Let's just say it's an idea that we may or may not go down to 1 income once we have our first child. Sometimes I'm completely up for the challenge and sometimes I just don't see how it could possibly work. DH and I are close to 50/50 as far as our income goes, but I make a little more... and I'd be the one staying home.
I'd love to hear your stories about how and why you made it work! Did you save a certain amount first? Drop to part-time before quitting completely? Work from home a bit?
apricot / 261 posts
We haven't done this yet, but we are thinking about it in the future. Someone suggested testing it out by putting your whole salary into savings for a couple months, and living only off of DH's income. This way you can work out your budget, but will still have your income as a backup while you figure things out... and bonus, you're saving money.
pear / 1955 posts
What @Willow: said! We're TTC now and planning to drop to one income after that, so we're living on DH's salary alone right now and putting all of mine into savings. It took a little adjusting (eating out much less, meal planning to cut back on groceries, things like that) but it's working so far.
clementine / 918 posts
We are about to start TTC and we have actually talked about having my husband stay home for the first year. We might need to try living on 1 salary and saving the rest. I think that is a great idea and good for our savings account.
coconut / 8498 posts
@Willow: This is what we did. We knew from the beginning that I would be a SAHM, so we never used my salary. It went into savings while we budgeted using DH's.
nectarine / 2079 posts
I knew I wanted to save money for a house, so all of my income went into savings already. We knew we could afford to live off of DHs income since we already were, plus we had plenty in the bank if something went majorly wrong.
apricot / 390 posts
Basically I just hope DH gets a better-paying job soon... I really don't think it's possible for us to live off of his salary alone. We could cut mine in half and be OK, but I'm not sure how I could find something flexible enough for that... I may have to continue working after all...
cantaloupe / 6131 posts
DH have been talking about and working on this for a long time. Basically, the only thing holding us back right now is that we have student loans that we'd like to get rid of faster than the standard repayment, so I don't think I'll quit right when we have the baby, but we'll give ourselves a longer maternity leave to see how I feel about it.
My advice would be the following:
Get on a monthly budget and assess your CURRENT expenses. Then cut where you can. We cut out cable and replaced it with Netflix and Hulu, for example. See if you can downgrade your phone plan to something more basic. Start meal planning and eating at home more often. Etc.
Try to stabilize your monthly payments/expenses through recurring auto-payments and predictable billing dates, and budget any annual payments monthly so you know predictably how much money you need each month to survive. A budget and payment schedules obviously help with that. For example, we have our electricity on one of those plans where its always the same every month and we have our insurance docked every month, but budget for DH's life insurance and disability payments monthly because they are due once a year.
Right now, we only have student loan debt. We budget for the minimum payments, but have been aggressively paying them down so that every spare cent we have goes to it. We want to go down to a single income with the least amount of expenses as possible. While we have that debt, we keep a minimal savings fund. Basically, our savings is enough to cover a likely emergency, which in our case would be a car repair or a sudden flight to go see a sick relative. So we keep enough for a larger car repair or 2 plane tickets on hand. If we tap it, we halt any extra debt payments to shore it back up, and then return to debt repayment. Were it not for that, we'd keep a savings of 6 months expenses.
Once you get a handle on your current expenses, project your future expenses and savings. First, I'd highly encourage you to speak to an accountant about the tax ramifications of not working. You can figure out your deductions and how much you'd save on taxes (and thus get a better idea of your actual take home pay) plus figure out what retirement savings options there are for a spouse that stays at home. Then you can also calculate the savings of not working - actual daycare costs at a center you would send your child, average commuting costs, parking, clothing, eating out, etc. You may also have to make adjustments, such as increased utilities from staying at home, or increased health insurance costs from adding on a spouse or a child to an employer plan. We also will be budgeting for more expenses related to the baby - i.e. diapers, extra co-pays to see the pediatrician, an occasional babysitter, possibly more trips to see family.
We've implemented most of these things into our lives while we're both working. We'll do a trial run of this by taking 3 months of my maternity leave unpaid. So we'll see how we actually handle the day to day of having a single income and also see how I like staying home with the baby.
blogger / grapefruit / 4836 posts
We were able to decrease the amount taken out for taxes which added to our monthly income. We paid off all of our debt except our house and had a substancial emergency fund in place before hand. We live on a very specific budget. It is tight, butwe make it work.
cantaloupe / 6687 posts
Like PP mentioned we saved my income for a few years and lived off of DH's income. We bought our house thinking this was the way it was going to be for many years while I stayed at home with the kids. Rather than getting a house in the city we moved to try suburbs and got a house we could afford on one income. Fortunately over time DH has gotten a big promotion and makes more money