How to live on ONE income and still have a life!

Being a full-time caregiver was a very rewarding experience.  With that experience came sacrifice and creative budget management.  My caregiving journey has ended, but those acquired money management skills still resonate in my current lifestyle.  My husband and I currently live on one income.  We’ve had the opportunity to buy a house, travel, and raise two dogs.  How do we do it?  Let me explain!

I used my spare time while caregiving to develop my DIY skills.  Being handy around the house can be very budget friendly.  Since my husband was working, anything that needed to be fixed became my responsibility.  The sink leak that left our kitchen flooded couldn’t wait until the hubby got home from work!  Or, the washing machine hose that flew off and flooded the utility room!  Nope, that couldn’t wait either.  I decided learn handy skills and become a Mrs. Fix-It.  I wasn’t aware my self-taught skills would develop into a HUGE money-saver.  From house painting and floor installation to shutter and deck building….I learned to do them all.  The money we saved on these necessary homeowner projects was a pretty good sum.

When my caregiving duties had ended, my husband and I decided a change in scenery was needed.  Thus began the house hunt!  Buying a home isn’t easy and there are many options on the market.  But, stick to what you can afford!  We looked at beautiful homes, but realistically they were not in our budget.  Our magic number for a monthly mortgage was $1500….including taxes and insurance.  This number narrowed the playing field quite a bit, but nice homes were available on this budget.  We wanted a modest 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with a basement on about an acre of land.  It took a few months of looking, but we found a nice home and location.  The catch?  It needed to be painted, new carpet in the basement….cosmetic updates.  My husband and I knew the updates and repairs were easy fixes, so we made an offer and three months later moved in!  We came in under budget on our mortgage….$1420!  Buy what you can afford!

Ok, we bought a house!  But, we’re not spending ALL of our time here, right?  The hubby wanted a travel via travel trailer and explore some of the states during his vacation time.  It wasn’t in our budget for a brand new one, but used RV’s can be a very affordable option. We found a travel trailer for sale by a private owner about 30 miles from our home.  The seller was the 2nd owner and it was very well-kept.  Again it wasn’t new, but we bought it for $4000!  We have explored 10 states so far!  Staying nightly in your travel trailer is approximately one-quarter to one-third the cost of staying in a hotel.  Huge savings!  While not lavish vacations, we enjoy the exploration.

I mentioned we currently have two pups.  We had three, but unfortunately one passed away 6 months ago.  I miss him dearly!  How do you save money with these wide-eye lushes?  PET INSURANCE!  Yes, pets become sick and need medical assistance just like humans.  We invested in health insurance and were very pleased with the results.  When my oldest pup was diagnosed with cancer the vet bills were excessive.  They totaled approximately $4000-$5000 in just a few months.  It may not seem like a lot to some, but it was to us.  However, with our insurance we were reimbursed 90% after the $250 deductible was met.  Yes, pet insurance is a good investment!

Most people are very aware of their household expenses budget, so I don’t like to dwell on the topic.  But, if you want to save a little more cash try buying off-brand products, making your own cleaning detergents, baking some homemade dog biscuits, growing your own produce in the warmer months, eating in instead of out, or set a holiday budget for gift buying.  My husband was astonished that we could actually own a home and have a life on only one income.  We’re not rich and famous, but we’re happy!  Living on one income is definitely doable, so do it!  Let me know other ways to successfully live on one income by leaving a comment!  Thank you for reading!

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ThePineyChemist

I'm just your average thirty-something woman, living in Small Town, USA. I graduated college with a B.S. Degree in Chemistry in 2008. While pursuing my passion for Chemistry, my life took an unexpected turn and I became my grandmother's 24-hour caregiver....for 11 years. During this time, I married and became a very independent woman. The Piney Chemist combines my love of Chemistry with eventful life experiences. It's Chemistry, caregiving, and me!

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