At the moment my family are living on one income while I’m studying at University. While we are definitely not rolling in it, (There’s a reason I write about how to live a great life on a budget!) we make do, and never really feel like we are going without. I thought this week I would share some of my suggestions for making life on one income a little easier.
- Needs versus Wants – It’s so easy to get caught up in all things you think you have to have these days. But how many of them are really necessary? Sit down with your partner and figure out what things are needs and what are simply wants, and then make cuts to your budget where you can. Figure out what your family can live without and go with it.
- Set yourself limits – If there’s something you know you can’t all go without absolutely, but that is definitely more of a want than a need, try just cutting back. Set yourself limits on frivolous spending and stick to them. You can still have your cake and eat it too, just be sensible about it.
- Make sure everyone knows your budget – Sometimes when I think I have all the numbers figured out, my husband throws a spanner in the works by telling me he needs money for soccer or something I didn’t know about. After a few (maybe several), conversations about how I can’t just make money appear, he now knows to give me advance warning for such things so I can include them in our budget. I also try and make sure he knows what bills and things we have coming up, so it isn’t a complete surprise to him when I tell him there’s no spare money for something one week. Living on one income is much easier when we’re both on the same page as to where we are up to with our budget.
- Track your money – It’s easier for money to be frittered away when you don’t know exactly where it’s going. Keeping track of what you’re spending your money on will allow you to identify any problems as they arise, so you can work out a solution. The upside of living on one income is there is less money to keep tabs on.
- Remember why you’re doing it – When the bills are flying in and it all seems like too much, remember why you are doing this. Maybe like me you’re studying to better yourself and further your career. Or maybe it’s important to you for you to be at home with your babies. Whatever the reason, focus on that, and I am sure you will figure it out. If you need more hints for living on a budget, take a look at my posts with ways to save, or some of my budget-friendly ideas.
What’s your best advice for living on a single income? I’d love to hear it in the comments.
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