I strongly urge you to do everything in your power to start living on one income, however and whenever possible. If you are single, concentrate on living well below your means, paying off any debt you have, saving money, and giving generously. If you are a two income family, please read on with a hopeful and open mind.
Why live on one income?
Living on one income does not necessarily mean you’re only earning one income. Whether both spouses work, or only one works and the other stays home… there are many benefits to living on one income only.
When both spouses work
As it sits right now, me and Betsy have no children and are self-employed, but it wasn’t long ago that we were both working full-time jobs. There are benefits to having both spouses work, but if you do I still encourage you to live on only one income while you save the other.
Here are a few noteworthy benefits of a two income family living on one income:
- A hedge against job loss. If both spouses work, yet they only require one income for their living expenses, then the other spouses job can be lost without an enormous family crisis taking place.
- Pay off debt faster. Use the second income to get you out of debt in record time.
- Save more money. Once you are out of debt, start packing away boatloads of cash.
- Give more. Because you can, because it will make you happy, and because “…God loveth a cheerful giver.” II Cor 9:7
- Retire earlier. Once your emergency fund is established, begin fully funding your IRAs, 401(k)s, and other investments so you can retire earlier and spend more time doing what you love.
When only one spouse works
If you have been blessed with children then most of you will likely be forced to decide between having one spouse stay home and putting the children in some sort of day care. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of being able to skip the day care and enable mom or dad to stay home with the children while the other spouse brings home the bacon.
- No day care. You raise your own kids… full-time. You do not have to pay for day care, and no longer have to worry about whether or not your children are being properly raised 8-10 hours of the day.
- Less stress and more quality time. When the working spouse comes home, many of the household duties, cares, and concerns can already be taken care of by the homemaker. This affords the couple much more quality time with much less stress.
- Enable one spouse to take care of the home, and everything in it. One spouse goes to work for pay, while the other stays home and works as the support system. A homemaker taking seriously the job of caring for home and family may just be the most honorable and rewarding position there is – and I think we, as a society, are in dire need of more of this type of thing.
I hold to the belief that a woman will feel more fulfilled in the role of staying home and caring for the home and family while the man goes outside the home to earn. I am not a chauvinist, and I do not think “stay-at-home-moms/wives” have it “easy,” that couldn’t be farther from the truth. What I do believe in are the gender differences ordained and given us by God Almighty. Don’t get me wrong… either spouse can provide, and either can stay home… but we are most interested in how intrinsically fulfilled each of us feel in either given role.
Living on one income while both spouses earn gives you increased security, speedier debt repayment, more capability to save, give, and retire early. Living on one income and raising a family will afford you less costs and outsourcing in regard to raising children, lowered levels of household stress, and more time together as a family!
Whichever route suits your family best… don’t the benefits of living on one income sound appealing? So what are we waiting for? Let’s start tweaking our budget so we can live on one income and start reaping some of these benefits!
Do you (or can you) live on one income?
We want to be there as soon as possible… so we’re working to get rid of all our debt (and a lot of our possessions.) We cut costs drastically, are living far below our means, and would probably be fine if we were forced to trim down and live on one income only.
What about you?
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