Living on One Income

One IncomeI cried today.

I need to pause my regular home/garden content and talk about something important. 

Real day in the Life post for you today. Since this outbreak here in Canada and the mad scramble for the grocery store, we’ve been OK.

  • Store was out of wipes – I told my husband to buy cloth ones. 
  • Store was out of bread – I baked a batch.
  • Just recently I pulled out and organized my “home school” supplies. No, we don’t home school. BUT my son has missed SO many WEEKS of school this year. Plus homeschooling has been heavy on my heart and mind this year, as of today, now I know why.

Uncertain times have been a reality for my Husband and I.  I would be lying if I said life was a breeze. I can share all the cute pictures I want of our home and make my blog seem super attractive but there the real life realities that our family faces ALL the time.

Living on ONE income and how we did it!

We are not alone with the worldly reality of what’s happening and not sure about our financial future.  Thing is, I feel like to some degree because of our past experience with uncertain times it’s not hitting us like walking into a brick wall like it used to.

In 2014 we came to the realization I needed to stay home.  Prior to this in 2012 BOTH my husband and I dealt with uncertain Job positions and felt the biggest blow when he learned the shop he was working for was closing and the job I had worked at prior to my mat leave didn’t have a position for me to go back to.

We have a saying in our family “God Provides”

I’ll share more about how that situation ended.

I’m not a financial guru, just sharing how we KEEP living on ONE income. Writing this in no particular order. This is my own personal experience.

1: Family Haircuts – YES I cut EVERYONE’S hair in our family of 5. Our guess was saving us $800 a year doing this.   That figure is based on the most basic/ cheapest haircut we could all get in town.

2: I DON’T spend money on is my nails done, hair dyed, wax, spray tan…Whatever it is that most women treat themselves on I see as a waste of money and just don’t spend money on it.  Remember this is my own personal opinion, comment isn’t meant to offend anyone.

3: Hang Dry laundry – I did the math, $500 in savings on my mat leave (2012)  for the entire year.

4: Cloth Diapers – Even if you’re doing this 50% of the time, your still saving money.  Worth the time and energy that goes into it.

5: Vegetable Gardening – More to share about this in the coming weeks. Still eating fresh/frozen food from last year.

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6: Take a vehicle OFF the road.  If one of you can walk or bike to work, sell a vehicle or take the vehicle off the road.

7: Sell stuff – This past Sept we sold over $1,000 of stuff we had laying around our home.

8: Baking – Have you seen how expensive packaged snacks are for school?? Between this and cloth diapering is a HUGE savings on our grocery bill.

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9: Accept hand me down clothes.  I grew up with this as a kid. I was blessed pretty early on with hand me downs for my kids.  I make sure to pay it forward once my kids grow out the clothes. Friends and I do clothing swaps all the time since our kids are close in size. Notice I said “Accept”. I don’t focus on fashion, it’s not worth the cost.  From what we get for our kids I think they look pretty good all things considered.

10: Buy Local food.  With doing most of the above buying local meat and produce is affordable. We buy a lot more higher quality food. It comes down to healthier choices with what we put in our bodies.  I’m someone who struggles with my gut health.  Making this switch, not so many flair ups anymore.

11: DIY – This applies to ALL areas of our home. Vehicles – My husband is a mechanic. Home Decor, Plumbing, Drywall, Painting a room for example. Almost all of our construction stuff in our house we do. With the exception of needing professionals when it’s above what we can do. 

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12: Gardening and Lawn Maintenance.  This seems like a common sense item to me.  BUT, with the amount of small lawn companies that frequent our neighborhood I know lots of people get their properties cared for.

13: Rent Equipment: If we don’t own the equipment to do a small job, instead of hiring we rent it.

14: Date Night in – PUT THE PHONES DOWN…Play a game, invite another couple over to play a game night for example. 

15: Shop clearance, deals, sales or always look second hand.  This has saved us tons of money. My husband actually can’t stand that I’m a roadside picker upper. Yup, if it’s worth it, then I stop.  FYI – A chunk of my gardening pots I acquired this way.

16: Side Hustles: Direct Sales with Arbonne and THIS BLOG! I recently made the change to have ads.

I could keep going or expand more on any of these topics.  I’m not a financial blogger and there’s many great blogs or books to read.  This is just a list of how we do it. It is still tight to live on one income. 

Seeing as how much people ask me to be a part of stuff that costs money to do, tells me they think we got it figured out. 

It takes lots of communication between my husband and I and not giving in to our kids.  At the end of the day we lean on our Faith. God Provides. Doesn’t mean we don’t need to spring into action and get creative when your income gets cut in half. 

It’s happened a few times to us. Each time we’ve just gotten smarter.

Back to our story: In 2012, my husband legit walked back into his old job.  I scrambled to find work in a different school district and found childcare.  Our story keeps working out again and again. 

Hope seeing our list of what we do with living on one income is helpful. 

Share in the comments of other tips that are helpful to you! 

Author: Notefull Living

Hi, My name is Carrie. I'm Canadian and live in the Fraser Valley outside of Vancouver BC. Notefull Living is my blog about our Home and Garden. I’m a Wife, Mother of 3, I'm passionate about my family and providing a good home and healthy lifestyle. I Hope you enjoy learning about my life with tips that are useful or noteworthy for your own home.

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