Living on one income isn’t easy these days and in most of the cases, it is something that is beyond our control. Many women leave their jobs because they find themselves longing to be with their kids at home and for many others, it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s amazing how people today are trying their best to be financially secure. Some of the two income families simply decide to live on one income so they can save the other.
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For families who are moving from being a two income household to a one income household, it takes a while to get accustomed to the financial adjustments they would have to make. Irrespective of the reason, here are some very useful tips that will help you live your best life on one income:
1. Save! Save! And Save!: Savings should be your best friend if you want to be financially successful in the long run. Make sure that a certain percentage of your monthly paycheck lands into your savings account as soon as you receive it. Automate your savings to ease the process and leave no excuses as to why you can’t save any money this month.
2. Try homemade products: Things are cheaper when made at home than when bought from the stores. You can save a lot if you learn to cook pasta and pizza at home rather than buying them outside. Similarly, a lot of things like dog food, soap, essential oils can be made at home at the cheapest possible cost.
3. Budget is the way to go: I can’t say it enough that budgeting can change the entire picture of your financial situation. Budgeting is one of the easiest ways to keep a check on your spending habits and can give you the exact idea of where your money is going every month.
4. Save On Food: Food takes up a big chunk of your paycheck which is why it is important to keep a check on your food expenses. There are a lot of ways that can help you save money on your grocery bill, meal planning being one of them. A proper meal planning eliminates the need to make those last minute trips to the grocery store that most often costs you a few dollars extra than what you would have paid if you’d planned your meals beforehand. Being a person who sucks at meal planning, I tried the $5 Meal Plan to get the job done and I can’t be more satisfied with the difference it has made to my food budget.
Besides meal planning, you can always try to minimize food wastage besides making use of leftovers as much as you can to save money on food.
5. Eat at home: We often leave home without eating only to find ourselves wandering in the stores to buy food. While hunger doesn’t care for money, eating out regularly can leave a big hole in your pocket. Make it a habit to cook your meals at home. It’s not only healthier for you and your family but can also save you hundreds of dollars every month.
6. Buy clothes during sale: It can be easy to lose your heart to a dress or a pair of shoes every time you visit a shopping mall. But to see the same pieces displayed at a 40-50% discount a month later can make you regret that you bought them for double the price. Almost every piece of cloth that arrives at a store goes on sale after a few weeks which is why it is always better to save your shopping trips for the sale season.
7. Sell from your home: We don’t realize how much of our stuff lies unused for years either because it has worn off or isn’t needed anymore. Sell away the things you don’t need like books and old clothes and use that money to buy new ones rather than using your savings for the purpose.
8. Do It Yourself: Try to repair that broken tap yourself and mow your lawn by yourself rather than looking for paid services. Moreover, you can easily save a hundred dollars every month by doing your own laundry rather than sending it out. You can always look up on you-tube to learn about the things you can do yourself at home to save up some money.
9. Travel in the off-season: You don’t need to be sitting at home to be able to live on one income. Travel as much as your income allows you but make sure that you travel during the off-season when flight tickets are priced less and hotels are offering a hefty discount.
10. Save On House rent: Rent a house based on the living space that your family needs rather than looking for a big one. It’s easy to envy friends who have a larger space to live in but at the same time, it’s important to live within your means rather than spending all your income on house rent.
11. Own just one car: A thing like car costs a lot and is something that comes with a recurring set of expenses – fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc. Moreover, it’s a self-deprecating item that keeps losing its value with every drive. If your family can do with one car by making little adjustments, why spend all that extra money on another one?
12. Prioritize your expenses: You need to have an answer for certain questions in order to be able to prioritize your expenses. If that old microwave can work with a little repair work, why insisting on buying a new one. Can you do with a generic product rather than buying a branded one? You need to determine what all purchases can be postponed for a later date and what all expenses can be done away with.
Being able to live on one income is something that a lot of families aspire to do. It not only allows you to save the other income but also takes you a few steps closer to your financial goals. When trying to live on one income, make sure that you focus on saving money on every little thing that you buy. This might look like an adjustment but it will surely yield results in the long run.