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How to Live Comfortably as a One-Income Household

By: iTHINK Financial | Oct 04, 2018

3 Steps to Live Comfortably as a One-Income Household

While dual income households are on the rise, a large proportion of American households bring in only one income. As of 2012, 37% of married U.S. households with children lived off of a single income. With so many American families living in one-income households, it’s important to establish what helps and what hurts their financial health.

If you’re a member of a single-income family, young couple or anywhere in between, these strategies can help you thrive on the income you generate.

Budgeting Is Key

Budgeting is more than just a financial exercise. When we analyze our past purchases, we don’t just see where our money goes—we’re forced to face it head on. Those $5 daily coffee runs look a lot less essential when written next to rent and utilities.

Go through your expenses as a household, identify what costs are unchangeable and which are unnecessary, and start formulating a budget for the future that prioritizes financial comfort over expensive coffee.

Saving for Rainy Days

No one likes to think about potential emergencies down the road, but as much as we’d like to avoid them, home repairs, medical issues and other unforeseen expenses can and will pop up. Nevertheless, these emergencies are a lot less stressful and easier to wrap our minds around when we’re financially prepared for them.

Creating an emergency fund is a crucial step on the path to financial comfort as a one-income household. How much to set aside is something that you and your family can discuss with each other. On the other hand, you can work with a financial expert who can point you towards personal savings accounts that can prepare you for hiccups down the road.

Eliminate Debt

While it’s much easier said than done, paying off your debt will take a huge weight off of your shoulders. Simple online debt calculators make facing your debt, whether it comes from student loans, credit cards or any source, much less intimidating.

Once you’ve identified the state of your debts, it’s time to start formulating a plan. Consider meeting with a financial expert to collaborate on a plan that keeps your debt decreasing while keeping you living comfortably.

Debts, unnecessary spending and emergency funds can be big, scary ideas to consider at first. However, the earlier you face them, the better you’ll be in the long run living on a single income.

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