Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Living On One Income

In August 2015 I officially left my job after Maternity Leave to be a stay at home parent, especially because at that time I had another little one on the way. Now a family of 4 we have been living on one modest income for over a year now and I feel a sense of relief that we have accomplished it.


Living on one income is not easy though!

As a family, we had to make sure that the numbers added up for me to be able to stay at home. This meant that all our necessity outgoings came to less than our income. So before you begin, ask yourself, Do you spend more than you earn?

Here are a few tips on how we have been managing it so far.

1. Track Spending
Every week I check our online bank statement to see what money has come out and put it into the household spreadsheet. This allows me to see exactly where every single penny is going. With some calculations already inserted into the spreadsheet as formula's, it works everything out so we have a figure at the end and fingers crossed it is in the green.

2. Staying Out Of Debt
We have no debts. We do have a credit card but it is to gain cashback on purchases so we make a small amount back. Every month the previous month's purchases come out automatically as a direct debit so we would not get into debt.

3. Make A Meal Plan
I have been making meal plans for a while now and I can't remember what life was like before doing them, except I spent a lot per week and wasted food. By having a list when going into the supermarket or doing my shop online means I am only buying what I need. It also cuts out time spent in the shop meaning I am less stressed.

4. Why Pay FULL Price When You Might Not Have To.
Before going shopping I will have a quick look online to see if there are any printable vouchers that I could possibly use. These are usually money off vouchers for certain products. I have also been using supermarket cashback apps that allow me to get money back from buying specific products. (Checkout Smart and Shopitize). Then lastly if I am purchasing something online I would google to see if there are any promotional codes that I could use, and usually, I do find one. This actually saves me quite a bit when added together.

5. Look For The Best Deal
Every year we will look to see whether we are getting the best deal with things like house insurance, internet/phone, car insurance, etc and if not we will look at changing it over. By doing this it could save us into the triple figures.

6. Budget
Lastly, we try to budget for those expenses that are not living costs, such as Birthdays, Valentines Day, Easter, Date Nights, Going Out, Holiday etc. By trying to budget these into the monthly expenses we can see if we really can afford to do certain things such as having a holiday or going out to the cinema. By doing this I can really take control of our finances for the year.

 So there you have it. These are only a few ways in how we have been managing to live on one income, and I understand not everyone will be able to do this. It is difficult and budgeting has kind of taken over my life, but it is a great experience being a stay at home mum.

Are You A Stay At Home Parent?
Do You Live On One Income?
How Are You Finding It?

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