Best Ways to go Down to a Single-Income Household

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated November 11, 2017

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Personal Finance
January 29, 2016

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Although transitioning to a single-income household from a dual-income household can be tough, certain strategies can make it much easier. Here are the best ways for you to make this switch and minimize any financial fallout that may result.

Going to a single-income household takes some adjustments and a certain measure of trust. You need to have an open line of communication with your partner about income, costs and paying off debt.

It’s especially important to discuss major financial decisions; otherwise, both people in the relationship may end up feeling insecure. Working together in a transparent manner can go a long way to making rational financial decisions that benefit the entire household.

Many things may have you changing to a single-income household, including a new baby on the way or a recent job loss. However, if it’s possible, make this lifestyle change before it’s absolutely necessary.

Try to live on only one income, even if you have a second income right now. Not only will you learn what you need to do to live on one income, but you can also start saving the second income. Once you move to a single income, you’ll already know what spending strategies work, and you’ll have an extra source of money to tap into if necessary.

Often, moving to a single-income household can mean a significant reduction in overall income. To respond to this change, it’s important to draw up a budget together. You want to build a new budget around the essentials, such as groceries or your mortgage, but you also want to talk about little details like student debt and life insurance policies. At the same time, you should consider consolidating any high-interest credit card debt you have into one simple loan.

You may have to make certain sacrifices, such as eating in more often or traveling less. Try to get creative with money-saving solutions.

If you feel you need a vacation, head to a local state or national park for the weekend instead of a trip to the Bahamas. If you own two cars, decide whether you can sell one. If you own a home, think about renting out an extra room.

Ultimately, with a bit of adjustment, moving to a single-income household is possible, but you need to work as a team to make it happen over the long term.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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