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The One Income Life: The Chopping Block

What would you do with an extra 40 hours per week? Homeschool your children? Devote more time to getting off grid by planting a larger garden? Canning more, or spending more time learning skills you need to survive? Volunteer, care for your extended family, or help others?

Whatever the reason, for many couples, finding a way to live on one income has some major advantages. I know what you are thinking – you can’t afford it because you need both incomes. But maybe you don’t need as much as you think you do. Here are some steps to get you on the path to financial independence and also reclaim some of the time you, as a couple, are using to do things that are more important than that 9-5 job.

Reduce Expenses

Getting your household spending down to a more manageable level is mission number one! It will take dedication, cooperation, and the ability to really know what matters to your family and what doesn’t. What is more important, your weekly take-out night, or prepping for the future? Seeing a movie in the theatre, or homeschooling your kids? Sometimes budgeting is all about those hard choices. Leave no stone unturned and get ruthless with your cuts.

If you do not even know how much you spend where, then track your expenses for one month first. There are some things you should never cut (though shopping around can probably find you good deals), including:

Reducing expenses is the first big step to living off of one income. It can be a daunting process, but keep at it and know that every little bit helps. Get the whole family on board, and your kids may even have some ideas. Stay motivated, and once you get done with the chopping block, you can start laying out some building blocks!

(Stay tuned for more articles in this series of “The One-Income Life”)