Living on one income seems impossible.
From inflation to the general cost of living, how do you live on one income? I get this question a lot.
I get comments that tell me that I'm privileged and blessed. I will agree I am blessed, but privilege not so much. Living on one income takes discipline and craftiness.
It's learning to go without. It's learning to stretch things and live like no one else.
If your goal is to live like the Joneses', living on one income, might now be feasible.
But if your goal is to live a family-first type of life, then living on one income is feasible.
Here is what I mean by the family-first type of life, before a big home, nice clothes, vacations, etc. We want the structure of our home to be about Christ and family, not about worldly things.
Now, I'm not saying if you and your husband both work, that's not possible, because it still is. Being intentional about how you spend your time is the most important part.
But living on one income, allows us to homeschool our kids, garden, cook our meals at home, and strive for a strong family dynamic. My husband is currently the breadwinner. We rely on his income to pay the majority of the bills.
Over this past year, I have started making a small income, but not enough to rely on.
So the big question is, how do we survive on one income?
A little story time. When my husband and I got married, we never intended to live the life we live now. It was never in our plans for me to stay home.
But, childcare with a 3-month-old wasn't working out, so I had no choice but to quit. So overnight we went from two incomes to one.
It was hard. Mainly because we weren't prepared for it. We had savings, but our spending was out of control.
The first area I realized that had to be fixed was food spending. We ate out, a lot. We bought crappy convenience foods a lot.
So, I set a food budget and we stuck to it. At the time all we could squeeze in was $70.00 a week. This was back in 2018. We ate simple and cheap.
As time progressed I started realizing making things from scratch would stretch out a budget and allow us to eat better.
From there my love for food, nourishment and help was born.
But during this, we still were in a pickle. The food budget didn't magically heal the edge gap.
At the time my husband made $15.00 an hour. He worked nights and worked as many hours as he could. We had a car payments, motorcycle payments, credit card debt, rent, regular bills, and more.
We were stretched THIN.
When I look back on this period of our life, I can't believe we survived, but we did, by the grace of God. Our every need was met, but it may not have looked ideal or glamorous.
As time went by, we figured out our budget better.
One thing we did to help us get out of the hole we were in, we consolidated our debt. My husband took out a 401k loan and paid all the debt off for one low monthly payment. We ended up being able to pay it off the following year.
That helped us have a little breathing room, but we still were tight. Over the next few years we adapted and learned.
6 Key Things To Do When Living On One Income
1. Try not to go in debt. The only debt I would recommend is a mortgage.
2. Skip the vacays. We have went on yearly vacations. But we split a house with family. It's a fraction of the cost. We ensure it has a kitchen and cook while there too.
3. Shop second-hand. Facebook marketplace and craigslist are wonderful for finding deals. We always look second-hand before buying new.
4. Food budget. Set a food budget and stick to it. Meal planning helps.
5. Live below your means. You're not going to be keeping up with the Joneses, instead live a modest, content life!
6. Learn some skills. Skills are valuable. Over time I've been able to sell bread to cover Christmas, garden, share cookbooks, and more. My skills have helped our family. Use the knowledge at your finger tips to learn something.
I know, imagining life without sounds scary and even impossible. But, with God all things ARE possible. If you feel called to stay home, there's a reason.
The world has scammed so many into believing this consumeristic lie, that we need more and more to be happy. But really we need less.
Living on one income ultimately can lead to being more self-sufficient, sustainable living, and a peaceful home life.
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