Becoming a One Income Family

one income familyWhat we’re currently working on in our family is living off of one income. Yes, there’s only two of us, so it’s not as hard as if we had a family with children, but it is still not the easiest. We’re working on paying off student loans and then our mortgage, and would like them all gone within the next couple of years.

And this is why we are working on living off of less than 50% of our incomes (this includes our expenses and our minimum monthly mortgage payment of $970 and minimum student loans of around $300 per month). The rest of our monthly income is getting thrown like crazy towards our debt as extra debt payments. Yes, we could continue living the way that we used to and pay off our debt slowly, but we hardly notice a difference with the way we’re enjoying life (actually if anything, our quality of life is better).

There are many reasons for why you and your family might want to live on one income. Maybe there’s the possibility that you’ll lose your job and you want to prepare, maybe you lost your job and NEED to live off one income, maybe you want to pay off debt, or maybe it’s that you want to prepare to stay at home with your future child.

Living off one income can be tough in the beginning, but eventually you and your family will get used to it as long as it’s realistic.


1. Talk About Your Goals

Make goals that are attainable and realistic for your family. Everyone should sit down and talk about the goals and how you will all help reach them. Everyone should be on the same page. If one person isn’t on the same page, this can definitely significantly slow down your plan and make it take longer to get to your goal.

Having monthly (or weekly, etc.) meetings with your family can be greatly helpful.  Talk about how the direction and the goals are going. Make any adjustments if they are needed. Revise immediately if it needs to be done!


2. Adjust Your Budget

I’m sure you all already have a budget, RIGHT? Well take your budget and see what you can eliminate. I’m not saying that you need to make your life miserable and cut out everything, but if there is something such as cutting your cable, lowering your cell phone plan, etc., then do it!

Make sure your new budget is realistic also. It has to be something that you can continue to do, and not something that you cause you to go on a spending frenzy in a couple of months.


3. Eat Out Less

If you’re like me, then you eat out WAY too much. Cut out this extra spending and eat at home more. Making dinners at home is great for spending quality time with your family and the food most likely tastes much better.

Create a meal plan so that you can save money with your food budget. Knowing what you’re going to buy before you get to the grocery store is always a good thing because you can lower your grocery waste and buy only what you really need.


4. Find a Side Hustle

If you truly want to be a one income family with 1 person not working at all, then this might be disregarded for you, but there’s no harm in extra income from side hustles. Maybe you can be a freelance writer, start a blog, sell items online and so on. The list is really endless and just find something that will help you earn easy and fun money.

Does your family currently live on one income?  What are your tips?

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  1. I’m 1 of a 2 person family and we are currently living on both incomes. I’d love to be living on just one income, just incase once of us were to lose our job. You never know in this economy. Right now my main focus has been paying more on the bills that can disappear forever and then turn my main focus toward the mortgage and savings. Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later.

  2. For some people, this idea of living on one income is not possible. Many families require both incomes in order to pay for the bills. For those that thing they can live on one income, it would be a great challenge to see what they can live without and not miss. We downgraded our cable package a few months back and as much as I loved to pause and rewind and record, I don’t miss it. I am actually less stressed because I used to always have a full DVR of shows to watch – a digital to watch list – and it apparently stressed me out without me realizing it! Our qualify of live has definately improved.

    • I do agree that it is not possible for everyone. We have been extremely lucky with the things that have come our way, and we also have lower expenses since it is just the two of us.

      And I agree, quality of life definitely improves when you have less things complicating your life! 🙂

  3. Great points! I really like the eat out less one along with finding a side hustle. With inflation around the corner we are all going to start paying a lot more for food. Couple that with the fast pace tempo of our generation and you have families that eat out more than they did 20 years ago. If you can go an entire month without eating out you’d be amazed at how much money you save.

    • I agree! This is something that we are really working on.Right now our goal is to eat in Monday through Friday, and then eventually would like to increase that of course.

  4. In some cases getting rid of a 2nd car is an option. It would reduce monthly expenses by a few hundred per month. However, this would only work if one of the couples didn’t mind walking or ridding a bike to work. Or car pooling together.

  5. One more thing to add. The old Nike slogan “Just do it”.

    After all it’s better to try to live on one income before a job loss than after, isn’t it?

    I know my wife and I did that prior to her staying at home, since that was our desire for her to be home as primary care giver to our children.

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