Stressed about one income.

Living On One Income

If you have become accustomed to being a 2 earner family, the transition to just 1 income can be quite challenging. Dealing with the lost income will require a lot of changes, but with a little effort, you can make it work.

You have probably seen these kinds of articles before and might be a little skeptical, so let me be clear. There are no guarantees. This is not a guide that you can follow to the letter and live for dollars a day.

What you will find here are tips or hacks that will make your life better. Little things that, when combined, can really make an impact on your wallet. Let’s get to it.

Shop Online For Groceries & Get Cash Back

Shopping online for groceries can save you money by allowing you to only buy what you need. You (and your kids) will no longer be victim to the endcap. You can also get cash back on every purchase.

Just sign up for ibotta and download the browser extension or app. Then just go about shopping like normal and get cash back on many of the products that you already use. Once you pick up your order, ibotta will put money in your account within 24 hours. It is as easy as that, so stop leaving money on the table.

Sign up for ibotta here.

Plan Your Meals

Your food budget is one of the easiest things to manipulate in order to find savings. The way to do it is with meal planning. Meal planning can literally save you hundreds of dollars a month by eliminating food waste and concentrating on frugal meal choices.

The problem is coming up with the plan (especially if you are a novice home cook) and that is where $5 Meals comes in. $5 Meals will deliver a meal list to your inbox every Friday morning. You get a full weeks worth of meals, complete with a shopping list.

$5 Meals takes all of the work out of meal planning. Just print out your list on Friday and you will have everything that you need for ALL of your meals for the next week. No running back to the store for last minute items and no struggling to come up with meal ideas.

Get a free 2 week trial when you sign up through this link.

Pay Down Credit Card Debt

If you have credit card debt, you know that you are wasting money each month. You need to get those cards paid down. The natural urge when you lose an income will be to pay only the minimums on those cards, but that is a mistake. You will never pay down the balances.

If you have $10,000 in credit card debt, you are wasting almost 200 dollars a month, just in interest. This is money that you can no longer afford to waste.

The easiest and most motivating way to pay down those cards is with the “debt snowball” method. Simply pay the minimum on all cards, except for the one with the lowest balance. Pay as much as you can on that one. Once it is paid off, move to the next lowest card. The idea is that by paying off low balance cards quickly you stay motivated.

Make More Meals At Home

If you need to stretch a budget, dining out should be limited as much as possible. It is an expense that you just can not afford. Obviously, what that is going to mean is cooking your meals at home.

If you do not have an extensive cooking background, this might make you very nervous, but don’t panic.

Try $5 Meal Plans, free for 14 days and let them give you an easy to follow road map. They give you a weeks worth of tasty and inexpensive recipes, complete with a weekly shopping list.

Save money and serve tastier and healthier foods.

Buy Staples In Bulk

Further increase your food savings by buying commonly used staples in bulk. Once you start meal planning, you will realize that there are things that you buy over and over again. Save big money by purchasing these things in bulk.

The only caveat here is that you should only buy items that will last. Stick to purchasing staples like bulk rice, pasta and canned goods. If an item will not keep for at least 3 months, I would not buy it in bulk.

Your best source for bulk goods is a membership club such as Sam’s Club or Costco. In most cases, the membership fee is well worth it. Not only will it save you on food,but you can also save on tires, travel, electronics, gas, and a lot more.

Turn Extra Time Into Extra Money

The great thing about the internet is that it allows you hundreds of ways to make money if you know where to look. This allows you to monetize nearly everything in your life.

One way to do this is by signing up with Swagbucks. This website lets you monetize nearly everything in your day to day life. Make money by watching videos, signing up for free trials, doing surveys or just playing games. Nearly everything that you do online, you can make money off of.

Get a $5 bonus when you sign up for Swagbucks here.

Use A Cash Back Credit Card

The last thing that you want to do is build up credit card debt, but that does not mean that you should not take advantage of credit card offer.

If you have a cash back credit card, you should be using it to pay every bill or expense that you incur during the month. Pay 2000 dollars worth of bills on your card and get $40 back every month with a 2% cash back credit card.

That is easy money in your pocket, just be sure to pay off the credit car every month.

Switch To Water

Giving up juice and soda is one of the best things that you can do for your budget and your body. It allows you to save in a number of ways.

Obviously, water is much, much cheaper, but it does not stop there. Drinking water is also better for your body, your mind and your teeth. Be healthier, think clearer and reduce the possibility of cavities. All of these things can save you money on health expenses and make you money with increased productivity.

For best results, get a water purifier. You save money over bottled water and it is so much better for the environment.

Buy Clothing At Thrift Stores

You might be amazed at what you can find at the thrift store. Name brand clothing for pennies on the dollar.

It might be an adjustment going from the department store to the thrift store, but it is well worth it. If you have teens in your home that are opposed to the idea, simply do not tell them. Buy clothes, wash them and put them in their closet. They never have to know where they came from.

Sell Old Clothes

If you are adding clothes to your closet, make room for them by selling your old clothing. Do this by having a garage sale, selling to thrift stores or by selling designer clothes to resale shops.

Do Your Own Maintenance

It might be intimidating to do your own maintenance, but most small home repairs can be done by the average do it yourselfer. Look to youtube for the answer. A quick search will reveal the answer to any home problem. Anything from replacing a faucet to patching sheetrock.

You can really do the majority of your home improvement and maintenance jobs and save hundreds of dollars in the process.

Control Your Utility Use

If you are a couple that is down to one income, it means that you have someone who will be home more and that means higher utilities.

Take your utility use seriously and realize that electricity water and gas bills can add up quickly. You can keep these bills under control though.

The simplest way to do this is to do simple things like turn off lights when not in use, take shorter showers and wash clothes with cold water.These little things add up.

You can also do bigger things like installing a programmable thermostat, replacing window weatherstripping and even adding attic insulation. These things will cost you money initially but will pay for themselves within a year in many cases.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.