I had a thought recently, which started with the current status of unemployment in Maine. As you may know, unemployment is on the rise, bringing some families down to only one income, and others without any income at all. My thoughts morphed into thinking, “What if this is the new normal for people? What if people were to MAKE a one-income home their new normal?” Hear me out on this. When you, or your spouse (or both of you), get back to work, what if you lived off only one of your paychecks each week, and then saved the other? Now, I am not saying to do this on a full-time, all the time forever basis, but just as a temporary fix to get your budget back to normal and a few bucks into savings for emergencies. This may be tricky at first and will take time to transition into this new approach, but it can put you back into the financial happy zone fast. How empowering would it be to know that in the case of another emergency, you are better prepared and able to handle temporary income loss?
Here are 3 ways to make the transition to living on one income:
- Budget– If you do not already have a budget in place, now is the time to start. Tracking your spending is crucial when determining where is your money is being spent. Once you have a viable budget in place, start looking for ways to cut unnecessary spending in places like meal-planning, carpooling, entertainment, subscriptions, and online shopping.
- Pay Down Debt– As you prepare to live off one income, paying down debt can alleviate stress and make it possible to live off one income. Paying down high-interest credit cards and other interest-bearing debt is the easiest way to increase your monthly cash flow.
- Stretch your Resources– You can easily learn how to limit the amount of money and resources you use by preserving electricity, food, water, medical expenses, and more. For more information about how to preserve your resources read my article about Tried and True Budgeting That Works based on the methods used by the Greatest Generation.
Living simply can save you money and prepare you for future emergencies. Remember, it’s temporary and you will find a whole new side of life that is creative and yet basic living skills. We are here to help you set up a budget that works for you and your family that will lead you down the path to financial security. Feel free to email me at Creynolds@newdimensionsfcu.com or contact me at (207) 872-2771.