Tips for Living on a Single Income

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If you’ve ever wondered about the possibility of living on one income, you are not alone.

Many families have chosen this option and are thriving under these circumstances.

Sure, it takes a great amount of dedication, but you too can accomplish this in your own life.

The reasons for living on one income are many. Here are a few that we’ve come across at Faithful with Finances:

  • You want to pay off debt
  • You want to start saving…or saving MORE
  • You want to be a stay-at-home mom
  • You want to give more
  • You can’t seem to live within your means

Whatever the reason might be, we are here to encourage you in the right direction. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to live off of one income, but it does take great discipline to do so!

Here are some helpful tips that will get you going:

  1. Cut Back on Entertainment, Eating Out, & Excess Spending

Chances are, you have areas in your budget that are “wasting” your money away. In my own budget, I was diligently paying $9.99/mo for a music service that would run ads (who knows why I was paying for this in the first place). After a little digging, I found out with my Amazon prime membership I could get music through their app for free with no ads! Now I’m saving $9.99/mo…or around $120/year – wow! Imagine all the little changes you could make in your own areas of wasted money.

2. Don’t Pour the Pasta Water Down the Drain

Huh? Let me explain… If you’re a cook you’ve probably heard the expression “save your pasta water!” or the water you use to cook your pasta in. Basically that water is like liquid gold… it makes every sauce a little bit creamier and stick to the pasta just a little bit better. The point here is that you are probably throwing away or wasting valuable things in your kitchen or home that could help you save money. Instead of making a meal from scratch, try using a few items you’ve forgotten about in your pantry. Ran out of kitchen cleaner? Make your own with the baking soda you have laying around. Use what you have and you will have less “needs”.

3. Agree on Spending with Your Spouse

Maybe you can identify holes in your budget, but you can also easily point your finger to one person… your spouse! If only they could stay within the budget, life would be so much easier. The best solution here is to have a sit-down discussion with your spouse on your budget as a whole. Show them the areas that need work and make promises to them on how you will cut back as well. It takes two to tango, and if they know you are making sacrifices, they will be more willing to make sacrifices too. That being said, both of you should have a little bit of “fun” money every month, so you can still enjoy certain hobbies individually or together.

4. “Fixed Expense” Is a Relative Term

There is room to negotiate, save, and cut back in many areas of life. If you’re not ready to get rid of cable, call your company anyway and negotiate a lower rate. Shop around for better auto insurance. Take the time to price out health insurance – all of these “fixed” monthly expenses can often be changed and lowered. Let’s say you have 5 different fixed expenses, and simply by shopping around and making calls you can take off $10 on each expense per month. This doesn’t sound like much at first glance, but saving $50/mo equates to $600/year! Do your homework and you will begin to see the savings.

Implementing these tips will make a lasting change in your life, and may even make it possible for you to live on one income. Who knows? If you are bringing in two incomes you could even save thousands per year! All this to say … it is possible and it is within your reach.

What are some creative ways you have adapted to living on one income?

Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

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