One of the key factors in successfully living on one income is to learn to live below your means. Doing this may be easier said than done, however I will share some tips that have helped my husband and I along the way.
1. Reduce all of your discretionary spending until you no longer need to spend the families second income. This statement speaks for it’s self in saying that anything not essential to living may be the culprit in shifting from a two income family to a one income family.
2. Begin reallocating one income to an investment or savings account. It is wise to begin building an emergency fund reserve as a safe guard for the unexpected expenses that will arise.
3. Keep track of everything you spend. You will be on a tighter budget than what you may be used to. In order to maintain the new budget you must remain transparent and accountable to one another concerning where the money is going.
4. Communicate your financial goals regularly. Be sure to focus on the positive reasons for transitioning to a one income family. There may be some financial tension initially. You are both implementing a new habit, therefore, this is the time when you should cut one another the most slack. Stay positive and encourage each other.
5. Reward yourselves for achieving each financial goal. Discuss some possible rewards for achieving your financial milestones. My family gave up vacations for three years. Once we met our goal of staying below budget for 1 year, we rewarded ourselves by taking the family to Orlando.
You may be considering becoming a one income family or may already be a one income family. Whatever your situation , remember to be patient with yourself and your spouse. This could be one of the best decisions that you make but also a very challenging one.