One income family...

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1aBABY's picture
Joined: 12/05/06
Posts: 474
One income family...

We are thinking about becoming a one income family and wanted to get some advice, thoughts, guidence from those of you who are already in that situation.

This is why we are concidering it:
It's going to cost us anywhere from $14,000 to $24,500 per year just in child care/preschool once this baby is born. If we find an in-home child care for the baby it will be on the lower end and if we put her where Josh is currently it will be the higher. The cost is outrageous around here!

If we did this, Greg would stay at home with the kids and Josh would go back to the preschool where my MIL teaches, so there would be no cost to us (because she pays for it). He also has an oportunity to get a part time job working some nights and weekends that would probably bring in close to $20,000/per year. Of course we would need to cut out some of our spending and really stick to a budget, but is it worth it? It also scares me to rely on one income godforbid something happen and I lost my job, what would we do? That is highly unlikely as my job is very steady and reliable, but you just never know.

How do you make it work? What advice can you give me?

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

I'll let you know soon, my husband is quitting his job today! LOL

Our situation is a little different...he is quitting to finish school, so hopefully it will only be around 7-9 months that we will be living on one income. Also, we are taking some school loans, which give us a little bit of money for living expenses above just paying for tuition and books. But we currently pay $24,000 a year for day care, and it is going up next year, plus Sophia has to wear uniforms starting in August so we have to buy those (not the generic ones, but the school's specific monogrammed uniforms). I'm definitely nervous about it!

They say you save money on wardrobe (which I would agree with if you had to dress up at the job you quit), gas (depending on how long your commute was) and spending money. I'm not sure I agree with the spending money one because I had a really hard time NOT spending money when I was at home on maternity leave. I was bored to death. So I think part of it will have to do with your husband's personality, and if he can find ways to entertain himself and the kids without spending money. If so, I think it can be done. It would be great if he could get that part time job bringing in some money without having to utilize day care. I think that is the ideal situation, although it can sometimes put a strain on your marriage because you are often giving up time that you two would see each other.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

:lurk:
We are a one income family, my husband stays home with the kids.

When figuring out the benefits of staying home, don't just calculate the daycare savings, you have to calculate the lifestyle savings too. We don't eat out a lot because my husband is always available to grocery shop and cook dinner. My husband's wardrobe cost is minimal compared to if he had an outside job. He doesn't eat lunch out (like he did when he was working).

My family is less chaotic than if he were working, especially compared to my sister. Many times she's called me at 9pm saying she's on her way to the grocery store so they have food for lunch the next day. They can have playdates, go to parks, etc. My sister's kids are always at school or daycare. They miss their parents, they miss their house.

For us, it's totally worth it. The only think I would change is ME staying home instead of my husband (we could not live on his income alone). I get jealous and resentful of his time home, but I know my kids are better off having a parent stay home, so it's worth it to me.

Lavender444's picture
Joined: 03/27/03
Posts: 1944

We're a one income family, but our situitation is different so I don't fill qualified to give out advice on ways to save, other than we live well below our means (most of the time). But I can tell you I worry about my husband lossing his job too. it is extremely unlikely, since he holds a very important position within his company, but for my peace of mind I continue to be employeed. I'm very lucky that my manager at the hospital works with me. I work 4 hours a week. Just enough to keep my foot in the door and keep my licence active. But if something were to happen it would be very easy to pick up more hours and get insurance.

girlisrad's picture
Joined: 04/24/07
Posts: 1587

:lurk:

We made this leap nearly 4 years ago! I was the breadwinner, but after my second was born and the cost of daycare became a reality (and he was an immensely difficult baby), we decided to just let me be a SAHM until the kids were in school.

Has it been easy? no.... we had a rough time the first year. Made a lot of harder choices, and did lean on the folks a bit. BUT, once we did settle into a reasonable routine, and cut out the extras things have been easier Smile DH keeps doing wonderful at his job and so far the children are living and breathing HAHAH!!!

We just don't live beyond what we can afford. We have NO credit cards and other than the van we had to buy, no debt (exception being the occasional medical bill that comes along) We rarely eat out (like, once every few months, if that!) and do our best to just buy on sale, and what not. I cut coupons and take my time to find the sales, but I don't go to extremes at all. I won't lie, we are still paycheck to paycheck most months. BUT... we know that it is temporary and when the kids go to school we can again build a savings and buy a house and all the things we look forward to!

And as far as threat of job loss, well.. I mean that exists with 2 incomes or 1... the risk doesn't change, really. That was how we looked at it, anyway.

I HTH!

kris10gal's picture
Joined: 11/02/07
Posts: 1306

"CamelNoodle" wrote:

:lurk:
We are a one income family, my husband stays home with the kids.

When figuring out the benefits of staying home, don't just calculate the daycare savings, you have to calculate the lifestyle savings too. We don't eat out a lot because my husband is always available to grocery shop and cook dinner. My husband's wardrobe cost is minimal compared to if he had an outside job. He doesn't eat lunch out (like he did when he was working).

My family is less chaotic than if he were working, especially compared to my sister. Many times she's called me at 9pm saying she's on her way to the grocery store so they have food for lunch the next day. They can have playdates, go to parks, etc. My sister's kids are always at school or daycare. They miss their parents, they miss their house.

Totally agree with these. It's just a huge lifestyle change, and you will slowly adjust naturally. When I worked, life was chaotic, as were our spending habits. Now, life is more calm for us. My random spending has gone from Starbucks 1-3 times a week on the way to work, to getting a coffee once a week at Farmer's Market is my weekly treat. Most days we just don't spend money. You have more time to save (I've been selling a bunch of baby stuff online and would never have time/energy for that normally) and to look for deals. I think way harder when I am going to spend money, because I'm not too stressed to not have the time to think about it, kwim? (Totally agree with saving money on wardrobe too!)

I totally agree with no credit cards. Well, we have one, but it is paid full monthly so we don't have to pay interest. I like to be able to see exactly how much we're spending and have it on the credit card just in case, and get the points for it Smile It's almost a game though to see how low we can keep it, however I don't feel deprived.

Best of luck!!

1aBABY's picture
Joined: 12/05/06
Posts: 474

Thanks for all of your thoughts ladies. We still have a lot of discussions and calculations to do before we come to a decision. I guess it will work out somehow either way we decide. *crossing fingers* Smile

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

we are also a one income family and HONESTLY I would have to make lot lot $$ to afford to work... first round trip to town is 60 miles (min) for us...
daycare are SUPER FULL here and about $1500 to $2000 if you are lucky to find a spot....

so for us it is the best

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 5333

We're one income too. For us, it's not worth it for me to work. I'd be giving my whole paycheck to daycare. I think you've received lots of great advice! One thing for us, is also no debt, well, besides our house mortgage. We are careful with what we buy. We live a little more simply. We each have the most basic cellphone ever. Boring, but it works. Same with our vehicles. We're slightly cramped in our cars now with 2 kids, but we'd rather put the money elsewhere than a car payment or 2. So we just skimp on areas that we can. Shopping the clearance racks, buying secondhand, selling things we don't need, etc.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

forgot to mention like Ashley I don't own a smart phone and just pay for a "basic" phone (no text etc) we have cars that have good MPG ratings and lucky us we have no (none) debt (house is paid for , cars are paid for etc...)
I don't smoke, wear make up or drink and Isn't into fashion so I guess in somewhat saves money and same for my husband..
I shop a lot at Once Upon a Child for Florian and has super cool friend who ends me down they clothes and shoes .....

I buy ORGANIC food and we just are careful on what we buy, we are lucky to be able to harvest some meat (3 caribou this spring and 20 salmons last week) so it helps a lot !!!! GROCERIES are very $$$ in Alaska !!