Are you working full-time, and you want to quit? This post is all about how our family went from two incomes to one.
Let me start off by saying that I NEVER thought I would have the desire to stay home with my kiddos and not work outside of the home. After I graduated from high school, I went to my community college and then transferred to a 4-year university and got my bachelor’s degree. I’ve been working since I was 14 years old. My husband and I got married in 2003 and starting trying to build our family about a year later. That was a long journey and something I may share more of in the future, but that’s not the point of this post. We had my oldest son in 2010, and I continued to work full-time at a local university (my alma-mater). I LOVED my job and the benefits it provided. I had 12 weeks maternity leave and it was wonderful…then I went back to work.
I dreamed of working part-time, but when I looked at the reality of that – a cut in income plus still paying for childcare, it just didn’t make sense. When I got pregnant with my second son in 2011, it didn’t take long for my desire to shift from sitting in an office where my workload ebbed and flowed A LOT to decide that just maybe this wasn’t how I was supposed to be spending my time.
I was nervous. I was worried about giving up a monthly salary. I was anxious about not having my retirement growing. And, if I had stayed at the university, my boys could have had a really nice discount on their own college education. But, I just knew it wasn’t where I was supposed to be and all of those other things would work themselves out (and they have so far!).
Once we made the decision that I would be quitting my job after my son was born, I started to take a really long look at our finances. I had a few friends that mentioned Dave Ramsey, so I checked out his Seven Baby Steps. I focused on the first four steps which luckily, were not an issue for us as I am a natural saver:
1. $1,000 Emergency Fund
2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
3. 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
4. Invest 15% off household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
If you are wondering, the last three steps are – college funding for children, paying off your home early, and building wealth and giving.
In addition to these four steps, I started to look at our monthly expenses and see where we could cut back or what I could do to save more money.
Over eight months, here’s what we did:
1. Got rid of cable and subscribed to Netflix – This saved up about $50 per month as our monthly internet bill did go up slightly.
2. Started couponing and shopping differently! I was spending around $100 per week and now spend around $50 per week.
3. Limited our discretionary spending – going out to dinner, shopping when not necessary, extra activities that we didn’t really want to do.
4. I got a part-time job working from home working online!
5. Started living on my husband’s salary alone as a trial.
During this time, my husband also received a nice raise that helped off-set some of the difference. We were very fortunate that this is all it took and we had some time to prepare, but it was still an adjustment.
That is how we went from two incomes to one in eight months.
Have you gone down to one income successfully? How did you do it? Share your tips with us in the comments!
Find more Money Saving Tips on Become A Coupon Queen.