Adjusting to life on one income after the birth of a baby, an illness where one partner can no longer work, death of a partner or a divorce can come as a huge shock. For couples acustomed to living on two incomes or in the case of once again being single the shock is just the same. Keeping track of spending can seem a daunting task let alone coming up with ways to make dramatic cuts. In the case of couples at least you have someone to discuss it with. Newly singles will have to rely on family or friends to advise – that is if you want to discuss your private financial affairs with them! Don’t let the big picture or the big sums put you off. Go to my favourite ebook superstore cbdeluxe there is a wealth of information there. I found myself alone again after my divorce many years ago and the net was not available then. I found the best way to handle the changes was with small manageable steps.
Set your priorities. Don’t look at a budget as what you can’t have, view it as a priority planner. Write down all your expenses like home loan repayments or rent, car payments and registration, childcare (if you have children) and utility bills. The biggest mistake you can make is not developing a realistic budget and sticking to it. Knowing how much your fixed expenses are, you will then know how to allocate your remaining income to other areas such as clothing, furniture, outings etc. Keep the money for fixed expenses in a separate untouchable account if you need that discipline. Look at other regular expenses such as costly phone bills, gym memberships that are not being used. What are you spending on work days, like either both of you or just one buying coffee a day ($3) and lunch ($10) that’s $130 a week – 48 weeks a year is $6240.
The car is one of the biggest areas where you can save. – In the case of a couple – try to do without the second family car or if single maybe sell the car and try using public transport if possible. Another way for couples (planning to have a baby say) is to plan ahead. If you are to take a year off try to make excess payments on your home loan to cover the required 12 month payments. In the case of illness or widowhood refinancing the family home by extending for a longer period is a short term option. Downsizing is another option too. Just remember to make sure your loan works for you and is competitive. Know your benefits too. While you are raising a family and not working full time you may be entitled to Government assistance. Again singles also should check and see what is available to them in the way of Government assistance.
Don’t forget yourself or selves in all of these changes. Some where along the line put aside an amount that you, or you and your partner can spend on whatever you like. It’s important to be able to have spending money that you don’t have to justify to anyone, even yourself. The amount doesn’t have to be large – even $50 a month! It could go on having your nails done – or lunch with the “girls” whatever is going to make you feel good. Finally in the case of mother’s taking time out to have a baby, try to spend smarter. Use second-hand shops – great for cheap toys, clothes and equipment. Set up a babysitting pool with other parents in your area and save on expense baby sitting fees. Entertain more at home with casual bbq”s. Family picnics – walks, trips to the beach, all great fun! Most of all check on the net for local activities in your area. You can exist on one income – I’ve been doing it for years successfully! Good luck.
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