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Life-Altering Changes: Living on One Income

Recent events across the nation are causing families to alter their lives. With remote learning quickly becoming the norm, they face the decision of one parent remaining in the home. This often translates to a lower spouse salary or no salary at all. Thankfully, while not ideal, there are ways to adjust your life and live on a single income.

Take a Look at Your Monthly Bills

The first place to start is to take a look at your monthly bills. Fortunately, nearly every household budget has room for improvement. Cable service can cost a few hundred dollars each month. Remove the pay channels to lower it. If that doesn’t offer much savings, consider signing up for alternative sources of entertainment like Hulu or Netflix. If you have homeowners and auto insurance with two different companies, bundle them to lower the bills. Cell service is another bill that can run hundreds monthly. Shop around to get the lowest price.

Reducing Debt

Every penny matters when you have only one income. Multiple credit cards with high balances can end up consuming several hundred dollars monthly from your budget. If your credit is in good standing, consider consolidating it using loan companies in San Angelo, Texas or pick one local to you. An alternative is to apply for a new credit card that allows you to transfer balances and eliminates interest for up to a year.

Emergency Fund

 

With money tight you may think putting money away is impossible. However, if you work it into your budget as a required payment, you can do it. Establishing an emergency fund will prevent an unexpected expense from dismantling your budget. Things happen and most, unfortunately, take you by surprise.

The Savvy Shopper

To make the most of your income, you need to become a savvy shopper. Coupon websites are your new best friend. Use local supermarket fliers to find the best deals on the items you need. Discount stores and shopping during holidays and certain days of the week can offer tremendous savings on food, household goods, clothing, and personal items.

Find Inexpensive Activities

So you can’t book a trip to Disney. However, there are dozens of things you can do as a family for little or no out-of-pocket expense. Take out a library card, spend an afternoon at the park, and enjoy long bike rides. Teach children to cook and do crafts. Use this time to bond as a family and create wonderful memories.

Change Tax Withholding

If you need additional income to maintain your bills, you can temporarily change your tax withholding. If you or your spouse currently have zero deductions, include the children and yourself. This can increase your monthly net income by several hundred dollars.

Eliminate Frivolous Spending

Habits are hard to break. However, during difficult financial times, it’s necessary. Ordering meals out once or twice each week can consume a hundred dollars or more. Instead, become creative with entrees to make dinner appealing.

Going from a two-income household to only one is difficult, however, it is not impossible. With a few changes to your lifestyle, you can do it successfully.

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