This post is all about what we did to become a one income family and the pros and cons of it.
It is no secret that back in February I lost my job and our family went from having two incomes to one. The difference with it was that we knew about it long before it actually happened which gave us a head start and we were able to prepare for it and plan appropriately.
Here are some of the things we thought about and did before going down to a one income family:
- Unsure if it is even doable? Reevaluate your budget and try a trial run – Live off one income for a while and see if it is even doable.
- Pay off debt before hand – One less thing to deal with when you have limited funds.
- Prepare for the expected and anticipate the unexpected – we had our emergency fund and also made funds for painting the house, duck house materials, magazine subscriptions, garden needs, along with many others.
- Cut back on wants – coffee, dinners out, movies, clothes, trips, etc.
- Be happy where you are with what you have – OR – downsize /move to fit the needs of your budget – this can be for cars, house, or area that you live.
- Figure out what the benefit of it would be – We actually have 3 benefits from only having one income at the moment, 1) our daughters homeschool, with me being the main teacher of our daughter, not working allows me more time to make plans for her schooling. 2) I was burned out from my traditional job and wanted to try a new direction. 3) Taxes. I know someone out there is probably thinking I am crazy, but my husbands job pays well (Thank you Lord) enough right now that if I were working our tax bill would much higher and in turn would make it so we would have less post tax income. I personally think that it is sad that the government is set up in a way that it seems to penalize you for doing well, but that’s how it is, now I will get off my soap box…
- Everyone needs to be on the same page – Not just mom and dad, but the kids as well. They need to understand what is going on.
- If you are the one to stay home, remember you are equally important as the one going to work – I had an enormous amount of guilt for weeks after I stopped working. It was actually my husband that noticed it and reinforced that I was just as valuable because I was keeping the house and family running smoothly.
- It doesn’t need to last forever – needs change with time.
- Be realistic – It’s not going to be all rainbows and unicorns. It will be hard and sometimes extremely frustrating. But totally worth it in the end if it is right for your family.
Pros to a one income family:
The pro’s….ahh. I don’t have to do a job that I (dare say) didn’t like anymore. That in itself has changed our lives dramatically. No longer am I complaining about my job or the innumerable idiotic things that were happening at it. The stress is gone. I no longer have to follow a set schedule leaving me tired because I didn’t sleep. I am happy! That in itself are so totally worth it, at least for me. For others, maybe not. I think that just shows how bad it was getting. The other pros are being totally available for my daughter, being able to spend more time on projects (usually related to homeschool). Feeling like I am actually doing something other then just sitting on a computer all day….as I sit on a computer to write this post – oh how life is funny!
I guess when it really comes down to it, it really is about my happiness. My husband has even made the comment that I seem like a different person because the stress and exhaustion are gone. In the long run I think it was the best for our family and my relationship with my husband.
Cons of a one income family:
We have always had a budget, but with only my husband working we are on an even tighter budget. Anything extra that comes up we both sit and talk about it. Sometimes we agree – sometimes not. And that’s ok.
There are times that the little green monster kicks in and the want for a bigger house or land or a new car seems almost – ALMOST – worth going back to a 9-5 grindstone. And it would be wonderful to have dinner out weekly and a vacation to a warmer climate – especially in the winter – but during those times I really reflect on why we decided to stay with one income. In the end this is the right path for our family at this moment.
Have a great day!