From being a double income family, can you really survive with just one income?  To succeed in staying afloat, it’s most helpful to calculate, if not actually compute, the costs involved in having a second income.

I’m back to writing about our one-income household lifestyle.  And today, I’m going to talk about how we came to be confident that we could survive with just one income.  We worked on our numbers, and the first set of numbers we worked on was the cost of having a second income.

Of course, at the center of our planning and strategizing was my dear friend, Excel.

The Cost of a Second Income

Back in 2011, I wrote about cost to work briefly.  But today, I’m sharing with you a more detailed version of the process we went through.

In a worksheet, I created two major columns:

  • Income
  • Expenses

Under each column, I added two more columns:

  • I stay employed
  • I stay home

Then we listed down everything.  Under income, we included the benefits, like the sack of rice that we regularly received from the company.

Managing Expenses

The exciting part was working on the expenses.  From Expenses => I stay employed column, we had househelps’ salaries (we had two), and 13th month pay.  Those items were no longer to be seen under the Expenses => I stay home column, and because I had set up my file to autocompute, it was fun seeing the expense numbers really go down.  From two househelps to zero, we also adjusted our monthly budget for electricity, water, food and other miscellaneous items like toiletries, snacks, lunch out, groceries, and phone.  Then we further deducted my meals purchased at the office, wardrobe and other miscellaneous items an office girl spends on, like shoes, bags and accessories.  In my case, I had a service vehicle from the company, so I had no transportation expense to take into account, but for the others who are thinking of giving up employment and are public commuters, you’ll find that your transportation expense will make a big difference on your budget.

Personally managing our home proved to be more cost-efficient, too.  You won’t believe how I used to buy a liter of dishwashing liquid, fabric softener and laundry detergent weekly.  But when I started to personally do our laundry, I only had to replenish our laundry supply every three weeks, same thing with the dishwashing liquid.  Aside from the expected reduction of cost on food and utilities, personally managing our house meant further savings because we are more conscious about our spending.

Effectively managing your expenses and having a game plan in bolstering your income are crucial in surviving a one-income lifestyle.  After you have all your ducks in a row, all your numbers computed, the difference you will end up with may not be sufficient to warrant holding on to the second income.  Your reasons for holding on to a corporate career like job satisfaction, independence, career progression, and the like, may be overshadowed by being able to stay home with the children, having the time to learn a new skill, or becoming your own boss.

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