This post was originally posted in September 2014 and has been updated for your convenience.
6 Practical Tips for Living Well one One Income
Some may choose to live on one income because they want to stay at home with their kids or beef up their savings account, but due to current circumstances, many families are being forced to live on one income and may not know where to turn.
I hope these practical tips for living on less will help you and your family take steps towards making ends meet and getting through these hard times. If you have any other tips to add, please do so in the comment section below.
To make living on one income work, the whole family has to understand why it’s important to live on less. Why is living on one income a priority for your family?
Keep these reasons in the front of your mind and understand that it’s more important than the things you may be giving up to make ends meet. Frugal living is a mental game, so coming up with your why is important for the long haul because it can help you when it seems hard.
Let’s face it, to live on one income you’re probably going to have to make some sacrifices. Decide with your spouse which non essentials you’re willing to give up (cable, Netflix, magazine subscriptions, gym membership, eating out, etc) and cancel them. I bet you won’t even miss most of these things, especially if they weren’t a high priority for you in the first place.
Evaluate how much house/car you really need and cut where you can. Did you know that the average American home has doubled in size since the 1950s, yet families are smaller? If our ancestors survived with less space, then we can too. Plus, smaller house = lower payment = more money in your pocket.
The same goes for vehicles. Does your family need more than one? If so, can you sell one of your current vehicles and use the money to pay cash for an older one? As long as your car gets you safely from point A to point B then what else matters?
Be Smarter than the Joneses
Did you know that the average American is $90,000 in debt?!? Chances are the people who you envy that have nice houses, cars, etc. are stressed out because of the debt load they’re carrying.
Don’t be like them. Be grateful for what you have. If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep then you are richer than 75% of the world.
Focus on the blessings that you have instead of what you wish you had or things that you think would make you happy.
Commit to No More Debt
Seriously. Like yesterday. Cut up your credit cards and make it a priority to pay off your debt. Imagine how good it will feel when you don’t owe anyone anything.
If you need help in this area I would recommend reading Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and following his baby steps. You can also visit DaveRamsey.com for more resources.
Cook from Scratch & Eat Simply
When you read books like, Little House on the Prairie, what types of food was Ma usually cooking? Potatoes. Soups. Homemade Breads. They ate simply because they didn’t have a choice. Things like out of season produce and candy were luxuries to be enjoyed on occasion.
If you can learn to cook from scratch and simplify your menu plan (think spaghetti, chicken noodle soup, beans and rice) then you will save tons of money. Unless you find an awesome deal on convenience food, you can normally make it yourself for way less.