Our Journey Becoming a Single Income Family

Our Journey Becoming a Single Income Family

We had a plan.

It was a perfect plan. Full of forward-thinking ideas for our future together.

I was going to work for the first few years while we paid off our loans, built our savings accounts, and traveled to both of our dream destinations (his was New Zealand, mine was Europe).

Once we had children, the plan was for me to manage the home and child-rearing full-time. 

How we became a single income family

What could go wrong with our foolproof plan?

Well, for starters, I couldn’t find a job to save my life. 

I had “such a great resume I should have no problem finding a job” according to my professors, I lived in a “low unemployment state which is a dream for job hunters” according to family, and worked at a temp agency in the mean time “to get my foot in the door somewhere” according to my husband.

But still the plan wasn’t working. A steady paycheck eluded me for the first full year of our marriage.

To say the least, it was frustrating. How were we going to accomplish our goals?

What we didn’t realize at the time, was that we were learning some important things that would help us in the lifestyle we wanted to live in the future.

For example, we became proficient at living on one entry-level, Midwestern, small company salary without incurring any debt outside of the student loans we already had before we got married.

We learned to say “no” to a lot of things… most of the time.

We learned to take any jobs that come our way (well hello, temp agency, my old friend!)

And we learned to get scrappy with ways to save money:

  • Ross took a lunch from home faithfully, and actually ate it. Even when his friends would invite him to go to his favorite restaurant.
  • We almost never went out to eat, unless we had a gift card or it was a special occasion.
  • We didn’t but new clothes unless we had a specific need for something new.
  • We ate as cheaply as possible. Frozen burritos and Ramen, anyone?
  • We shared one vehicle. Yes, you read that correctly. We had two people in our house, and only one car.

One day, almost a year after we got married, I landed a job in my field. I was so excited when they offered me the job at my second interview, I accepted. 

On the spot. 

I know most of you are probably laughing at me at this point because it seems that I was the last person in the world to get the memo that you should never do that. But hey, I was young, and I was desperate.

I now had my own entry-level, Midwestern, small company salary. But we were ecstatic! Now we had TWO of them!

Did we run out and buy that second car and start going out to eat every Saturday night? Not even close. 

Now that we knew we could live on one small income, we were determined never to change that. Every penny of my income went to paying off our school loans, building a savings account for the future, contributing to our 401Ks, padding our HSA accounts, and saving for those two trips we intended to take.

Even though our reasons for living this way seemed obvious and worth it to us, it didn’t make sense to many other people.

But it really didn’t matter. We understood. We knew what our goals were. And when we left the Midwest to start another adventure three years later, we had accomplished our goals.

How we became a single income family

You May Also Enjoy…

How We Paid Off $20,000 in debt in 18 Months!

How to Organize Your Finances With 7 Bank Accounts.

37 Ways to Save Money on Groceries if you aren’t sure how to get your grocery budget under control.

10 Ways to Save Money When You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck if you need some ideas for how to cut costs.

If you want to be sure that you can stick with this budget from the start, check out The Biggest Secret to Sticking With Your Budget.

Does worrying about what other people will think of you if you start living more frugally keep tripping you up when you try to start a budget? Check out 7 Powerful Mindsets for Low-Income Families.

And you can also teach your children how to budget with The {Simplest} Budgeting Method for Kids.

Ready to Stop Feeling Stressed About Finances?

Then check out Master Your Money!

In Master Your Money, you will learn how to 

  • Calculate Your Net Income
  • Track Your Spending
  • Calculate Your Monthly Expenses
  • Determine Your Fixed & Flexible Expenses
  • Set Up a Budget
  • Pay Off Debt
  • Create Savings Accounts
  • Donate to Charity

Master Your Money walks you through exactly how to take charge of your finances so you can afford to live the life of your dreams!

Plus you will receive the Money Mastery Workbook and Spreadsheet and email support from me anytime you have questions.

I hope to see you inside the course!

(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Master Your Money Resources!) 

Want 7 Extra Hours Every Week? Grab the Streamline Your Home Quick-Start Guide!
See you on the next one, Kassy
How we Learned to Live on One Income