Updated January 14, 2017
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live only off of 50% of your income? Do you think your life would be easier or nicer? Do you want to be a stay at home parent but don't know if you can afford it? Maybe you want to quit your job and, therefore, want to lower your expenses…
Living off of one income or 50% of our income is a big goal of ours that we finally reached last year. We currently live off of less than 50% of our total monthly income. The other half goes towards extra debt payments. It does help that we have increased our income from our main jobs by a significant amount, and also that we make so much in extra income now.
Anyways, back to the main topic, we've come a long way from where we used to be. When we first moved out when we were young, we were definitely struggling.
It wasn't horrible, we just had no spending and saving priorities. We made just enough for expenses and not a penny more. And our expenses were pretty low. I think the house we rented was $350 per month.
We depended on each paycheck. We probably could've worked more, but we each were already working full-time and going to school. We weren't exactly living paycheck to paycheck, but it sure felt like it. Living off of one income seemed impossible back then. I do realize that living off of one income or 50% of your income is not possible for everyone also.
Living off of half of our income is possible for many reasons. We are pretty safe with our money. We still have fun and spend money, but we have consistently been trying to increase our income, and this is what has made living off of 50% of our income possible. One tip that I do have is to not sacrifice EVERYTHING in life in order to become a one income household. What you sacrifice should be sustainable into the future.
There are many reasons why a person might want to live off 50% of their income:
- To make life easier. This is a given. If you can live off of half your income, then at least some of your financial stresses will disappear. You won't have the overwhelming feeling of not knowing whether or not you can pay your bills.
- To prepare for a baby. Maybe you or your husband or wife want to stay home after you have a baby. Preparing now and saving money for the future can be very helpful for when you do become a one income household.
- To retire early. This is our main reason for why we want to increase our income and save more. Being able to retire relatively young is a dream of ours.
- To prepare for a layoff, job loss, etc. If you're already living off one 50% of your income, then it would be much easier to prepare for something bad that might happen.
If I ever do make the leap into self employment, we definitely want to continue living on only one income. Both of our jobs would not bring in a steady and 100% reliable income, as he is in sales. This just gives us even more motivation! There are many things that a person can do in order to become a one income household or to live off of 50% of their income. I've outlined some examples below:
Look at your overall spending
Everyone in the family should be on the same page. Where should your spending be for different categories? Everyone should be aware and understand.
Also, try and look at where you might be able to cut back. An area that we are constantly working on is our food budget. We spend way too much on food. We could probably live on way less than 50% if we spent what the average 2 person household spends on food in a month.
Here are some things you may want to check out if you are trying to lower your budget.
- If you are looking for a cheap cell phone service, check out Republic Wireless. Republic Wireless is a service I’ve been using for over one year now, and I’m still happy with the service. They have monthly cell phone plans as low as $15 per month. Read Saving Over $2,000 A Year With Republic Wireless Review.
- Negotiate any bills that you have such as phone, internet, etc.
- Use a programmable thermostat so that you can heat and cool your home efficiently and more affordably.
- Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free $10 gift card bonus to Macys, Walmart, Target, or Kohls!
- Eliminate your cable bill. Buy a digital antenna (this is the exact one we have) and enjoy free TV – this is what we do!
- If you have trouble eating at home, then try out $5 Meal Plan. They send meal plans directly to your email. It's a service that I personally use and me and my husband love it!
- Refinance your student loans. I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing. You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using Credible which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
Try not to Keep up with the Joneses
If you are trying to live on only one income, then keeping up with the Joneses might not be possible. It's most likely not a good idea also.
Live for what makes you happy, not what you think makes others happy.
I highly recommend that you check out Personal Capital (a free service) if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better as it allows you to gain control of your investment and retirement accounts, whereas Mint.com does not. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation, your cash flow, detailed graphs, and more. You can connect accounts such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more, and it is FREE.
Pay off debt
If your debt is gone, then this will greatly decrease the amount that you need in order to pay your bills and living each month. Having that weight off your shoulders when you're trying to become a one income household is most likely a lifesaver.
Related tip: I recommend looking into Digit if you want to trick yourself into saving more money. Digit is a FREE service that looks at your spending and transfers money to a savings account for you. Digit makes everything easy so that you can start saving money with very little effort.
Increase your income
Of course, some things in this area cannot be done forever.
If the only way that you can be a one income household is if you work 90 hours a week for the rest of your life and never see daylight, then this might not be the best idea for you. You should still have fun and enjoy life! However, if you can find other ways to increase your income, then do it. This could include asking for that much needed raise that you deserve, finding a side gig such as tutoring or finding a new job that pays better and suits you well.
Some side gigs you may be interested in may include:
- Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I made over $320,000 in 2015 by blogging and will make more than that in 2016. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
- Survey companies I recommend include Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, American Consumer Opinion, Clear Voice Surveys, VIP Voice, Product Report Card, Prize Rebel, Survey Club, YouGov, ProOpinion, Pinecone Research, Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, SaySo4Profit, PanelBucks, PaidSurveys, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
- InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free just for signing up!
- There are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but you should always start sooner rather than later. If you are looking for a good investing platform, I recommend Motif. Motif Investing allows individuals to invest affordably. This approachable investing platform makes it easy to buy a portfolio of up to 30 stocks, bonds or ETFs for just $9.95 total commission. Plus, you will receive up to $150 for FREE when you use Motif Investing when you sign up under my link.
- Become an Uber or Lyft driver – Spending your spare time by driving others around can be a great money maker. Read more about this in my post – How To Become An Uber Or Lyft Driver. Click here to join Uber and start making money ASAP.
- Swagbucks allows me to occasionally earn Amazon gift cards with very little work. Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “Swagbucks” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. You’ll receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up today!
- Another one you may be interested in related to this one is Nielsen Digital Voice. Digital Voice is a part of Nielsen, which I'm sure you've heard of. All you have to do is surf the web and you may be able to start earning money.
- One company I recommend for virtual assistant work is UserTesting. This website pays you to test websites and they pay fairly well.
- The many other side jobs listed in my post Ways To Make An Extra $1,000 A Month which include babysitting, mowing lawns, and more.
- 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money
- 10 Ways To Make Money Online From The Comfort of Your Home
- 10 Things I’ve Done To Make Extra Money
- How I Earned Over $300,000 In 2015 Blogging
Are you a one income household? If not, what percent of your income do you live off of? What goals are you trying to reach by spending less than what you earn?
If you are new here, I suggest you read my monthly income blogging reports where I show you how I earn over $70,000 a month online.
Join the free Master Your Money course!
Join the free email course and finally learn how to manage your money better, pay off debt, save more money, and reach financial freedom.