As soon as we found out I was pregnant, my husband and I decided I was going to stay home with the baby. I couldn’t imagine leaving my baby, much less going back to working late night shifts at Starbucks. We knew we’d be able to make living on just his income work with a little bit of effort & a whole lot of discipline.
A couple months before I was due, my husband got an offer for a job. It was a 40% salary increase, with great benefits. In addition to that, the president of the company was willing to buy us out of our apartment lease to persuade Tyler to move us out to metro Detroit, nearby his new office. Babies are expensive, and we couldn’t turn down the salary offer, so.. our daughter was 2 weeks old when we moved into our new apartment. PS: I don’t recommend moving with a newborn. That sucked.
I was now an hour away from my family. Meaning that if I ever needed to go back to work (maybe to offset the higher cost of rent in our new city – omg) I wouldn’t be able to just drop Lilian off at my parents’ house to be watched for the day. Daycare is not an option we’re willing to try, especially in a new city where we had no friends to recommend a place that wasn’t ran by dangerous lunatics. I’ve heard too many horror stories of daycare. Good thing I decided to stay home, right?
Living on one income isn’t as scary as it sounds.
Our joint income when I worked full time too was just slightly more than my husband’s income alone with his new company. Back then, we lived paycheck to paycheck. We barely saved money. We made a lot, but after bills and our ridiculously frivolous lifestyle, there wasn’t much leftover to save.
We have more money living on income.
In addition to that, we actually save now.
We’re a month ahead on every bill. EVERY SINGLE BILL! We are so proud of that! How many millennial couples (with a baby) can say that? Bill due dates don’t play a factor in our budget because the money for November’s bills had been waiting in the “Bills” account since October. Everything is on auto-pay, except for our Electric, Gas, and Water/Sewer bill. We are new homeowners, and have no idea what to expect those bills to be! I plan to manually pay those until I have a better feel for what its like to heat a 1,200 square foot house from the year 1960. Major side-eye at these drafty windows.
We have more money because making the transition to living on just one income forced us to come up with a budget, and stick to it. No more $40 restaurant bills 5 nights a week, while also spending $200 at the grocery store every week. When we never even cooked dinner. I don’t even KNOW what we used to buy. We used to waste so much food. It was a disaster. If we weren’t going out for dinner and drinks every night, we were out shopping and buying unnecessary stuff for fun. We didn’t even realize that was a problem. Looking back, we see that we used to waste every penny of my income.
Being a single income family:
- Doesn’t mean we are deprived
- Doesn’t mean we live on a mega-restrictive budget
- Doesn’t mean we’re spread super thin
- Doesn’t mean that we don’t save for our future.
It does mean we are smart about our money now. I know exactly how much we bring home every month, and I know exactly how much goes where. We don’t spend frivolously (unless we’ve planned to in advance) and we don’t just shop for fun.
If you need to get a handle on your finances so you can afford to stay home with your kids, check out some of the related posts I’ve already written. Financial freedom is more than just making sure you’re paying your bills. It’s a combination of small lifestyle changes to work toward the bigger picture. It’s not about how much you make, it’s about what you do with it. How many times have you heard of a millionaire losing their fortune? It’s not just you!