Making ends meet is harder than ever. So what happens if you’re in a marriage where one of you loses your job? Or you decide to take time away from your career to bring a baby into the world. How exactly can you live on one income? Mrs Pinch is here to help.
Make A Budget
Creating and sticking to a budget is paramount when your circumstances change. Knowing how much you’re spending every month as well as how much you have coming in is important. Budget your finances. Cover your mortgage or rent. List what you need to pay for every month and stay within that budget. Food, bills, petrol in the car. Do not spend more than you have budgeted. Teach
your kids to budget from an early age and make them part of the process. Opening a bank account for a minor online is easy and will give them somewhere to save their money.
With a budget in place it’s time to cut back on things. No more takeaways. Get more wear out of your current clothes. Walk instead of drive. Target the major expenses that you have every month and see where you can save money. Can your rent be reduced at all? Can you go onto a different mortgage so your payments? Swap supermarkets, cook from scratch. Watch free to air TV on an evening. Anything you can do to save money and cut back on what you spend, do it.
Live Within Your Means
If you make £1000 a month, spend no more than £1000 a month. If you’re spending more than you earn you’re going to end up in trouble. Live within your means and you can live. Live by spending more than you have and you’ll add a whole heap of stress and tension to your life.
Are you able to grow your own food? So many people have chickens so they can have fresh eggs. Plant your own vegetables. Make use of the fruit trees at the bottom of the garden to make pies, crumbles and jam. When you can harness your own land to create your own food, your shopping bills will reduce, helping you to live on one income.
Could you live in a smaller house? You might not want to but ask yourself if you could. This will likely reduce the mortgage payments, the bills to heat and light the home, the monthly council tax payments. Downsizing isn’t for everyone but if one of you is stopping work, the money the other one earns needs to suddenly cover everything. If it cannot do that, moving house might be a solution.
For the things you do need to buy, shop around. If you’ve stopped work because you’re having a baby, find the best price on nappies. Store cupboard basics like pasta and sauces are pretty much identical at different stores but are somehow completely different prices. Make sure you find the best place to gain maximum reductions on your shopping. For larger purchases, a quick search online can confirm if you’re paying the cheapest price.
You must Sacrifice
You might love the gym but what else could you do with that £40 a month? Go and run in the park instead. You might love having access to the sports channels but is the £35 a month worth it? Maybe you love a Starbucks coffee on your lunch break? That could be another £15 a week. In these three examples we’ve identified £90 a month which could potentially be saved. Where could that be better used when you’re surviving on one income? When you look at where you spend your money you can see where you’re save your money.
Don’t stop saving because you’re not a one income family. You might need that emergency fund now more than ever. You’ll need a bigger safety net if the employed one of you was to lose their job. Look at what you have leftover after your monthly spending and put a percentage of that into your savings account. Focus this saving and be wise with your rainy day fund.
It is possible to live on one income, you just have to be sensible and think about what you’re doing. You’re likely to have a lot less expendable income so being wise with your purchasing is paramount. Whilst it can be scary to become a one income family, it’s certainly not impossible.