you did it!