We have been a one income family for over 3 years now. Before that I had a part time child care position at our church and prior to that I worked retail. I was happy when my husband and I decided that I would exclusively stay at home with the kids. At the time I was 5 months pregnant with Madi and picking up the kiddos at the church was getting increasingly difficult. A short time after Madi was born I toyed with the idea of getting a part time job again. But the LORD lead me to continue to devote 100% to my family and my home.
And its one of the best decision we have ever made.
I think every family can do it given the right set of tools.
What tools are needed to not only survive but thrive on one income you ask? Well here's my thoughts.
Let me preface this by saying the method of living on one income when you are a family of more then two, so a Dad, a Mom and child(ren) works best when you are following Jesus, and by following Jesus you are living or trying to live biblical. So you accept and embrace the roles GOD has defined for us. Real Men and Real woman are the ones who do best and thrive on one income (aside from the wealthy of course). So the tools that have worked for us-
1. Humility. You must humble yourself to let go of all the things that you think life should look like and hand it over to God. Be humble and ask for HIS help. You can't do it on your own. Staying at home day in and out with your children is trying at the very least and you can't do it without HIS help, period.
2. Get Organized. Not just financially, but through out your home. Recently we made about $900 on EBay from selling stuff that we discovered by simple organization of our stuff! There are tons and tons of great advice and help online to get you organized. If you need links let me know!
3. You have to be Disciplined! We could have very easily taken the earnings off EBay and bought any number of things we wanted. But instead we are saving it for things we need. And you have to be disciplined enough to say no to the things you want and smart enough to know the difference between things your need and things you want.
4. Wise. You have to be prudent and seek wise counsel not only from GOD but from others who you know have their stuff together when it comes to finances. Don't seek advice about how to structure your budget from a working parent of a two income household who is drowning in credit card debt! Go to someone who's been there where you are now, perhaps a fellow member of your church, or perhaps it your own Mom!
5. You must be deliberate, not hasty. When it comes to living on one income this is important. You cannot make hasty decisions when it comes to your money or your time. Talk it over before you buy anything or schedule anything. Once you work on a budget, your not just done with it. Its a continued process, just like your schedule. Your time must be handled carefully also. You may make the mistake of thinking because you will now be staying home, you'll have more time..trust me that couldn't be farthest from the truth. So consider your time spent carefully. Before you schedule that dance class for your daughter on a whim look carefully at what time of the day it falls...is it right around dinner time? Husband decides on a dime to have appetizers with the buddies after work without talking it over with you first? Things like that can really through a wrench in your schedule.
6. Full disclosure. Talk about everything with your spouse, everything. Even the lunch date you have with your girlfriends or the cute shirt you saw and thought about buying. Full and open disclosure of every cent spent is necessary when you are first starting out. Because see most people who have two incomes sometimes spend extra without really talking about it with their spouse simply because they think they can cover it with their income.
7. Stop being a consumer! Start being a producer! You must turn away from the old ways of figuring out how to get more stuff and start figuring out how to produce a meaningful and lasting legacy for your children and YES it can be done on ONE income. There are so many frugal ways to buy the stuff you need and even the occasional thing you want in a frugal manner where you don't have to break the budget and you will actually get ahead more so on one income then when there was two!
8. And this may be the most important yet the hardest one to do. Be CONTENT. Stop comparing your house to the one down the street. Stop wishing your had a newer car, or nicer clothes or a new pair of shoes. Just be content in whatever situation you have and live and make the most of it. Once you start doing that and maybe even trying to give some of it away you'll find that living on one income is so easy!
Oh and since you will be staying at home now...consider homeschooling those kiddos of yours huh?:) Okay did I go to far?? :)
Okay next Friday Im posting more about transitioning from a two income to a one income household. Come back y'all!