More Living on One Income tips for living on one income when married. Click on the category on the right to see other money tips.
A big thing that women (and men!) can do to make it possible to live on one income is to do your best to spend that one income wisely. Again, I contacted other women who are in the stay-at-home mom season of life and here is their advice:
- Generic ain’t just for prescriptions! It’s for a lot of things. What counts is quality, not some label. (Jayme’s note: name brand does matter on some things. I can’t for the life of me find a generic Saran Wrap that actually works!)
- Trade off babysitting with friends. If you have kids. You babysit one Friday night, then they babysit the next Friday night.
- Get a Sam’s card (or CostCo). For the things that don’t go bad, stock up when at great prices. I mean, it’s not like you’re trying to quit using toilet paper, right?
- Drive your car as long as you can. I’ve written before on the magic of buying a car you can afford. But it’s all the more important when you’re dealing with 2 cars.
- Level Payment Plans for utilities. Over the course of the year, you’ll (hopefully) pay just as much, but this prevents really nasty surprises in the winter with your heating bill.
- Borrow clothes or do hand-me-downs. My wardrobe right now is about 1/2 hand-me-downs. I ain’t too proud to take em! Next time you need a special outfit for an event, borrow one from a friend rather than buying it new. Borrowing clothes is especially easy to do when you have kids. Kids quickly outgrow clothes before they wear out. Box them according to size and pull them out when needed.
- Don’t look at Sunday ads. If you don’t see things, chances are you don’t know that you NEED them. Things you need: flour, eggs, shelter. Things you don’t need: iPod, camera, 20 new skirts.
- Hand-me-down furniture. Just don’t get the bedbug ridden kind. A huge temptation when you first set out in life is to get all new stuff. You need all new stuff as much as you need all new debt. You don’t!
- Pray for the things you need. Seriously, things might just be “randomly” offered to you. I say randomly because God has a tendency to wow us in cool ways.
Still single? Get into the habit of incorporating these now. That way you don’t get married, try to live on one income, but have a harder time because you’re so used to doing something different.