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Topic : Living on One Income

Number of Replies: 385
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:21:37 am
Author : dataimport
Whether you're a stay-at-home mom, single, separated or unemployed, living on one income can be quite a challenge. Share your tips and advice with others trying to make ends meet.

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January 10, 2006, 9:54 am CST

Challenge the situation

My husband and I found that grocery shopping and meal planning for our family of 5 was very frustrating and depressing.   We didn't have the money, we couldn't afford the paper to clip coupons, so the neighbor gave us theirs when they were done with it.  We made a game out of it.  We would see who could feed the family for the least amount every other week.  It was more fun to try and figure out a menu for a week and try and spend less than my husband did the week before.  Beside, it didn't make the problem seem like it was all mine, or all his, we were both trying to do the best we could with what we had.
 
January 10, 2006, 11:39 am CST

I went to college to be a stay-at-home mom

I live in Ontario Canada. About 40 minutes west of Toronto in a city called Oshawa. 

I recently graduated from College in July of 2005. I was expecting my second child at the time, and he has since been born, and is a happy healthy 3 month old. 

I am dying to go back to work.  My husband tells me to take my time, that there is no rush, and that we can live on his income.  He works for a prominent cable company, and makes approx. 40-50,000 per year before taxes. After taxes, his take home pay is rougly 1000-1500 every 2 weeks.  We live in a nicely sized two bedroom apartment, which we pay $980.00 per month for. We own one vehicle which is paid for in cash, (a 97 Pontiac Transport Minivan) and he has a vehicle that his company supplies for work purposes, but he can only drive it while he is working. I have one child from a previous relationship who is almost 4 years old. His father doesnt pay child support.  There is an order in place for deductions from his pay, but he works for cash and doesnt do his taxes.  The government can't get any of his financial information, and so I go without, until he is paid on the books.  Meanwhile the amount is steadily accumulating month by month, and at this point he owes me over $5000.  I still have to let him see my son, because he has a police enforced visitation order. (he claimed I was holding our son in exchange for child support - which i was, because why should he not pay but still get to see him?) 

  

Anyways, with the new baby, our insurance payment, bankruptcy payment (husband was married previously with a lot of debts) all of our bills, rent, gas, formula, diapers, etc.  we have little extra money after each paycheck.  We basically live paycheck to paycheck. 

  

I would love to contribute to the family financially, but daycare is really expensive for an infant, and my older child doesnt start junior kindergarten until september, and after daycare, travel, clothing, etc. its just not worth the time out of the house. 

  

On top of that I would still have to come home after working all day and do all of the things which i normally do around here anyways...... It wouldn't stop!! I would be up 24 hours a day with no time for myself or my children, and my husband. 

  

What should I do? Anyone else in a similar situation? 

 
January 10, 2006, 12:45 pm CST

Stay Home Mom

I have been a stay at home mom 7 years now.  I have been through a LOT in that time with my husband, including a 3 year period where we had no stable income.  I did take a cleaning job during that time but it was only a few days a week.  I will say this, that I do not regret the time I have spent with my children and even if I knew then what I know now I would still do the same thing all over again.  The fact is that my hubby and I decided before we even married that when we had kids I would be home to raise them.  By Gods grace that has been a possibility.  My daughter is now 6 and my son is almost 4. I do plan to get a job when my son is in school full time,  but it will be at their school with their schedule or I will not take a job.  I have a bachelors degree and I am very happy with what I am doing with my life. Going to school was not a waste in ANY way. It equipped me all the more, I feel, to be a good household manager.  I have two sisters in law who have judged  me continually over the last 7 years (and thought me "lazy" for not working) but ironically, they are both having babies now and the envy me!  They have both become the primary bread winners in their home and they cannot stay home even though they want to. I tell them that with sacrifice and negotiation they can do it but they don't want to give up the luxuries they now enjoy that come with their income. I don't judge them for that, its their choice.  I just believe anything is possible if you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to make it happen.  I am just one of the people who happens to be willing to give up some material things to get to do this.   
 
January 10, 2006, 3:15 pm CST

I am currently a stay-at-home mom

My husband was in the military, and when he got out, we had to live on a VERY small income (he didn't get the job he thought was ahead of him) as a starter at the local Wal-Mart. He has since gotten a job with a prominent company. This is how we managed it:  

First: never say never to handouts. Give up the pride, and take advantage of what your taxes are helping with! WIC and Low-Income Housing were awesome, and had we stayed in our situation longer, we would have gone for Medicaid for our baby daughter. The local Salvation Army is a good place to get clothes or baby items (as well as freecycle.com), and the Dollar Store has much more than you would believe! 

Second: MAKE A BUDGET!!! Doing this helped IMMENSELY as we had a lot of debt from college and credit cards and other things. We ate at home, he took his lunch, and managed to stay a little ahead of target. Coupons are good, and SHOP AT A GROCERY STORE. I know it takes more time to get there (than just stopping at one store for everything) but this cuts down on buying other things you don't need. Call your companies that you owe money to and tell them your situation, most are more than happy to help as long as they get their money eventually. 

Third: Cut out what you don't need from your budget. We have one vehicle, so this meant that I had to walk (gasp! lol) the baby to the library. We cut internt, cable tv, newspapers, telephone (there was a pay phone nearby). We used moving boxes as bookcases for our movies and cds, and set them on counters or behind things so that the baby couldn't get into them. We ate out once a paycheck at a cheap restaurant (think subway, not olive garden). Plus, you can borrow movies from libraries, and books (and baby books!), and read the newspaper, and even check the internet from the library. 

Most of all, realize that it can be done, and that the time that you spend at home with your children can even help improve their communication skills and reading skills, as well as helping them feel more secure. And when hubby gets home, give him the baby, and go take a bubble bath (or relax or what have you) to get some "me" time.  

 
January 10, 2006, 4:56 pm CST

one income can be done

We have 3 children and a very strict budget.  We pay all of the bills first and whatever is left over is for groceries and any other items we need or want.  (about $200 a month)  I shop at the off brand super markets, don't use coupons unless they are really good but I never buy full price, even food.  We eat cheap and sometimes meat is not included, but there are plenty of good things to eat even without meat.  We don't get to go out to eat except 2 times a month and we have to give up things like going to the movies, concerts etc, but it gives us a chance to play games at home.  For birthdays and such for the kids, we make hotdogs and have cake here at home instead of elaborate parties at other places.  Being home with the kids, in my opinion is more important than a new car(i drive a van we bought used) or a huge house that we can't afford.  I live in a 1250 square foot home....YES!  It's possible to live with 5 people in a house that size.  You just have to decide what is more important. 
 
January 10, 2006, 6:32 pm CST

Living on One Income

Quote From: cassie1981

I live in Ontario Canada. About 40 minutes west of Toronto in a city called Oshawa. 

I recently graduated from College in July of 2005. I was expecting my second child at the time, and he has since been born, and is a happy healthy 3 month old. 

I am dying to go back to work.  My husband tells me to take my time, that there is no rush, and that we can live on his income.  He works for a prominent cable company, and makes approx. 40-50,000 per year before taxes. After taxes, his take home pay is rougly 1000-1500 every 2 weeks.  We live in a nicely sized two bedroom apartment, which we pay $980.00 per month for. We own one vehicle which is paid for in cash, (a 97 Pontiac Transport Minivan) and he has a vehicle that his company supplies for work purposes, but he can only drive it while he is working. I have one child from a previous relationship who is almost 4 years old. His father doesnt pay child support.  There is an order in place for deductions from his pay, but he works for cash and doesnt do his taxes.  The government can't get any of his financial information, and so I go without, until he is paid on the books.  Meanwhile the amount is steadily accumulating month by month, and at this point he owes me over $5000.  I still have to let him see my son, because he has a police enforced visitation order. (he claimed I was holding our son in exchange for child support - which i was, because why should he not pay but still get to see him?) 

  

Anyways, with the new baby, our insurance payment, bankruptcy payment (husband was married previously with a lot of debts) all of our bills, rent, gas, formula, diapers, etc.  we have little extra money after each paycheck.  We basically live paycheck to paycheck. 

  

I would love to contribute to the family financially, but daycare is really expensive for an infant, and my older child doesnt start junior kindergarten until september, and after daycare, travel, clothing, etc. its just not worth the time out of the house. 

  

On top of that I would still have to come home after working all day and do all of the things which i normally do around here anyways...... It wouldn't stop!! I would be up 24 hours a day with no time for myself or my children, and my husband. 

  

What should I do? Anyone else in a similar situation? 

If it is your desire to go back to work, then you will find a way.  If your only reason for wanting to go back to work is money, then think twice.  It's hard to go without some things I understand that.  However, if you have the necessities, then ponder what you will be missing.  I am a stay at home mom to my son, 2 and my daughter 8 months.  I miss the feeling of accomplishment and the mental challenge that working outside of the home can bring, but nothing is as good as watching my kids learn and grow.  I am glad that your husband is willing to support you in staying home. 

  

I don't have an ex-hand so I am not speaking from experience, but try to let the money go.  Now, don't get to upset at me for saying that.  You need to continue to fight for the money, but don't focus on not having it.  You don't want your child to feel that he is a financial burden.  Just think, if your first child was born to you and your new husband it wouldn't change your bottom line.  Letting it upset you is just another way your ex can control you. 

  

I am not sure way I chose to respond to your post, but I wish you happiness. 

 
January 10, 2006, 8:29 pm CST

living on one income

 My husband and I are going on 4 years of marriage. In the beginning we both worked, after a year of marriage he decided to rejoin the army. He has been back in for 2 years now and I have haven't worked since he came back in. It is hard to adjust to living on one income. And now I have gone back to school so it has made things a bit more difficult. He is one those guys who has no clue on how much he really spends each month, so I had to put him on a budget. He didn't realize that he was spending close to three hundred dollars a month.
 
January 10, 2006, 8:58 pm CST

Living on One Income

This message is for those who are thinking about joining the world of one income families.  Before you quit your job live with the decision for a few months or even a year.  To do this put all of the income, from the person who would like to stay home, into savings as it comes in.  This will help you see exactly what you can and cannot afford while living off of one income.  If you are able to live with your design for a fairly long period of time, good for you, if not reconsider how you spend your money. 

  

My husband and I did this for 3 years before we had children.  It was great, when I chose to stay home we did not have to adjust to a new life style.  Plus, it didn't hurt our savings account. 

 
January 11, 2006, 1:19 am CST

Good Luck...

Quote From: geminiz

 CALIFORNIA!

  Hi. I read your mess. and felt like I had to respond. I forgot if you (your state) has a Walgreens Pharmacy (I should know that), but if it does try to get a job as a Pharmacy Technician. I know you are "above" that (education wise), as am I , but it 's a good place to start. I am a recent graduate (teacher) and have worked as a Senior Cerftified Tech. for 9 years, to help get me through college.  I can tell you it's a professional job and it pays decent. There is a lot of growth and advancement, and you are always learning. It is a challenging job, but well worth it when you help someone feel better. Pharmacy Tech. license/certification is obtained through many 2-year college programs, but Walgreens trains you - and you don't have to have any special classes/experience. 
No matter what you decide to do, do NOT accept $8.00/hour. If you have a college degree (almost two) to back you up, I would not let anyone belittle me like that. That is a joke! You have too much to offer, so don't settle. I make $14.00/hr and think that is terrible for what and how much I do, but know at least it's a decent wage (which at 9 years is really stretching it!). I have stayed at this job b/c I like helping people. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, I just believe that you need to set your sights higher b/c you deserve better. Believe me, I know it's all about being happy - I went into teaching... $ is not everything. Take Care and good luck.   
 
January 18, 2006, 12:49 pm CST

Great idea!

Quote From: chocofan

This message is for those who are thinking about joining the world of one income families.  Before you quit your job live with the decision for a few months or even a year.  To do this put all of the income, from the person who would like to stay home, into savings as it comes in.  This will help you see exactly what you can and cannot afford while living off of one income.  If you are able to live with your design for a fairly long period of time, good for you, if not reconsider how you spend your money. 

  

My husband and I did this for 3 years before we had children.  It was great, when I chose to stay home we did not have to adjust to a new life style.  Plus, it didn't hurt our savings account. 

What a fabulous, rocking good idea!!!!!!!! I love it!
 
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