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A One Income Family – Really?
I know, this concept seems unreal these days. What happened? The economy? Inflation? Maybe the Equal Rights Act? One thing is true, our society has drastically reduced the number of homes with only one source of income. But there are many reasons why planning this out can be beneficial and rewarding for the entire family.
As a mother of two, I was part of a household that was utterly dependent on two incomes. That is, of course, until I was laid off. We immediately began to scrimp and save. We analyzed our budget and cut our costs. After a while, we were actually able to SAVE money by only having one income. Before losing my job, we had over $6,000 in credit card debt. Now we have $7,300 in savings.
Lower Your Expenses
Both of my boys are too young for school, so when I was working I was shelling out anywhere from $800-$1,200 per month for day care expenses. In addition, I was buying prepackaged food like those jars of veggie puree because I didn’t have time to make food to send with them every day. I easily went through $200 worth of premade baby food per month. On top of that, I spent $7-$10 to eat out for lunch every day, commuted to work using $6 worth of gas a day, and purchased high end cell phone services to include Internet access on the go.
Of course, there are other unnamed expenses, such as constantly buying new clothes to look professional, or that expensive dinner party we hosted after my promotion. But really, after all was said and done, I wasn’t even making enough money to cover all of those expenses. We managed to cut a whopping $3,000 from our expenses that we were incurring by having a two income household in the first place. Then we trimmed our cell phone bills and canceled our cable. (Come to find out, I can get 58 channels just by placing a decent antenna in my attic.)
Get More Done
While my partner is at work, I am running the errands, doing research on the computer, going to school online, preparing meals and cleaning the house. I learned how to make my own baby puree using bulk frozen veggies. My oldest is way beyond pureed food now but he still loves the stuff I learned to make. Before I lost my job, I was cramming all that stuff into lunch hours, evening hours and weekends. Neither of us had any time to spend with the kids.
Now I have plenty of time to get everything done and play with the kids. We even began a family night. The kids are all ready to play until bed time. No more dinners at 8:45 pm.
Spend Time With Family
I have time for my family. Not just my immediate family, but anyone else who wants to visit. When I was still working I was stressed all of the time. I did not want to spend time with anyone. I wanted to go home and sit in the tub until I dozed off. Now I can spend lunch with mom and network with a friend at the thrift shop who knows the hottest place to get the most out of my recyclables.
Still Earn Money
I still earn money. Instead of leaving my recyclables on the curb, I bring them to the nearest center and cash in on them. I sell anything I no longer use to consignment stores or online. I write resumes and tutor school kids in my free time.
Overall, our family found that not only can we afford to live on one income but we are happier, more efficient, and more stable because of it!