Whether it’s because your spouse needs to stay at home to care for a new child or you aren’t able to work yourself, transitioning from two incomes to one is always a challenge. However, it isn’t impossible. All it takes is to make some lifestyle and budget changes that might not be as difficult as you might think. Let’s go over some tips that should make the transition a little easier.
Create a New Budget
The first thing you need to do even before you make any changes is to go over your household budget. Think about what your new income level will be and if there will be any additional expenses. For example, if either you or your spouse will no longer be working, you might not have to budget as much for fuel or professional clothing that would be worn in an office, but you will also have to cut down on going out for meals or seeing movies in the theater. You’ll have to make sacrifices, even if some changes might make things easier. Think about all the things that will ultimately change, and come up with a budget that will still allow you to live comfortably even if you have to go without a few things for now.
Build an Emergency Fund
If you have the chance to do so, build an emergency fund while both you and your spouse are still working. All families should have some money set aside for emergencies, but it will be much more crucial when you’re a single-income household. Set aside a little bit of money whenever you can, and keep it around for when emergencies happen.
Learn to Do More At Home
Since you’ll have a smaller income, you won’t have as much money to go out to eat or replace something that you broke. You’ll have to be more self-sufficient when it comes to cooking, making repairs, cleaning, or anything else that you’ll need to do around the house. You can save a lot of money by cooking your own meals or making basic repairs at home.
Do a Trial Run
If you have a little bit of time before you transition to only having one income, do a short trial run to make sure that you can still live comfortably. Set aside only as much money that you will be earning from your one income, and try to live entirely on that for a month. You might find that it’s easier than you think, or you might find that it’s a lot harder than you expect, but you might learn a few tricks of your own that you can use when your income is reduced.