Living on one income can be hard in more ways than one, but it can also be a blessing if that’s how your family works. Here’s how we do it!
We have been living on one income for over 3 years now, so I think we have enough insight to be able to pass some of my tips onto you and help you with your one income life too.
If you’ve read my post on becoming a homemaker accidentally, you’ll know it wasn’t always the plan, but it’s worked out perfectly for us. Of course, if I worked outside of the home and had a full time or even part-time job, we would have a lot more money every month, but other aspects of our relationship and home life would suffer.
It became a conscious decision to stay home, and that did put our finances into perspective. Here’s how we have lived comfortably on one income for over 3 years!
Living on one income
Don’t think materialistically
Having only one income means there is less money to spend on just stuff. Every time we go shopping, we are all bombarded with “deals” and offers, that ultimately make us spend more money. Even supermarkets sell things like xbox games, dvds, cds, clothes, etc. All things that aren’t usually on the food shopping list!
When something catches your eye, ask yourself if you really need it or if you just want it. Will it make your life better, or add to the clutter at home?
Quality over quantity
When you do need something, opt for quality over quantity. It may mean saving up a little longer, but in the long run you will benefit.
This can be seen as not sustainable or even a possibility for some. You certainly don’t have to spend £200 on shoes for them to last! If you can, go the tier up from where you currently buy. For example, if you normally buy something that costs £10 and it breaks within 6 months, try buying the £15-£20 version!
Buying quality doesn’t always have to mean spending a lot of money either, which leads me onto my next tip.
Shop in the sales
If you’re looking to buy something expensive – like a TV or similar tech – or even just going clothes shopping. Shopping in the sales can save you a lot of money!
We recently bought a TV after not having a proper TV for over a year. We went in the sales, and managed to get £50 off. That may not sound like a lot when you’re spending £300, but it’s £50 extra in the bank and more than we would have had if we bought it at full price.
Date nights, birthdays, any events you may have. They certainly don’t have to cost a fortune, and who knows, you could have way more fun!
It may be the country girl in me, but I would much prefer a picnic somewhere quiet than a date at a fancy restaurant.
The Farmer and I often choose more simple things than a huge song and dance. You should see our wedding plans, ha ha!
Free is good too
A walk in the park, a movie night, camping in the garden, free public events like concerts in the park or certain museums, it’s all free!
We went to a museum near us that turned out to be the best day I’d had in a long time, and it was completely free!
Doing activities as a family, a couple, or even on your own do not have to cost the earth. This is so important to keep in mind when living on one income, as it can start to feel like you’re missing out on a lot. You don’t need to miss out at all!
Make it yourself, repair it, or reuse it
Living on one income can make you see the frugal side to life. If there is absolutely anything that can be saved off of anything to repair another item, or it can be used in place of something else, it gets kept.
We should be doing this anyway, as it can also cut down massively on how much goes to landfill, and saves money at the same time.
There are a million and one pins on Pinterest on how to make something out of pretty much anything. Especially when it comes to plastic bags and throwaway plastics, there are many ideas out there on ways you can cut down on it or make those single-use things into something else. I have even seen plastic carrier bags crocheted into a bag for life!
My last tip for this post is to be realistic.
Be realistic in your ability to live on one income. Be realistic in what you do and don’t need. Be realistic in how much you can or can’t take on on one income.
If you dream is to live on one income to be home for your family, but you are already struggling on two incomes, what do you need to do to be able to stay home?
Before you get pets or add an extra entertainment bill to your monthly expenses, can you afford it? We spend almost £100 a month solely on feeding our chickens and Kobi (he’s a 45KG Great Dane cross, so eats a lot). I wouldn’t want to add another dog or more chickens to that expense, even if we can afford it. £100 is enough as it is!
Living on one income is definitely a privilege, and should be seen as such.
Do you live on one income? Do you want to? What are your tips? Let me know in the comments!