How do I do it? We live on one income for the past 2 years and still manage to pay off one debt. It took me two years to learn what I know now on how to live on one income, how to make the money go far and how it taught me a couple lessons.
When I became a stay at home mom, I had a lot to learn about money in general. It also changed my mindset on money in so many ways. I was very nervous about living on one income with taking care of a newborn child and thinking that I will be forced to go back to work because it might not work.
So how am are we able to do it?
NO CREDIT CARDS- Its has saved us from going into unnecessary debt. I was told that when my husband and I got married that I needed to have a credit card so that we have a credit score. I had one credit card but that was to a Victoria Secret store and I had paid that off and never used it again after that. My husband never had a credit or debit card before and he still doesn’t.
Save- We save about 1/3 or 2/3 of my husbands paycheck, especially for break up or wet season that there is no paycheck coming in weeks at a time or a month.
Meal Plan- This has helped cut our grocery bill in half. We are getting foods that are part of the meal that is planned instead of just buying random food products. Sometimes I will be getting very little food since I am using mostly what is at home, other times we will have a huge grocery haul to fill up the cabinets, fridge and freezer. Either way we are saving ourselves money.
Thrift Store Shopping- I shop at Goodwill and Once Upon a Child for my clothes and my children. I usually put a cap on how much I spend at each store and on each person so I am staying in budget. I used to hate shopping at thrift stores but I have found some amazing buys in good conditions that would be difficult to find in some stores.
I don’t buy everything at the thrift store, but it is my first place to look for clothes. If I don’t find what I am looking for at the store, than I search the stores and hope to find deals in the process. There is certain items that I just go right to Target or Walmart for.
Minimalist Mindset– When I first learned about minimalism, I had been buying things that are not useful to us or necessary. I no longer buy to many things that are just going to fill our house with stuff that isn’t for us or needed. This helps me not spend to much money.
DIY- I try to do DIY projects that use materials around the property and if we don’t have the material but want to do the project, we then go to the store. We do have a store up amount of boards, logs and extra material that will help me do a project, and actually furniture that I can up-cycle. With having material around to use, we are able to save money.
Cheap Dates-We don’t go to movie theater, bowling, or expensive restaurants. When it comes to date nights, we are going to a nice but lower priced restaurant so Olive Garden is our go-to. We then just go to do some shopping on the side of town that we normally don’t go to. When we go on dates it is probably once a month.
Limited Subscriptions,Contracts and memberships- Both my husband and I use prepaid phones, for us that has saved us money. When it comes to tv, we use Roku and have a couple channel subscriptions, one of them is a annual pay and the other is a small in monthly payments. We have limited magazine subscriptions since its rare for us to read all of them. We do have a gym membership and something that we make sure to have.
When it comes to buying vehicles they are used. If there is something that someone is no longer using in the family but in good condition either we get it for free or we pay a small amount for it.
We have been able to pay off the debt and save money at the same time. We have limited amount of bills and utilities to pay.
What has being on One Income Taught me? I grew up with a different mentality about money that wasn’t healthy. Money to me, was tricky place in our home growing up, not that we grew up poor and had to scrap by. As a teen who didn’t have a paying job, I had a job but the money went to school but I still needed to have some cash for gas and necessities but when ever I asked my parents it seemed that it was pulling teeth and was frustrating.
When we got married, I thought that what my husband was earning was his money and that I should not touch it. We had two different bank accounts and I cringed every time I asked my husband for money for anything. It took me about a year after my son was born and being on one income to be comfortable spending the money he earned. I stopped thinking that it was only his money and that it was our money, he is working for it at work but I am also working on taking care of the children and our home. That the money is buying the things to help run our house and feed us.
Everything that I mentioned that we do is something that I wasn’t good at doing before, I was really bad at budgeting, and really good at shopping at the mall. I now more conscious of the money that comes in and how much I spend. I actually do not budget out the money that my husband spends or has in his wallet.
If you are thinking about Living on one income, I hope these ideas are helpful to make that happen.
Young Country Mama