From Two Incomes to One…Deliberately.
These days, it is not at all uncommon for a two income family to struggle with daycare affordability and decide that it’s better for one person to stay home with the kids instead. Daycare, if you can find a spot in a good one, can easily eat up to $1000/month of your take home pay. If not more.
Big changes are never easy but with a little planning ahead, you can make this work.The following are some ways to help manage going from two incomes to one. Deliberately.
Revisit your budget and adjust for your new income. If you don’t have a budget, get one. You and your partner need to be on the same page when it comes to spending the income that you do have. Track all of your spending.
Figure out how much less you need to spend. If your partners income was 45% of the total household income then you need to decrease spending by a minimum of 45%. Figure out the dollar amount and adjust your budget accordingly. The sooner you can implement the new lower spending amounts, the better, as that means using less credit.
Two incomes typically afford more stability and the opportunity to stash funds into a savings/emergency fund. These days, there should ideally be enough money in the account to cover 6 months of expenses. The standard is generally between 5% to 10% of your take home pay is put aside into an account that is only used for emergencies. Don’t have 6 months? Use it judiciously to keep you from adding to credit card debt.
Adjust the Lifestyle.
Find ways to adjust to a lower household income by becoming creative. Used to getting a sitter for the kids and having a night out? Reach out to your local online community. Facebook is guaranteed to have a local mom’s group where you can swap babysitting in order to get a night out. There are any number of buy/sell/trade or sharing groups where you can get great deals on things you need for less money, if not altogether free.
Topping Up Income.
Find a way to bring in supplementary income with a part time job. Going from working a full time job to being home full time is a big change. The novelty wears off quick. You will need a reason to get out of the house for a little taste of freedom. A part time job is great because they are generally short shifts and you get to make a bit of extra cash. Can you teach a skill? If so, you can get a small group together and make some additional income doing something you love. Some coffee shops offer free meeting rooms that you can co-opt for that purpose.
Deciding to stay home with the kids is a great decision and not an option for everyone. You can make this work with the proper planning. Adjusting your perspective and staying focused on your goals is key.
At PYLO Finance Inc., we believe that creating a realistic budget based on your needs and goals is within your reach. Our team is available if you have questions.