As single people, we can sometimes take for granted the amount of money that goes through our hands. It’s an easy thing to do.
Life happens, we get married and we have children. Your money situation changes.
I remember when I first got married.
Being married and having 2 incomes without much responsibility was amazing. Then as I said a moment ago, life happened.
I fell pregnant with my first child, things got complicated at work as I needed a lot of time off due to complications of being pregnant.
To cut a long story short after I gave birth to my first child I was unable to return to work which meant that we were now faced with how to live on one income.
You see living on one income is fine if it’s just you and your partner. Honestly, you can live on beans and toast and you will be just fine.
When you have to live on one income with a child involved it gets a little more complicated. Beans on toast will not do and now you have additional expenses that you didn’t have before.
You may not even have a child yet, but you might be planning towards having one or you may want to plan towards your financial future.
Whatever the reason for it is, just know that it is entirely possible to live on one income and not feel as though you are not living at all.
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Here are 10 tips to help you live frugally on one income
1. Start with a budget
Everything that you want to do or plan to do in the future HAS to start with a budget.
Without a budget, you will just be stabbing in the dark hoping that something falls into the right place.
You can’t do that if you want to be able to live on one income and avoid debt.
The first step to living on one income is to write down your budget and know exactly how much you have coming in and going out each month.
This will be your basic first stepping stone to living on one income successfully.
If you are unsure about how to create a budget, take a look here to find out more.
2. Start saving
If you know that you have to live on one income soon, as I did in the situation above, plan for that. Start saving as much money as you can and practice run with it.
Start living on one income as soon as possible even if you still have two. Spend one, save one is a good rule to use.
By using only one of your incomes and saving the other it will not only give you insight into what life will be like adjusting to a one income family but it will also allow you to save money much more quickly.
Obviously, if you didn’t know that you were going to go down to living on one income you won’t be able to do this.
Another great option for saving is to use an app like Digit.
Digit will allow you to make small savings each day automatically without you having to even think about it.
You can try Digit here.
3. Live below your means
This is really important because when you are trying to figure out how to live on one income you can’t keep trying to live your same lifestyle.
You must make changes otherwise you will start to see yourself spiralling into debt.
You may not be able to afford to purchase branded foods anymore. You may have to settle for store labelled goods instead.
Just because something is a store brand does not mean that the quality of it is bad.
You will need to be very conscious of where your money is going from now on. It will take some getting used to at first because its a big change from what you are used to.
Eventually being money conscious will become second nature to you.
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4. Meal plan
Meal planning is so helpful because it can save you both time and money.
Once your meals are planned out for the month you need to list the groceries that you need to make these meals. Once you have that ready it makes shopping so much easier.
You are less likely to have food wastage by meal planning each month.
If like me you struggle with fresh ideas for what to cook then a meal planner could be exactly what you are looking for.
Take a look at Platejoy which can give you amazing ideas for what to cook and even adjusts to your lifestyle needs such as no sugar, low carbs, etc.
You can even try it free for 10 days and if you use my code SMM10 you can get $10 off your purchase.
It’s a great way to save you time.
5. Pay your bills on time
This might not seem significant at first but getting into a rhythm of paying your bills on time is a habit that you need to develop.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I have incurred late penalties because I paid a bill late.
This can be completely avoided if you pay your bills on time.
You can easily do this by setting up these payments to be automated by your bank account each month.
6. Have no spend days
No spend days are great for getting out and having fun without actually spending any money.
You might have to get a little creative here but it is completely possible to do.
You can go for picnics in the park or go to the beach if the weather is good.
Another great idea is to host a bring and share with friends. This way you don’t have the expense of buying all the food and you get to have a fun evening at home with all your friends.
7. Use coupons and discounts when shopping
I LOVE to shop using discounts, but you have to be smart about it.
It’s easy to buy “stuff” when you think you are getting a bargain but if you didn’t plan on buying it in the first place and only do so because it is on offer then you have wasted money.
I try to only buy what I have planned each month and nothing else. I’m pretty strict about sticking to a budget and using the cash envelope system helps me to keep to my budget.
Ibotta is a great way to save money on groceries.
Simply download the app, add the items you wish to purchase, head to your grocery store to get your items for purchase. Once you have all your items, upload your receipt to Ibotta and wait for your cash back to roll in.
8. Cancel those subscriptions
Painful I know but it has to be done. If you really want to learn how to manage on one income then sacrifices have to be made every now and again.
That gym membership that you have but are not really using needs to be cancelled as well as your cable subscription if your budget can no longer accommodate it.
A cheaper option if you still have a few shows that you would like to continue watching is to get a membership with Amazon prime.
This way you can stream your favourite shows and movies as you like.
9. Buy used
Buying used items is a good way to keep on top of keeping costs down.
It doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable situation either. Not everything used is in bad condition.
eBay is a great example of this. I use eBay all the time.
Granted you can find new items on there but you can also find second-hand items still in great condition and at a fraction of the original price.
10. Sell what you don’t use
We all have items lying around the house that we no longer use anymore.
It’s a good idea to sell these items if you are not using them.
Not only is it a great way to declutter your home but you can also bring in a little extra cash to your home.
Take a look around your home and make note of all the things you don’t need anymore and list them on eBay asap before you change your mind and become emotionally attached.
11. Find ways to make some extra money.
Trying to make a little extra money doesn’t mean that you have to go and find a full-time job somewhere but there are things that you can do to help bring in a little extra income whilst you remain at home.
Transcribing allows you to make money from home and allows you to work only when you can. There is no pressure to work a certain number of hours.
You simply fit it around your lifestyle and call yourself boss.
Transcribing has huge potential.
Another great option is to proofread, proofreading allows you to be your own boss on your own terms.
If seeing written mistakes in books, on menus, etc annoys you then this could be right up your street.
I’ll tell you now you won’t make a full-time income from taking surveys but you will make extra money so that you can help with the odd bill around the house.
When I wasn’t working, that’s all I wanted to do, be able to make just a little bit of extra cash so I could take a little pressure of paying the bills.
Survey junkie can help you do just that.
This is my most favourite way to earn extra money as it works so well with my lifestyle.
I work when I can and I’m able to stay at home with my children at the same time.
Starting a blog doesn’t have to be expensive either you can get great hosting from Siteground from as little $3.95 a month.
Final thoughts on how to live on one income
Living on one income is possible, many families do it each month successfully.
If I have to give you just one tip to walk away with today it would be to move forward with an open mind. If you are resistant to change from the beginning it will be so much harder for you to succeed.
Just be money conscious and before you know it you will living successfully on one income.
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