Are you a working mom whose heart longs to be at home? Or maybe your pregnant and want to stay home with the baby when it comes, but not sure how you could possibly make the transition to one income. I was in your shoes once. When my son was born, I wasn't sure I would even be able to stay at home with him for the first year. Not only did I make it the first year, but I have been fortunate to have the last 13 years at home.
As I have mentioned before when my son was born our income was cut in half. We had car payments, house payments and my husbands student loan payments. Despite all that, we have been able to make it work with just one income. If you too want to be at home, check out my 7 tips for living on one income.
Prioritizing what is important to you is the number one thing that can help you save money. What can you live without to be able to stay at home? Maybe you ditch the cable tv and get a cheaper cell phone plan. Is your mortgage not doable on one income? There are so many things you can change to be a stay at home mom.
You just have to decide what you are willing to do without to be at home. We would sometimes go with just one car. It wasn't fun, but it saved us money. Plus, by not going anywhere during the day I saved even more money. It's important to figure out what you need and what you can do without. I found there were lots of things I was willing to sacrifice to stay at home.
Lower Your Bills
Try to lower what bills you can. Shop around for lower homeowners insurance. Call the companies you are with and try to negotiate some lower rates. I spent about 1 hour doing this and managed to save over $500. Don't think just because that is what you are being charged, it is what you have to pay. Companies usually prefer to keep an existing customer and lower the rates than lose a customer.
Make From Scratch
One of the things I love about being a stay at home mom is how I have more free time. Things that never seemed worth doing when I worked, is now easy to do at home. I make my own strawberry jam every summer, I make some of my own breads, and I even make my own household cleaners.
These are all the kind of things that I wouldn't have spent my time on when I worked, but now that I have more time I can easily help save by making things from scratch.
Budgeting is one of the most important things you can do to live on one income. Take a good look at your budget and come up with a plan that allows you to live on one income. Figure out what has to be budgeted for and then try to see what you can do without.
We found that the same money split up with the envelope system made a huge difference to us. It was amazing how much more in control we felt by using it. We have also split up our bank accounts into a total of 18 different accounts. 18 might be excessive for you, but check out the 5 bank accounts I recommend every family needs. With a little bit of time and sacrifice you can find a budget that can work for your family.
Ignore the Jones
I know it's hard when all of your friends are headed to Disney or going to see the latest movie. But, if you want to be able to live on one income you have to ignore what others are doing. When my son was young we had friends that were always going to the nicest restaurants or away on mini vacations. It was hard to see that and not feel like I was letting my son down. But, at the end of the day I got to spend each day with him and I think the memories we made were better than any trip.
Stretch Your Money
I love how much I can stretch my money when I am staying at home. I have found so many ways to lower our grocery bill, even without using coupons. I try to stock up on things when they are at their lowest so I am not overpaying for groceries and other household items.
I try to make freezer meals for crazy nights when I don't have time to cook instead of doing carry out. I try to make sure we don't spend money on things we don't absolutely need. When we do take the time to do something like go out to eat, I make sure we are still saving the most money we can. By stretching what money we do have, I make sure that we can live better while still saving.
Being content with what you have is so important when you are living on one income. You may not have the latest and greatest of everything, but you have more time with your family. Appreciate the things that you can do, instead of focusing on what you can't.
Staying at home and living on one income isn't for every family. But, if this is something that is important to you, it can be doable. With some time and effort becoming a one income family is goal you can reach!
What are some of your tips for living on one income? I would love to hear them.