How To Afford to Be a Single Income Family

Making the decision to become a single income family is a big one. You will essentially be losing half of your income, which can have a huge effect on the family finances. In the 1950’s and before it was a very common thing to have only a single income family. Then as times changed, it became the norm for both parents to work outside of the home. This trend is slowing down and people are realizing that single income families can be just as happy as a dual income family.

Some things to consider before making the decision to live on  a single income are things like does one person make enough to pay the monthly necessities? Will there be enough money to pay for any medical emergencies?

  • The first step is to plan out a monthly budget. A single income family may need to cut out a lot of the extra things that may have been in the budget. Things like eating out, cable TV, clothing expenses and any other extras.
  • A single family income does not have to leave the family living like paupers. Making dinners from scratch at home saves a lot of money. Grocery shopping only once every two weeks or so, can save money on gas. Buying in bulk when possible cuts costs dramatically. Shopping the sales and loading up on staples when they are at their lowest prices is a great idea.
  • Choosing generic brands when possible is another great way to save on the grocery bill. Generic foods are significantly cheaper, and most taste the same as the more expensive brands.
  • With only one parent going to work, it may be possible to cut down to one vehicle. This can save a lot of money on auto insurance and a monthly car payment. If one car is not possible that is o.k. You can still save money on gas with only the working parent driving every day. The parent that is not working needs to learn to plan errands for one trip when possible.
  • Learning to cut utility costs is very helpful for single income families.  Only using utilities when necessary and running full loads in the washer or dishwasher can cut down the power and water bills.
  • If daycare was an expense while the family had dual income that should be able to be cut out as well. Daycare is a leading factor in choosing to go down to a single income household.

The choice to become to a single income may be distressing at first. It can be done, and it can be wonderful. Time is a precious commodity and should not be wasted in the chase for the mighty dollar. Enjoying family is the most important thing and should be treated as such.


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