Tips to Live on One Income

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full Disclaimer here.

Is your family living on one income? Do you want or need to learn how? There are so many reasons for couples and families to live on one income. Whether your reason is to save more, to pursue a dream, to have one person stay at home, or because one person simply cannot work, there IS a way to make it work. Today I want to share some practical tips on how to transition your family from two incomes to one.

It hasn’t always been a desire of mine to be a stay-at-home mom, but once I got married, I just knew I didn’t want anyone raising my children but me and my husband. Thankfully, my husband felt the same way.


Aaron and I had been married 5 short months when we got pregnant with our daughter. You hear about a lot of people going down to one income after having a baby so that the mom can stay home, or living on one income as they prepare for the baby to save the other income, but we felt I needed to leave my job before I even got pregnant. I had been out of work over a month when we found out we were expecting. We had the entire duration of my pregnancy to practice living on one income.


My daughter, Evelyn, will be one next month and I’m still a stay-at-home mom and we’re still doing well. I’d like to share some of our tips that have helped us be successful and some things you can do if you’re planning to transition to one income.


Before we get into the tips and tricks, I’d like to mention that our only debt is our mortgage on our home, we went on a family vacation this year, we have no credit card debt (if you want to learn a little more about how we manage our credit cards please read Credit Cards: Rule or Be Ruled), and we are very good about saving our money.


I say all that to let you know that we’re not living a strapped, penny pinching life. We’re budgeting our money and taking care of our family and our futures. Aaron wasn’t handed a six figure salary right out of school. Neither of us have a college degree. I want you to realize Aaron works hard at one job, and that’s our income. If we can do it, you can do it.


Tips to Live on One Income


Reasonable and Easily Implemented:


  • Get a programmable thermostat. We’re starting with something very easy here. This will allow you to heat and cool your house more efficiently instead of constantly cranking the AC up or down. This is huge for us since we live in the Texas heat.
  • Switch to generic. If you’re like me, you’re drawn to good packaging. I will spend more money to buy the name brand of something just because it looks better than the generic brand that has the exact same ingredients! This is something you can quickly and easily change to save money left and right.
  • Completely eliminate your cable bill. You don’t need it. But if you must watch some form of TV (we honestly don’t), you can buy a digital antenna and enjoy free TV.
  • Challenge yourself to kick an old habit. Most people have something they’re spending money on that they don’t have to. Whether it’s drinking sodas and overpriced coffees or eating out too much, odds are, you can replace it with something cheaper (and healthier).


Save/Earn More Money:


  • Sign up for a website like Ebates and get cash back for your online spending. Everyone shops online to some degree these days. You might as well get cash back for doing it!
  • Use Digit to help you begin saving without even thinking about it. You can sign up and try Digit for 100 days for FREE. It’s such a simple way to start saving if you’re not, or challenge yourself to save more than you already are.
  • Use Swagbucks to earn gift cards for doing your normal online activities. They have opportunities to earn swagbucks (the points you earn on their site) for taking surveys and watching videos. You have time for this now that you eliminated your cable TV!
  • Another way to make extra money is through User Testing. You can sign up and get paid to just give your feedback as an online user.

Find Inexpensive Replacements:


  • Curb your movie theatre popcorn addiction and get movies from Redbox once they have landed. It’s the same movie if you wait to watch it at home.
  • If you must go the theatre, at least bring your own candy. But don’t tell them I told you to…
  • Buy in bulk what you can get a better deal on in larger quantities. This seems counterproductive at first because you’re initially spending more money, but if you know you will use all that you buy, you’re saving in the long run.
  • Set aside your pride and cancel your gym membership. Even if you workout, you can create an at home gym that will save you hundreds down the road. We did this and it was quite cheap to put together considering a lot of the equipment came through gifts. Got a birthday coming up?
  • Get creative with your date nights/outings. Family game night anyone? You can save a lot of money by not constantly needing to spend to have a good time. There are always free events going on. You just have to look for them.


That’s all for now. I hope this list helps you transition to one income or at least helps you realize the many ways you can get creative to make it happen! Thanks for reading!

What are your tips to live on one income?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *