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5 Tips for living on one income

Author John Thompson
Submitted 19-10-2010

Whether you've chosen to be a one income family, or a layoff has made the decision for you, fathers should know that, although living on one paycheck may be a challenge, it is possible.

Financial experts say that dads who are considering (or envisioning) themselves making the switch from a two income household to a one income household may want to plan ahead for the reduction.

1. Have an emergency fund. Most financial experts suggest having between three and six months' worth of living expenses set aside "just in case." This extra money may come in handy if you are faced with an unexpected home repair, broken car or illness.

2. Trim living expenses. From downgrading or eliminating your cable TV service to cutting coupons and trading in your car in favor of a used one, cutting expenses will help make ends meet.

3. Set a budget. Have a realistic conversation with your spouse about your wants versus your needs. Decide together how your money will be spent.

4. Don't deprive yourself entirely. Like a too-strict diet, cutting out all discretionary spending may cause you or your spouse to cheat on the budget.

5. Continue saving for your future. While your one income status may be temporary, it's important not to neglect long-term savings goals.

Some experts suggest giving living on one income a trial run of a few months to see if it is a possibility for your family.