Down to One Income? It’s Not the End of the World
If you purchased your home as a two-income family, the prospect of living on only one income can be daunting if not downright scary. But don’t despair if a sudden job loss, a new baby, or some other life circumstance is putting you in that position. Take a deep breath, take some time to consider, and review these tips from Parents Magazine:
- Cut back – This may seem elementary, but many couples who have been living with spare cash may not have a clue where to start. Begin by keeping a written account of one month’s spending. Then study it to identify areas – like entertainment, cable costs, or eating out – where you can easily rein in your spend. What you should be left with is a working budget. Stick to it.
- Cut your grocery bill – You don’t have to go on a starvation diet. But cut out expensive convenience foods in favor of cooking or baking. Make your own baby food. Look for sales. Use coupons. You may be amazed at how much money you can save.
- Use cash, not credit – Use credit cards sparingly. Routinely paying by credit card can lead to bills you may find harder to pay off monthly – and building up credit card debt and/or interest is the last thing you want to do
- Become more self-sufficient – If you’ve been paying for lawn care, housecleaning, or other services you can do – or learn to do – yourself, you can be well on the way to saving serious money.
- Barter for services – Instead of paying for babysitters, exchange babysitting services with another family. Use Craigslist to swap lawn services for public relations assistance. The possibilities are endless.
- Earn extra cash – Just because a spouse has left the workface doesn’t mean they are powerless to earn. Try part-time freelance work. Organize garage sales. Offer specialty catering services. Use your skills to bring in additional income.
- Sacrifice – It may be tough to resist those season tickets or to nix a Caribbean vacation. On the other hand, you can explore new pursuits; cooking together, music lessons, game nights with friends or family.