My husband and I agreed that I would be a stay at home mom and we would learn to live on less once we started to have children. Even though I made twice my husband’s salary, it was very important to me to have the opportunity to spend time with my children during their earliest years. Despite the hardship of living on one income these days, my sweet husband fully supported the idea.
We live in NYC, where living on one income doesn’t go far and being a stay at home mom is a bit of an oddity. In fact, most people are shocked when I tell them I’m not planning to return to work anytime soon. I hear about my “wasted” education and how hard it is on my husband to have to do all the work (because raising a child full-time is not work?).
I understand that these people are well-meaning (I really do- these are people who care and want us to be financially successful in life). But bigger than my dreams of a financially easy life and big home is my dream of spending my life nurturing and caring for my family. I can always go back to work later. The pharmacy world isn’t going anywhere! But these few years my children are young, impressionable, and needing my love? They will be gone before I know it. Totally worth living on one income!
How We Manage To Live On One Income
As a result of our choice, we’ve learned how to save money and how to live frugally. I cook at home a lot now, we entertain ourselves by spending time together, having family and friends visit, participating in free activities, reading, watching movies, we shop for quality items that are long-lasting, and we take care of things better so they last longer. Frugal dad works hard to make up for the absent second income, and we’ve learned to budget his income so we rarely feel the pinch.
I also look for ways to make money in unique ways as a stay at home mom, and my goal is to fund my IRA annually and to put money away for our son’s future. My now penny pinching husband pays the regular family bills, so anything I make goes toward our son or savings. It helps that quitting my job also meant cutting expenses that go along with a full-time job, such as daycare, transportation, union dues, etc. My husband, as a cop, has better insurance anyway, and no babyitters mean I’m not jealous of some poor young girl because she gets to see my son’s first steps while I’m working.
More Tips For Living On One Income
In addition to finding creative ways for living simple and saving money for our son’s future, we’re also committed to debt free living. If we don’t have cash, we don’t buy it. After years of credit card debt, my husband is finally on an all-cash system. A great book (by Joe Dominguez) is “Your Money or Your Life”. It puts things like savings, debt, and advertising in perspective, and even gives advice on how to possibly become financially independant one day (a lofty goal, but others have done it, so why not us?)…this is my favorite financial book and started us on the road to frugal living and having fun at the same time