The number of one-income households is shrinking, with only 21 percent of married couples being one-income households, according to Bankrate. For those who are living on a small income, it can be especially hard to save money for things like an emergency fund, college, retirement, cars or anything else. We all have our wiry times of financial mishaps, but even in those wiry times, there are ways to save money for the future needs of you or your family.
Living on one income is certainly a challenge, but definitely not an impossible feat. With these tips from Money Crashers you can learn how to live on one stream of income, spend less money, and get more of what you need.
1. Make a Realistic Budget
Create a household budget that outlines all income and expenses, make financial plans for the future, and agree on financial priorities. Knowing what your new monthly budget is will help you make any necessary adjustments when downsizing to one paycheck. This is an important step!
2. Cut Back & Live Within your Means
If your expenses are far beyond the money coming in each month - don’t panic! Anything from canceling gym memberships, switching to a cheaper phone plan, packing lunches to finding cheaper activities to do on the weekends can help cut reduce expenses. Every little bit adds up, so whatever the case, start asking yourself - “Do I really need this?”
3. Use Coupons
Using coupons to buy groceries and necessities can save you a large amount of money, especially if you know where to find the best coupons. You can save even more by going to stores that double your coupons, joining a rewards program or using a store’s discount card. With a little research, you’ll find plenty of retailers who are willing to reward you for shopping at their store.
If you have empty rooms that won’t be used anytime soon, then maybe a smaller place is a smart choice. Not only can you end up with a lower rent or mortgage payment, but your utility bills and property tax assessments might shrink, too. Downsizing can be beneficial in other ways too, by giving you the extra push to get rid of unused items. Whether it’s a big-ticket item or small, you can sell almost anything on the internet nowadays. So go ahead, use Craigslist, eBay, Facebook or Amazon and bring in some extra cash.
5. “Do It Yourself”
When you can’t spend money as freely as you did with two incomes, you find yourself being more creative and becoming more self-sufficient. There are many DIY projects you can learn such as: how to cook from scratch, plant your own garden, learning how to sew, making your own house décor or doing basic maintenance on your car. Learning to do it yourself may be an important key when trying to save.
Multiple people living on a solo income requires some sacrifice. While the transition to living on a single income can be intimidating, you don’t have to feel deprived of the things that matter most to you and your loved ones. Share with us some of your tips and ideas to help save money!