So here’s the thing. We never planned on being a single income family… and then we had kids!
Does this sound familiar? Or maybe it wasn’t even starting a family that got you into this situation…. Maybe it was the loss of a job. Or maybe a single income household just made sense for you.
Whatever the reason is, I’m here to tell you that you can flourish living on a single income.
We know because WE HAVE! I never dreamed of being a stay at home mom. But it’s what works best for our family while the kids are little.
We all know how outrageous daycare prices can be!
Salary.com did this awesome survey, stating that the average stay-at-home mom is worth a whopping $143,000 a year. So technically I make more than my husband, right!
Benefits Of Being A Single Income Household:
- More family time! Not only do I get to spend more time with my kids but I also get to be home when my husband gets home from work.
- You don’t have to pay for daycare or after school care. If you don’t have kids but have pets you won’t have to pay for puppy daycare.
- Save money on transportation costs. If you live in a city or close to mass transit you could even become a single vehicle family.
Here are some ways we have been able to not only live but thrive on a single income.
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Lowering Your Bills As A One Income Family
Did you know that by picking up your phone and calling your service providers you can lower your bills? If you’re a smooth talker you can persuade them to drop your bill.. If negotiating doesn’t work tell them you would like to have your service turned off. This changes their mind real quick!
I promise this works, I do it all the time.
Here are a few companies I have persuaded to drop my bill over the years:
- Direct TV
Depending on your cell phone service providers, some of them give discounts to city workers, military members, and emergency response members as well as others. They don’t usually advertise this so you have to ask.
The same goes for cable and internet.
If you qualify as any of the above, make sure to ask about how to get discounts for their products or services!
We were able to save $20 dollars a month on our Verizon phone bill just by walking in and talking to a customer service rep.
Here are a few other things you want to check out if you are trying to lower your bills:
- If you are looking for a cheap phone service and your current provider isn’t working for you, check out Republic Wireless. I have heard great things about their 4G service. They have Unlimited Talk & Text plans starting at $15 a month. Plus, you don’t have to sign a contract!
- If you haven’t checked your credit score yet, you should! We use Credit Sesame and have had only good experiences. Credit Sesame gives you your first credit check for free. It takes you less than 5 minutes to get your credit score. You can’t beat that!! Get your free credit report here.
- Use LED light bulbs. They are energy efficient and use 90% less energy than a normal light bulb. These are our favorite LED light bulbs that we use in our house.
- To save on your electricity bill by hanging your clothes up to dry. Your dryer is the most inefficient appliance in your home. In the summer I hang our clothes up on my lovely drying rack. Yes… It takes more time to do than throwing your clothes in the dryer but it will save you money on your monthly electricity bill. So if you’re like me and your husband won’t let you hang a clothesline in your backyard check out these awesome drying racks.
- Switch to a energy efficient or programmable thermostat. Being able to program the heating and cooling will save you a lot of money throughout the year. What I like about most energy efficient and programmable thermostats is that they hook up to wifi and you can control them via your phone.
Related article: Don’t Let These 7 Mistakes Hold You Back From A Good Credit Score
Budget Your Money The Right Way
We talk a lot about budgeting. Why.. because it works!!
If you are currently living on one income or are going to be in the near future, implementing a budget of some sort is a must! I wouldn’t say we have mastered budgeting, but we’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years. Yea we still have months where we don’t budget and months where we don’t save as much as planned but that’s okay.
Life happens! You can’t budget for every rainy day.
Our favorite way to budget is by using the envelope system. If you haven’t checked out our post on budgeting yet you can check it out here! If you are new to budgeting read the Ultimate Guide to Budgeting for a step by step guide that will change your life.
Also, don’t forget to grab your FREE 2019 Budget Binder!
Here are a few budgeting tips that you need to live by if you are trying to save money:
- Cut out cable for good. This is one of the easiest ways to save money each month. There are many great options that still allow you to watch your favorite T.V. shows. Our favorite is Hulu. We pay $8 dollars a month to watch our favorite T.V. shows. Start your 30-day free trial here.
- Quit eating out for lunch, bring lunch from home instead. Try to ring a sandwich from home for a month and see how much you save. Or make extra big dinners so you have leftovers for work. Eating out each day really adds up.
- Start living below your means. Every financially independent person will tell you this is their key to staying out of debt and saving.
- Pay for everything with cash! When you can physically see money leaving your wallet you spend less because it hurts more. So put your card away and start paying for everything with cash!
- Put your savings into a high-interest rate bank account where it will accumulate interest. Don’t let your money sit in a savings account at your local bank. We have earned 5 figures of interest this year just by letting our money sit!
Tools that will help you with budgeting!
Shop Smarter Not Harder
When you go shopping go with a purpose, a mission, a list!! Have you ever gone grocery shopping without a grocery list? How did that turn out for you? My guess is not very good.
You probably spent a lot more than you intended to spend and you probably didn’t come out with very many meals. Never leave your house without a list and stick to it.
Here are some “shop smarter” strategies you might be interested in:
- I’m not a huge couponing guru but I do believe that you should take the extra time to cut coupons when you need household essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels and other necessities. There are always coupons for these items!
- Shop at a discount grocery store. We love Aldi and I save a ton of money by shopping there. Sure I miss shopping at more luxury grocery stores but I’d rather be SAVING MONEY.
- If you’re tired of making your weekly grocery list try $5 Meal Plan! They send you meal plans right to your email. This takes out the challenge of creating your weekly meal plan and makes life so much easier. Try it free for 14 days, when you sign up through my link.
- Don’t buy something you don’t need just because it’s on clearance. This will lead you down the road of overspending.
- Always shop with a website like Ebates when you are doing your shopping online. They give you cash back when you shop your favorite stores such as Target, Kohls, Amazon, Walmart, Nike and many more. When you sign up with our link you get a free $10 welcome bonus when you spend $25 or more! So sign up today to start making money when you spend money.
Related Article: The Best Grocery Store Hacks That Will Help You Save Money On Food
Be The Boss Of Your Bills
Who’s ready to be the boss of their own bills? If it wasn’t for this amazing strategy we’ve implemented into our lives we wouldn’t be where we are now. At the beginning of every month, we know exactly where every dollar is going to go because we tell it where to go.
You might ask how… what’s our secret?
Put All Of Your Bills On Auto Draft
By using auto-draft for all of our bills and savings accounts we are able to tell all of our money where it needs to go!
This is a lifesaver!
We have all of our bills set up to come out the day after my husband gets paid. Then, we take out our money (in cash) that is budgeted to pay for our groceries and necessities for the two-week cycle.
Go check out our Cash Envelope System Guide for budgeting tips and tricks to save big.
We use our cash to pay for everything without touching our check card. All extra money that we have left after budgeting gets transferred to our savings account. This leaves us with paid bills, no unnecessary spending, and we know where every dollar of ours goes. And best of all our savings continue to grow!
Side Hustles – You Must Try
We’ve all been there, trying any “side hustle” just to get by. When you can’t make ends meet or you’re just looking to make a little side money, here are a few side hustles. I tried a lot of these methods back in college (some of which I continue to use today) when my side hustle days were at an all-time high.
My favorite side hustles:
- Start answering surveys! If you haven’t tried you need to start. Here are a few of my favorites… MyPoints, Pinecone research, Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, Consumer Opinions, and Opinion Outposts! Those are only a few of the survey sites out there. It’s free to sign up and the more surveys you take the more you make so start today!
- Check out our post 40 Ways to Make Extra Money. This includes easy ways for you to start making money this week.
- Start a Blog! The possibilities are endless when it comes to blogging and so are the salary ranges. You can start our own blog for $3.95 per month when you sign up here. Start here to read all about what goes into making your own blog. If you are interested in making money blogging, read here for step by step directions to see what it takes to be successful. You can also check out our 3 part series on How To Start A Blog.
- Try out Uber! I have a few friends who drive for Uber in the evenings and weekends and make a good amount of money. So try it out and let us know what you think.
- Join Swagbucks! Swagbucks is awesome and if you haven’t tried it out, you have to! It’s free to sign up. You can take surveys, watch videos and shop online to earn Swagbucks. You then can cash in your Swagbucks for gift cards. Who doesn’t love gift cards!! So next time you are watching TV jump on Swagbucks and earn yourself some gift cards. They even have an app so it makes making money that much easier!
What Are Your Secrets To Living On One Income?
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