Living on 1 Income

Image By: cohdraon
Image By: cohdraon

Whether it is just the two of you, or you have children or others living at home, it may some day be necessary for one of you to stay home.

The prices of everything are so high. Though gas prices are getting lower right now bringing down other costs as well, who knows how long it will last.

Why might 1 person decide to stay at home?

  • To care for children: When you add up all the costs of having to work outside the home, you must include things such as childcare, gas and upkeep for a vehicle, work clothes, and work lunches. These costs can be quite high.
  • To care for elderly parents: Even if they have some amount of income from pensions or social security, it may not cover all the costs of their care. Such things as elder care, and getting them here and there when needed, cost much money. You might see a significant difference in your financial outlook if one of you is at home caring for them, rather than using costly services you wouldn’t otherwise need.
  • To allow the family to cut back to one vehicle: Not all couples work close to each other, and not everyone works where public transportation is abundant. Costs to get both of you back and forth to work may be more than if one of you were staying home.
  • To allow one person to start a business: Businesses take time to build, before you realize a profit. If the person starting this venture does not have to worry about another job there wont be as many travel and work related expenses, and they will have more time to spend on their business.
  • Because 1 person got laid off: This is tough, because it is usually unexpected. The person might go back to school or start a business, or spend months looking for a new job. Or they and their partner may decide it would be far less expensive for the laid off partner to stay home and take care of many of the things there.
  • Because 1 of you wants to go to college: The prospect of more income later on may lead a person to getting done with their job voluntarily in order to spend more time studying.
  • So the family can home school: If you are not pleased with the way your child’s education is going, you may decide one or the other parent should stay home to teach them. That parent would also be responsible for finding materials and supplies at affordable prices, which takes time.

What can the person staying home do in order to aid the breadwinner in living more affordably? These suggestions are only the beginning.

  • Set up a coupon system.
  • Combine coupons with sales.
  • Buy store brands when it will save money.
  • Learn to cut and style the families’ hair.
  • Do their own manicures and pedicures.
  • Learn how to shop thrift stores, clearance sales, and yard sales.
  • Learn to cook and bake from scratch, as well as how to preserve food.
  • Learn to garden and compost. Herbs, fruits, and vegetables will
    Image By: ladyheart at
    Image By: ladyheart at

    be far more affordable.

  • Group out of home activities together when you do need the vehicle. Drop the other person off at work, and pick him or her up at the end of their shift. Do all your running in between, in such a way that you use the least amount of gas possible. Shop on the way home from your child’s basketball game.  Ask your partner to pick up that gallon of milk on his way home from work, rather than making another trip out that day.
  • Walk wherever possible. This is a great way to get out of the house sometimes. Walk to run as many errands as possible. Doing so is good for you! And will save you money.
  • Rethink entertainment. Look for CD’s, DVD’s, and board games at yard sales. Stream Netflix instead of getting a more expensive service. Make a picnic lunch and walk with your family to the park to enjoy the meal. While you are there, play Frisbee or toss a baseball back and forth. Walk along the river bank and take photographs.

You may also enjoy:

New Year Goal: Learning to Live Frugally

How to Happily Live a More Frugal Life

25 Tips for Living a More Frugal Life


If you have tips or questions, let us know in the comments. Or email me at I answer all emails as quickly as possible.




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