Tips for Living on one Income

Living on one income is not impossible. Yes it is hard, but not impossible for a family to do. We have been living on one income for ten years and now have three children and still have only one income. This decision was made based on our children. It was important for us that our children were not put into daycare centers. As a mother, having always stayed at home to take care of our boys, my husband has been the sole bread winner in our family. We do not have a lot of extra money or a lot to show from our money, but we have what we need and are happy. Over the years, we have learned how to successfully live on one income.

1. Needs vs Wants. Always buy what you need and only sometimes what you want. Over and over we ask ourselves ‘do we need this or do we just want it?’. After answering this question, the decision as to whether we will buying something is made. We purchase necessities, such as food and clothing and also pay our mortgage and utilities. All other items that we ‘want’ are considered and more often than not are not purchased. 

2. Purchase second-hand clothing. With children growing so fast, it only makes since to pass their clothes down or simply buy used clothing. A piece of clothing bought new will cost only a fraction when bought used. If taken care of properly, used clothing can last a very long time. 

3. Eat most meals at home/  rarely eat out. A lot of money can be wasted going out to eat. The exact same foods can be made at home and cost a lot less. Foods prepared at home are also a lot better for you. 

4. Take lunch to school or work. $2 a day for lunch at school can quickly at add. A lot more food can be bought from the grocery store for the cost of food at lunch. There are times when the kids want to buy their lunch on special days and then other days they bring their lunch from home. Going out to lunch while working can be also add up quickly; bring left overs from home to save money. 

5. One parent stays home to avoid daycare costs. In our family, having stayed at home with the kids for ten years, has saved us a lot of money in day care costs. Often times, an income is eaten up in daycare costs; your paycheck goes straight to the cost of daycare. 

5. Use coupons/ buy on sale. The most savings can be seen when purchasing an item that is on sale with a coupon. The savings is astronomical. Many stores offer ‘Buy 1 Get 1 items’ which will also help you to save a lot of money. Just imagine, buying one of these items n sale and then adding a coupon to it. Savings galore! Watching the local store ads will help you to purchase commonly used items on sale.