In 2011, I was a Project Manager overseeing 650 projects nationwide for large companies like Target, Dollar General, AutoZone, Kohl’s, and many more. I loved my job. I loved my career and I had worked hard to develop an amazing relationship with my clients and had earn the reputation of being “the girl that will get it done” within my company.
Then, on January 11, 2012, I left it all behind. I knew the moment they threw that 8lb 11oz screaming baby boy on my chest that I was no longer the most sought after PM, I was now Mommy.
But the reality of going from two incomes to one is hard and honestly, it wouldn’t have happened without some careful planning. So, how to go from two incomes to one?
Save, Save, and Save Some More
I know, it’s obvious that you need and should save money before jumping ship from two incomes to one, but the reality is that you should always be saving money. You need to develop the habit of paying yourself first. It can be as simple as starting the $5 savings plan, automating your planned savings, or even getting more creative and finding unique ways to save even more money. Just make sure you’re putting it away for a rainy day.
Make the Switch before You Jump
One of the best things that my husband and I did before I jumped shipped and left my job behind for changing diapers non-stop, was that we started living off just his income before I quit. We started automatically saving my paychecks in our savings account and just used his money to live off of. It wasn’t an easy transition but by doing it before my paychecks stopped helped us develop our budget more realistically and we were able to cut costs before they became a problem.
Yep, you knew this one was coming. If you aren’t already living life by a budget, you should be and it will be even more imperative that you know where your money is going every month once you’re on only one income. Don’t wait until after you jump ship to start budgeting. Do it now.
You don’t have to make it complicated, set up a simple budget and stick to it. The more you practice doing this before you switch to living on one income, the easier the transition will be.
Stop the Debt Train
Okay, so I’m a crazy debt-free person. My husband and I have paid off over $55,000 in debt in 2 years and are currently on track to have our mortgage paid off in another 2 years. I can honestly tell you that if we kept sinking ourselves further and further into debt after I left my PM job that we wouldn’t be able to afford life’s little hiccups.
Seriously, if we were still using credit cards to purchase things, we’d be in hot water. That’s why I’m all for going debt-free and if you’re wanting to make the switch from two incomes to one, I highly encourage you to stop accumulating new debt and to work hard at dumping the debt you currently have. It’ll make budgeting easier, give you more peace at night, and will free up your cash for more important things.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to make the transition from two incomes to one easier. The best thing that you can do right now is to save, plan and prepare, and dump as much debt as you can.
What advice can you give to someone looking to make the switch from two incomes to one?
We are currently a one income house ( just hubby and me right now) living on $40,000/yr and throwing the rest of his paychecks at student loan debt.
So even though he makes a good income, we’re only living on part of it right now, which feels in many ways like going from two paychecks to only one!
As you can imagine money is rather tight and I’m trying to come up with creative ways to generate side income or save money on expenses.
I’m a firm believer in the value of the old-fashioned homemaker. That’s exactly what she was – a home maker – and her job was to make a house into a loving, comfortable, pleasant place to be.
Going from two incomes to one so that you can act in a support role to your husband and/or raise children is a wonderful choice.
My husband is thrilled to have a well-cared for house, new and creative meals, real food for lunch, and a happy house. Everyone is happy, and I encourage everyone to just give it a try!
Meal planning was our biggest key! I didn’t realize how many times we at out for lunch as well as a few dinners!! Now we eat according to the weekly sales at the grocery store which helps with meal planning plus prep and freeze more meals to be used on our busy days!! Oh and the amount of money we save on clothes I use to buy for work has helped a ton. Adding it up clothes, food, transportation and child care equaled same as me staying home and raising our children myself!!
Lisa Reigel says
Limit meals out. Make a weekly meal menu & grocery list. Stick to what’s on the list. Limit spending. Very seldom do I buy something if it’s not on sale/have coupon. Exceptions are school related
We also saved my paycheck while we were both working. That is my best advice. Not only did it give us a chance to be certain we could do it on one income but it was great knowing we had saved all of that money. It was there in case things got ugly, but since we were careful we’ve never really needed it. I’ve been at home now for over 10 years and my husbands income has increased greatly over that time. We are very lucky (and he is a super fantastic employee) and now that my youngest is almost in school full time I am starting to think about a super part-time job. But I will have to admit we are all a little spoiled around here with me at home :).
Meal plan and leave ways to save on groceries including using coupons and rebates apps
Louise Benedito says
Shop & resale at consignment events. I buy all my small kids second hand then resell them again when they’ve grown out of them.
Louise Benedito says
*Small kids CLOTHES are second hand.