How we Make it Work on a Single Income
Now I certainly wasn't making the big bucks at my job, but suddenly loosing that income and adding a dependent definitely strained our budget - hard. For a little background, my husband is self-employed which means that we essentially have to pay for everything 100% out of pocket ourselves - health insurance, retirement, life insurance, etc. - there is no paid time off or sick days and no "benefit perks" that come with his job. No Christmas bonus to look forward to every year either. We also have a mortgage and are still paying off college loans - over all it becomes a lot of expenses once you add everything up. In order to make this work we had to cut back a lot, but it's worth it to be able to stay home with our little one.
Here's what we did to make it work:
Called Around to Lower Bills
Make a list of all your utilities, car insurance, home owners insurance, phone plan, etc. Call around to each one and ask if there's anything they can do to lower your bill. Often if you've been a customer for a while and your rates haven't been adjusted in a few years, they will be able to give you a bit of a discount.
If they can't give you a discount on what you have, re-evaluate your current plan. There might be something unnecessary in your plan you can drop to save some money on your bill or consider switching to another provider for cheaper service/coverage.
Cut Cable, Limit TV Streaming Services
Cable TV is expensive - SO expensive. Ditch that bill and you can easily save $100+/month. Subscribing to multiple TV streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Prime, etc) also adds up fast. We originally subscribed to several services but now just use Amazon Prime since we pay for that subscription anyways for it's shipping perks.
Having just one car won't work for every family but we decided it was something we could make happen. With my husband working from home already, we really only "needed" a single car for errands and school drop-off... sometimes there are conflicts when we both need to be somewhere different at the same time, but we've learned to plan ahead for these conflicts and carpool or rearrange a schedule to accommodate each other.
By having one car that means just one car payment, one insurance bill, and one set of carseats to purchase.