In past generations, families lived with only one income. They could do well with only one bread winner because cost of living was lower.
In contrast, two people have to go to work in today’s economic environment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46% of married couples were employed.
Living on one income is hard when you don’t know the right strategy. It took us a while and a good plan to do this in our family.
Jess and I have been living on one income since 2019, and it’s created a life of freedom for us. It’s also helped us to free up time to launch new businesses.
If becoming a single-income family is something you dream of, this guide is for you.
How to find out if you can live off one income?
The best way to find out if you can live off one income is by saving your partner’s income in full, putting that money in a savings account, and making adjustments to your lifestyle so that you can afford to live exclusively on one person’s salary.
But which person’s salary?
This comes down to your monthly expenses. In our case, my salary was less than my wife’s salary, but we had been working on lowering our expenses by practicing frugality. So we knew my salary would be enough to cover our monthly costs.
We were able to save her full income by using my salary to pay for everything.
By the time we decided that she could retire, we had a pretty good idea we could actually do it.
Tips For Becoming A Single-Income Family:
You can always live with less than you think. We cut down on expenses and were astounded when we found out that most of our so-called necessities, were actually temporary wants.
There are always expenses you can reduce in your monthly budget, and this will allow you to find out if you can live on one income .
You have to ask yourself: Is the idea of having more time and freedom worth more than some material purchase?
If you’ve never paid attention to your expenses, now it’s a good time to learn where your money is going.
Put the other person’s salary in this saving account and watch it grow every month that you can make using only one salary.
When you separate finances by placing it in a new savings account, you’ll be less tempted to use it for frivolous purchases.
Having a separate savings account will also help you see how much you can save, and seeing how much your money can grow month by month is a wonderful motivator.
It may seem obvious, but having no debt will greatly increase your chances of making it with on one income.
If you are a two-income household right now, make it a goal to pay down as much debt as possible. Ideally, all of it, with the only exception perhaps being your home mortgage.
With inflation becoming a bigger problem, learning to cook can help you save money.
Before paying attention to our food expenses, an average month for us would be close to $1000 for two people.
When Jess took charge of our groceries, we went from $1000 to $500 in the first month.
She was able to figure out what items were better to shop at which stores, and she learned how to prepare food in bulk; she also learned how to use apps such as Walmart plus to save money.
Also Read: Best free budgeting apps for beginners
Working from home is a dream come true, but you may have learn a new skill to make this a reality.
Learning new things is the spice of life; you are never too young or too old to learn something new.
Working from home has many benefits and will help lower your expenses in multiple ways, such as saving on gas, work clothes, and time wasted on commuting; you can also start side projects if you have a job where you are not being micromanaged.
We have found that working part-time at our primary job is a great for us as we have flexibility. You can also consider semi-passive income ideas for beginners to help you find the right choice.
Most people are shy or may feel unworthy to ask for more money. The truth is, if you have been at your current job for more than a year and put in the work daily, you can ask for a raise.
Raising your income to pay off as much debt as you can when both people are working is a great way to accelerate your financial freedom.
There is an old saying that goes something like:
“Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.”
If you have friends who like to overspend, you will probably end up spending more. Keeping up with people can slow down your goal of becoming a single-income household.
Friends who constantly talk about the latest trips, fashion trends, jewelry, or new cars can make you feel inadequate.
And if you do end up spending just as much, you would be spending the money that could have helped you stay on track with your financial goals.
Having a frugal friend or two can help you see how other people can have a happy life with less.
Your location plays a big role in how much you need every month. Living in large cities will always cost more but there are many ways to live sustainably..
Choosing to live in a state with no income tax helps as well. We live in Fort Lauderdale, and like every other Floridian. Pay no federal income taxes.
There are other 9 states that do not charge federal income tax.
If you want to find out the living costs in other states, head over to this living wage calculator. It will give you information on the cost of living based on the number of people in your house.
Can You Live On One Income If You Have Debt?
Debt is a major drag on your finances. Your home mortgages (if you have one) should be your only debt.
It’s a good idea to pay down most debt because once you become a single income family, your income will be lower.
Living on one income and making extra payments on your debt is overwhelming. The appropriate time to pay all your debts is when both of you are working. Once you become debt free, it is easier to make the jump.
What To Expect When You Live Off Of One Income?
Why would anyone want to stop working and stay at home? That sounds lazy.
But here are some things you can expect when you don’t need two incomes:
- Less Stress. When one person can stay at home, they can help with an entire set of tasks that you would normally rush to get done.
- Less sickness. Stress plays a significant factor in chronic conditions. When one person stays home helping with tasks, it reduces the overall stress in the relationship.
- More freedom. If you only need one income, you can spend more time setting up a business that could allow for both of you to work on your own terms. When both people work full time, there is not enough time to plan for these things.
- Better relationship. The average couple spends less than 5 minutes of quality time together. Living on one income allows you to spend more time with your other half.
Single-Family Income Living
In summary, being a single-income household is not for everyone.
But if you have the financial ability to do it, you can at least try it and see how it feels. It may be hard at first, but once you get used to it, you will find that things get easier.
The benefits of living on one income far outweigh the cons. More time and more freedom are only some benefits; there are many more that comes with your newly found freedom.
What do you think? Can you become a single-family income?