Top 5 Ways for One Income Families to Build Financial Security

1~ Take out a term life insurance policy on both you and your husband. Your policy should be enough to cover all of your debts in in the event of your husbands death plus six times his current income.

2~ Have a written plan of action executable upon your husbands death. This is not a will. This plan is more of a plan B road map. It is the backup plan to our current plan. We have a life together financial plan and a life in the event of death financial plan.  This is something my husband and I talk about often but I often fear that I may forget it all in the event that he dies before me. They are simple things but we write them down just in case my emotional state were to prevent me from keeping everything together.

3~ Start a home business or find a way to earn money using your hobbies or talents. An extra stream of income will allow you to pay off debt faster and accumulate wealth. If you have any question as to whether you could earn and income if need be, this will help reassure you that you would be capable of earning money. The amount of money at this point is not important. If you make just an extra $100-$200 a month taking surveys that will be extra money added to your household to help build security.

4~ Use the extra money you earn to begin an Emergency Fund. A typical emergency fund should have at least three times the amount of your total monthly expenses. Monthly expenses is not the same amount of your husbands income. Monthly expense is the total dollar amount of all monthly basic necessities such as the cost of housing, food, heating, electric, water, telephone, gas, groceries and tithes. Having an emergency fund will help you to feel more secure and less stressed in the event that your husband were to lose his income.

5~ Build a three month or more grocery and household item stockpile. Having a stockpile in the event of job loss can help you to feel more secure. Not having to worry about the added expense of grocery, household and hygiene items will be a huge relief if faced with living on a limited income. Building a stockpile is something that can be done immediately with just a budget of $12 a week. That’s all it takes to begin building a basic stockpile.

Okay…. A Proverbs Wife Community, it’s your turn. Are any of you one income families? If so, what is one thing you do to be good financial stewards over your families finances.


  1. Sherry says

    I was a stay at home mom but when the children left home I went back to work. We have more debt now than we did on just one income. I feel useless at home not having children to care for. But I dream of getting out of debt and returning to a stay at home wife. Is it ok to be a homemaker even if the chidren are grown and gone? I want to do my fair share and contribute but I am a much happier and loving wife without the pressure of an outside job.


    Brandy Reply:

    @Sherry, I’m not in your situation. I still have children at home, but my personal opinion is, if you’re miserable working outside the home, maybe God has called you to be a homemaker for life! You still have a home to keep, a husband to care for and who knows what kind of local missionary opportunities you may be missing out on by working a 9-5 job!! I have done both, worked inside and outside the home, so I’m not one of those people that thinks my way is the right way and everyone else is wrong. I’m just saying, Gods plan for each of us is different, and if you want to be home, then yes, I believe it IS ok to be a homemaker even if the children are grown and gone!


  2. Sherry says

    We’ve been a 1 income family since we married 12 years ago. Our anniversary is next week 🙂 The one thing I do to help us live well in a budget of merely 335 a week is stay home. Seriously! I go to town once a week with a detailed list and coupons all neatly organized. Unless I or a kid has a doctors appointment, my DH takes the car to work. I began this practice when I realized I had been spending 80 a WEEK on gasoline. We have one vehicle, and 6 trips (40 miles round) to town in a week is far more efficient than 10-11 trips because I needed to run back to the store. I also do Swagbucks and Ibotta.


  3. Emily says

    My family is a one income family. It’s been a dream come true for me, but its been very hard on us financially for the past 2 years.

    If my husband doesn’t get any over time at work, we struggle. We simply do not have any extra money for anything. You could say we’re barely staying afloat.

    I don’t have any special talents or gifts to make extra money! I do realize God has always provided for us, but sometimes it’s very discouraging when the bills keep piling up!

    I use to babysit in my home, but my nerves won’t allow for me to do that and my husbands work schedule conflicts too.


    Brandy Reply:

    @Emily, what is the one thing you would do for free just bc it’s your passion?? Find a way to make that a job! I love to sing AND I’m a teacher, so I made up some multiplication songs and am in the process of having a cd produced! If you like to cook, take your specialty around to businesses on Fridays. People love to purchase home baked goodies! Good luck to you!


  4. Laurie G says

    OH – forgot to say that I love the idea of the stockpile of hygiene & household items. I used to do this… and when things got tight recently, it was a blessing to know that we had those items on hand! Need to work on slowly building this back up again… watching sales & using coupons, of course! 🙂


  5. Laurie G says

    We just finished taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class – and the things you’ve listed are almost all in his plan! 🙂

    We have been married for 23 years – and I wish like crazy that we had been introduced to this as a young couple. We would have made such different choices – and be in a different spot today! HIGHLY RECOMMEND TAKING THE CLASS – no matter where you are at with your finances!

    All that said – I am a “coupon lady”. I don’t buy something just because I have a coupon, but I do build a menu plan for 2 weeks somewhat based on what is on sale along with coupons I can use for those items. Pocket Your is a great resource.

    I have a home-based business that pays for some of our bills every month – and I have taken on extra “office assistant” jobs here & there as they’ve come up for extra cash. I did just say to someone again today, “I will never look back and wish I had worked more.” Time with my kids is beyond precious to me – and with my oldest a junior in high school, that becomes more precious by the day!! 🙂


  6. Rebecca W says

    These are great tips.. especially the ‘plan B’ approach. I hadn’t thought of that. We’ll be putting that into action. One thing I did, although it seems obvious to many, is to learn to rely on God for our needs. I mean really, really rely. Learning to depend completely on God diminishes the amount of stress I am under and in turn diminishes my husband’s stress, because he worries about both the issues AND me when I worry. I am able to be an encouragement to him when he feels like we are bailing water out of a sinking ship. When he is content and free to enjoy his time at home instead of worrying or being discouraged, our home life is more productive. 🙂


    The Proverbs Wife Reply:

    @Rebecca W,

    Ahhh! Rebecca you hit the nail on the head when you talked about really relying on God. When we face tough financial spot and my husband tries to soothe me by taking on the burden, I tell him, “that’s not your burden to carry”. I tell him to be obedient to God and He will provide for both our needs. I assure my husband that as long as we are being obedient, whatever we have is what God has provided. My husband knows he is our families provider but God is the supreme provider.


  7. Kimberly says

    My husband and I are a one income family (still praying for kids : ). We definitely need to work on an emergency savings but we already have a hefty 401K. With the Lord willing we will have much more in the way of finances when we retire then current. The biggest thing that I do for our home is couponing. I enjoy being able to show others how to use coupons and get things that we all need for free or extremely low cost. I also love to shop at thrift stores and garage sales. I love to sew and eventually plan on making different items to place on and in a few shops around town to help bring in extra income. We also make it a point to keep our bills well below what we can “afford”.

    Thank you for creating such a wonderful blog!


  8. Melanie says

    We’ve been a one income family for 2 1/2 years with 3 small children. Our budget is beyond tight, but I believe being at home was what God intended for me so here is what I do: My husband is off work every Friday, so I clean one or two houses every Friday while he keeps our baby. I also sell my used children’s clothing on Ebay (and anything else I find at yard sells/thrift stores that sell well on Ebay). I keep a little boy that is in my son’s Kindergarten class after school until him mom picks him up and she pays me for that. My husband’s boss also occasionally sends some work home for me to do. It’s a juggling act but some weeks I make the same as a 40hr/week job! The Lord provides!


    The Proverbs Wife Reply:


    Thank you for sharing Melanie. I think so many women want to be stay at home wives/moms and fear not being able to make ends meet. The consensus that I’ve heard among women of faith you stay at home is that they are amazed at how much “God has provided” for any shortfalls.

    Let us know how God continues to bless you in 2011!!


  9. says

    We’re a one-income family and have been for over two years. Our biggest advantage was paying off our debt before eliminating the extra income. I’ve also supplemented our income a little by doing surveys and using Swagbucks online. I’m hoping to start up an online business in the next year, as well, to help bring in a more steady income.


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