From Two Incomes to Frugal Living

Many families start living a frugal lifestyle because one partner wants to stay at home with the kids. If you are going from a two-income household to one, you may be afraid of what all has to be done to live frugally. Below are several steps you can take to make the transition easier.

1. Start with cutting down your debt. Credit cards have to go. They are way too tempting to have around when you are trying to cut back on spending. Cutting your debt is the easiest way to find extra money in your budget. It will take a while but is worth it.

2. Look at what is necessary. For example, do you really need to pay a water service for a water softener when they are relatively cheap through a home improvement store? For less than one year’s rental on a softener unit, you can purchase one and cut the rental from your monthly bills.

3. Be frugal in your decisions. You are looking to keep your household running smoothly without having to go to work. Work with your partner to make a list of financial priorities. Make plans for the future.

4. Take on extra work. If you are highly skilled, you will probably be able to find some way to add to the family income while staying at home. Whether it is crafts that you sell locally, babysitting or catering, you can do things that you enjoy and make a little extra money for the budget.

5. Have an emergency fund. When only one person works, if they are injured or have an accident, chances are that nothing will be coming in. If you are a stay-at-home mom and become ill or hurt, you will need to have someone watch your children. An emergency fund helps cushion your budget from emergencies. You should have at least three months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund. That way, when things go wrong, your budget doesn’t suffer.

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