Living on one income is sometimes hard especially if that income isn’t a decent wage. We all have our different reasons for living on one income. Maybe you want to become a stay at home mom, or you’ve lost your job and you have no choice. Whatever the reason is it can be done. You can live on one income. That doesn’t mean it will be easy.
How do you live on one income?
You no longer have the luxury of doing things on your schedule you must have a budget and things have to be planned around that budget. You also have to establish are you wanting something or are you needing something. You need lights. You don’t need to have cable. You need gas to get to work. You don’t need fast food.
Another thing is to prioritize the things you buy. Have you ever noticed the cost difference between generic cereal and name brand cereal? They both taste the same but one has a name the other doesn’t. Another example is clothes. Do you really need name brand items or is that just something you want?
Buying Used & Discount
When you’re living on one income your budget is probably going to be tight, so start shopping at a thrift store and yard sale. You never know what type of deal you’re going to find on gently used items. Also, hit the discount stores. You can also use discount stores to help cut your grocery bill. I buy many of our can goods on sale at the discount store. They are name brand, but sometimes nearly half the price I would pay across the street.Brands aren’t important when you live on one income.
I would say the best way to save money on things around the house is coupons. You’re going to cut your grocery bill in half and get stuff for free! Once you get into couponing you will never want to pay for cleaning supplies or shampoo again. You also need to download these apps on your phone to get cash back from your everyday shopping.
DIYing can really save you a significant amount of money unless you’re like my friend K who between me and you take it a little overboard… Ok, maybe I’m just a little jealous of her crafting abilities. Any who instead of buying pizza ready to cook make it from scratch for about half the price. Cakes instead of buying the box mix make your own. They will taste better and help your wallet. You can also make ready to eat things and freeze them. Check this post out for tips on meal planning.
If you really want to make this whole living on one income work you’re going to have to check your bad habits at the door. You won’t be able to eat out weekly anymore. You won’t be able to buy a $5 cup of coffee daily anymore. If you smoke or drink alcohol now might be a good time to cut back or quit to help stretch your budget.
When I talk to people about negotiate bills, they look at me like a deer in headlights. You can negotiate your bills. Call the company your owe and tell them if you can’t lower your bill you’re going to have to change provider chances are they will find a way to lower your bill. Either by actually lowering it or giving you a small credit monthly for X amount of months.
If you have cable and can’t get it lowered to an affordable option cut it. Cable isn’t important when you’re trying to live on one income. If you have cell service and can’t get that lowered go pre-paid. You can use a service like boost mobile unlimited and only pay X amount per month. You don’t have to ever worry about fees. If you look the prepaid services use the same towers as big carriers so your service shouldn’t be affected.
Live below your means
Even if you have the money you can’t afford it. Until you get used to this new arrangement you can’t afford any extras, every penny needs to be saved until you get your emergency fund fully funded. That means no buy here pays here ‘s. No store credits. Nothing. Right now you need to focus on saving and paying bills.