Making ends meet is never easy, and now more than ever, many families have to rely on a single income. This could be from the unexpected loss of a job, or one parent choosing to stay home to look after children.
Whatever the reason for living on one income, there are ways to not only survive, but to thrive. Here are tips to thrive for single-income families.
Set A Budget
The best way to gain control of your finances is to set a budget. Knowing your budget will help guide you as to what you can and can’t spend each month. It helps you determine what you can afford, and where you need to cut back.
There are some amazing apps and sites you can use to create and track your budget each month. Start by writing down your budget, and then break down spending into different categories. This will be a great guide on how you spend and save each month.
Cut Down Expenses
Some expenses are unavoidable, such as rent, utilities, and transport. However, some expenses are unnecessary, and by cutting these out, or even lowering them, you will have extra money each month.
One area to cut down is cable and eating out. You could find a cheaper streaming service to use instead, and cook meals at home rather than eating out every week.
You could also cut out gym memberships and work out at home instead! Look out for these unnecessary expenses and cut down where possible.
Live Within Your Means
This is so important. You need to be honest with yourself about what you can and what you can’t afford. Avoid buying extravagant items such as label clothing or purchasing an expensive car instead of an affordable one.
Importantly, try to avoid racking up debt on your credit card, because if you lose your one source of income, you will not be able to pay off your debts.
Allow for some spending on your budget, and stick to this figure.
Couponing is something we should all be doing! You can save so much money by using coupons to do your grocery shopping, and sometimes this saving could be the same as what you would be earning working a part-time job from home.
If you have the time, and the will to do so, you could go into extreme couponing, and hardly pay anything for your shopping!
Unfortunately, living on a single income as a family will probably mean that you have to make some sacrifices. You might have to say no to dinner with friends every now and then, and sacrifice the things you want to do for the things you need.
It might be difficult to say no, but it is best for your family and your finances, and you could even have a little saving fund set aside that you and your partner use once a month to go out for a nice dinner. It’s all about balance and only spending what you can afford.