7/365Challenge:  There are several reasons why families can be a one-income household.  It can be a lifestyle choice, when a husband works, and the wife stays home to care for the children.  Or when a spouse loses a job.  Or when you are  single parent.

In my first One-Income Household post, I talked about how we are living on a single income, and why.  It’s a conscious effort to save.

The family that saves together stays together.

My husband and I, we talk a lot.  We talk about anything and everything.  And money is a topic we don’t shy away from.  Well, I do the talking, mostly, and he listens, and he approves.  I present the numbers and lay down the plans.  Sometimes, he would question the soundness of my plans, and it could be scary, you know.  He’s an engineer, and he’s really very meticulous, and when he starts to cross-examine me, my brain starts to function overtime.  He would have these what-if questions, and those were great to have.  We get to work on alternative courses of action for any eventuality.

When his past company was bought out by the industry giant in 2013 and he was offered a contractual position for a year, I started managing our budget with just my income, and only took from his salary for big ticket expenses.  So when his contract ended and we decided that he would not renew, we were okay.  I’ve got it covered.  When he landed a freelance gig after eight months of being idle,  I told him that we should continue with our one-income lifestyle.

Well, not everything’s as rosy as it looks.  I actually had a scare for a while.  Coz in January 2014, we had our house extended to accommodate my home office.  At that time, we were not even thinking that he would not renew.  So a big chunk of our savings went to the house extension, and when he did not renew, we were almost back to zero.

You might ask, how can we even think about saving when we are barely meeting our needs with our current finances?

This is where creating a budget comes to play.

Ask yourself these questions:

What are our essential costs?  – You have to know what is essential for your family.  Ours are food, shelter, education healthcare, internet connection.

How much can we realistically afford? – Do you really need to buy Starbucks coffee, or will Batangas brew do?  Do you really need an iPhone6 or will Samsung J5 do?

Can we afford our current house?  – Lucky for us, we had the foresight to take care of buying a house before we even planned my second pregnancy.  I adamantly insisted on it.  But if you are still renting, think about how much you can really afford.

How much are our current monthly credit card payments? – Don’t use one if you know you are an impulsive buyer.  Go ahead!  Cut it in half.  Now!

Can we afford maintaining a car?  – Some families even have more than one.  If you are a dual-income household and you have two cars, you might want to think about letting go of one.  Mother Earth will be so happy.

How will be cover health insurance? – Or do you even have one?

Is our life insurance adequate?  – Again, do you have one?

What’s our overall debt situation? – Credit card balances are debts, so consider those.  House mortgage, car mortgage, and even insurance premiums.

How will we cut back on costs? – I have so many tips on this, starting with letting go of the househelps! How to survive without a househelp will be another good post, don’t you think?

How will we fund retirement?  – Uhmmmmm… can I invite you for coffee one of these days?  🙂  Seriously, let me know if you’re interested on a financial management talk, I will sponsor you.  I sleep better at night because I know we are covered.  🙂

What are our options? – How determined are you to make it work?  Then you’ll know you won’t run out of options.

Can we find or create additional income? – Definitely!  Just ask me.  🙂

My 15 minutes is up!  Let’s meet again tomorrow for a continuation of this talk.

P.S.

I’m squatting on my kids’ PC coz my office desktop has been acting up for the last four months, and today has been the worst.  Monitor dies every so often.  Well, it celebrated it’s 5th anniversary last November, so maybe it’s really tired.  Maybe it’s time we consider getting a replacement.  And the good thing is… I’m not worried about a possible purchase because I’ve been saving for it for two years!  Companies replace computer units every three years, so from the time my desktop turned two, I’ve been saving up for it.

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