Our Top 5 Tips for Living on One Income

Thanks to Dave Ramsey’s ELP program for sponsoring this post! For more information, see my disclosures here.

5 Tips for Living on One Income at JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Ever since I shared my budget binder printables waaaaaay back in January, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how we manage our money and what we do to be able to live on just one income while I stay home with the Cs. Today I thought I’d lay it all out there and share the top five things we do as a family to save more money and spend less. I know talking about money can be a little awkward; the goal of my post today is not to suggest that our way is the only way or to imply that we “have it all together” in every aspect of our life. It is simply to show some methods that have helped improve our financial picture and that are possible for everyone to try or consider. Ready to hear our secrets? Here we go!

1) We track our spending.

You probably could’ve guessed that from my budget binder post, right? It may seem tedious to keep track of every budget category and write down our spending information from every receipt, but when we’re are holding ourselves accountable for every purchase, we spend less money. It’s as simple as that. If I’m at Target and I get the urge to purchase one item from each aisle in the home decor department {which may or may not happen on a weekly basis 😉 }, knowing that I will have to record my purchase and that it will put a major dent in our “household items” category for the month helps me rein myself in and only choose items that are realistic for our budget. {If you’d like your own free budget binder printables, you can snag some in this post!}

5 Tips for Living on One Income at JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

2) We set up an automatic transfer to our emergency fund.

We learned the importance of an emergency fund when we read Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover several years ago, and I can honestly say that building an emergency fund was one of the best things we have ever done for ourselves, particularly after we bought our home. It eliminates so much stress knowing that if we have a true emergency {like when our air conditioner bit the dust on a 95 degree day last summer}, we will be able to handle it financially without going into debt. The emergency fund didn’t just build itself, though. To make sure we are adding to it each month, we set up automatic transfers from our bank account that go out just like our bills. That way, the money is already gone; we can’t access it without jumping through a bunch of hoops to do so, so we’re not tempted to spend that money.

3) We bought less house than we could afford.

At this point in our lives, we could probably go to the bank and be pre-approved for a house that costs much more than the three bedroom townhouse we currently own, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. When we were looking for a place to purchase five years ago, we took a lot of things into account, including where we would want our kids to go to school, which area would be close to family, our church, and Donnie’s job, and where we could get the most for the modest amount of money we were willing to spend. We ended up finding our townhouse, which is in an excellent school district, in an area with low taxes, and is just a few minutes from family, our church, and D’s job. We also got an awesome deal because while the house had great bones, it was in pretty awful shape cosmetically, and the owners didn’t want to take the time to fix it up before they sold it. We may have had to paint over a ton of pink (yes, pink) walls and make a lot of other cosmetic changes, but it has been beyond worth it to only have a very small mortgage payment each month.

5 Tips for Living on One Income at JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com We have also made our little house work for us. At one point we were seriously considering moving– I even talked about our plan to move on the blog. We bought this house when Connor was an infant and didn’t take up much room, and after he got bigger (and accumulated more stuff!) and we had Caleb, I was feeling like we needed a bigger place to fit our growing family. Instead of moving and committing to a larger mortgage, though, we made some simple but effective adjustments. We created extra pantry space in our entry closet. We moved the Cs into the same room, giving me some much-needed office space. We created an office for Donnie in our basement. We purged, simplified, and got rid of tons of stuff we weren’t even using. And you know what? We have plenty of space. And the house really does work for us now.

5 Tips for Living on One Income at JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

4) We don’t go into debt to pay for projects.

Speaking of all of those cosmetic changes I mentioned above, a lot of them have happened more slowly than we may have liked because we only do projects when we have the cash to pay for them. We don’t buy furniture or electronics if we can’t pay for them right then and there. I would have liked to have gutted our kitchen and rebuilt it from the studs up several years ago, but since that wasn’t in our budget, we gave the cabinets a coat of paint and live without our dream kitchen until we save up the money to afford what we want. Our goal is to have as little debt as possible so that we control our where our money goes and aren’t spending our hard-earned money on sky-high interest payments.

5) We make sure all of our monthly payments are as low as possible.

The smaller our bills each month, the more money we have left over to put toward debt, add to our savings, and pay for necessary home improvements, so we make it a point to continually reevaluate our budget and see where we can make cuts. We got rid of cable and use a Roku with Amazon Prime instead. We check with all of the local internet providers a couple times a year to make sure we’re still getting the best deal, and if we’re not, we switch. We tried every major mobile phone company out there until we found the one that met our needs for the smallest price.

One of the other areas where we’ve found we can end up saving a lot of money is insurance. It is so easy to just pay the bill on our policies each month without giving them a second thought, but if we’re willing to take just a few minutes to talk to a trusted insurance provider, like those in Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) program, we can save ourselves several hundred dollars with just that one call!

Have you reviewed your insurance policies lately? One of Dave’s trusted ELPs will look over your current policies for free (!) to see if they can save you some money (and sometimes it’s A LOT of money!). The only cost to you is a few minutes of your time, and you could literally end up saving hundreds of dollars. Can’t beat that! It’s almost time for Donnie and I to do another review as well, so we hope you’ll join us in the challenge to chat with an ELP and save some dough! Be sure to stay tuned to the blog for an update on what we learned from talking to one of Dave’s ELPs, and let me know if you take the plunge as well so we can compare notes.

So those are our top five tips! I’d love to hear your money-saving tips, too, so be sure to leave them in the comments! Now go out there and save yourself a bunch of cash! 😉

And if you’re looking for more ways you can start saving money right now, check out my 10 Practical Ways to Save More Money This Month:

10 Practical Ways to Save More Money this Month | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

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Thanks to Dave Ramsey’s ELP program for sponsoring this post! For more information, see my disclosures here.

 

102 Comments

  1. Great tips, Abby! We live on one income too and it can be so hard sometimes, but its totally worth it get to stay home with the kiddo. I haven’t heard of the ELP program, but I’m going to check into it!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks, Jenna! I agree– the sacrifice is worth it! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  2. Holly @ Coconutheadsurvivalguide says:

    Hi Abby – You make talking about money sooooo easy! All of your points are right on. We’ve needed quite a few “cosmetic” (re: major overhaul) changes/fixes to our home, and we save and pay cash. We actually put off a major project we were planning this year until next year so we could save some more. The other thing we do is keep line items in our savings for bigger upcoming expenses so we know that they are earmarked for those occasions. Hugs, Holly

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Great tips, Holly!! I know the “instant gratification” thing is tempting sometimes, but I think that being able to stay out of debt is even more gratifying! Sounds like you guys are great at that! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Lauren @ Mom Home Guide says:

    Sounds like your family has good spending policies! My family doesn’t have a budget — we really should have one! But we don’t travel or eat out much or make big purchases!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      One step at a time! Sounds like you guys are off to a good start! Budgeting can be tedious at times, but it definitely has been huge for us! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Lauren!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Thanks for sharing this post! After teaching for many years, I decided to stay home. Whoa, did this cut our budget down low– great tips here for managing on one income!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Mitzi! Good for you guys for taking the plunge! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Renee Beaucage says:

    I love your commitment to tracking your spending. I’ve tried to do this several times (I even created my own spreadsheet!) but then I just lost the drive to continue. But I do plan on resuming!

    I actually got laid off from the job I’d had for the past 13 years last week (it was my very first job in retail, through which I moved from part time, to full time, to management). It’s been difficult to imagine that I may not be able to find work again. Luckily, I’ve already had another interview. But we contemplated my staying home at least through the summer. We calculated what my better half’s income could pay and what we’d be missing without my income. It was too tight to officially let me off the working hook, but it was a nice thought while it lasted. I would have loved the opportunity to stay home and focus on making my homemade cards, building that business and starting my blog.

    You’re a very lucky gal, my friend. I have a feeling you are very thankful for the blessings you are given in life!

    Stay calm and budget on! haha

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Renee! I am so sorry to hear that you are having to go through that! Let me encourage you– my hubby got laid off a week before Con (our oldest) was born, and we were stressed to the max! God provided, though, and he ended up with an even better job as a result of his layoff AND he got to spend extra time with Connor and I that he wouldn’t have had if he had been working his previous job. Everything happens for a reason! You guys will be in my prayers! Hugs!!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Renee Beaucage says:

        I’m really glad it worked out for you and your family. I truly hope that I will have the same luck. I’m still waiting to find out whether or not I’ll be the successful candidate for this position, but regardless of what happens, I know my family and I will make the very best of the situation. I’m not a super religious person, but I do believe that God has a plan for all of us, and that everything happens for a reason.

        Have a wonderful week, Abby!

  6. This is really great advice, and came at a perfect time for me! (I’m just starting to do more research on saving/budgeting) My husband and I are both currently working, but we just bought a house and really want to treat our monthly spending more wisely. It would be ideal for us to transition to one income one day when we start to have a family, so it’s really important for us to be saving over the next couple of years. Thanks for the advice! 🙂

    Melis
    https://www.melismcgrath.com/

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you guys, Melissa! The earlier you start, the better, I say! Sounds like you guys are on the right track! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  7. Clarissa Hooper says:

    Great tips. We are in the process of buying a second home on only ONE income (and it’s not a large one either!). God has made a way for us though and we are working on how to glorify Him with each dollar we spend.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Mind. Blown. That is so awesome!! Good for you guys, Clarissa! I love your perspective so much! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  8. Ali Gilbert says:

    Oh my gosh- your house looks awesome- what a transformation! We do Dave Ramsey too and do most of the things you listed here. It is SO hard sometimes….but as Dave says, “Live like no one else today so you can live like no one else later!!” Good Luck!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I think that is probably my favorite quote of his, Ali!! SUCH a great reminder! Good for you guys for making it work! Thanks so much for your sweet words! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Laila (@OnlyLaila) says:

    I live on one income and these are great tips. I am trying to get better at tracking my-spending each month. I am also a HUGE fan of the Roku. I got the Roku 3 a few months ago and love it!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you, Laila! That’s awesome! Yes, we are big Roku fans around here too! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Megan @ All That Glitters says:

    I LOVE your bedroom! Very pretty!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Megan!! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  11. We also live on one income and those were brilliant tips. Thanks for sharing, Abby! (“,)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you guys! Thanks so much, Lynn! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  12. Rachel Kathyg @ onlinesisterhood says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your finance tips. pinning for reference:) Your home projects turned out wonderfully. Have a great week.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Rachel! You are so sweet! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  13. Donna McBroom-Theriot says:

    I have to say how blown away and how impressed I am that at your young ages, you have “figured out” what most people never do – and that is how to live within/below your means and love life at the same time. We figured it out a long time ago and like you and your husband, do not buy or travel, etc. without the money saved. A book that helped us figure it out many, many (did I say many) years ago was Debt-Proof Living by Mary Hunt. You would probably enjoy the quick read. I’ve used it to explain to others how we live. Congratulations on such success! I am truly excited that you are able to share your success with so many other young couples. Donna http://www.mylifeonestoryatatime.com

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Donna, and for the book suggestion– I will have to check it out! Good for you guys for being so disciplined with your money! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  14. Tiffany @ A Touch of Grace says:

    Great tips Abby! We follow pretty much the same thing you guys do. We did FPU and it really helped us a lot. I still work part time, but we’re so close to me being able to stay home with our daughter. It is so freeing to think about being debt free!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you guys!! That is awesome! I worked part time, too, until our youngest was a year old and we made the plunge into one income! You are totally right– the thought of being debt free is SO freeing! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Tiffany!

      ~Abby =)

  15. Paige @ Reasons to Come Home says:

    So many great tips! We’ve followed the Dave Ramsey program for a couple years now and love the financial freedom we’ve gained! Even though we are on baby step 4, we still keep up with the cash system because it’s what worked for us. Thanks for these tips!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you guys! Getting to step 4 is awesome! And I’m so impressed that you’re sticking with the cash system! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Paige!

      ~Abby =)

  16. Selene Galindo says:

    I love your tips, Abby!! We live on one income too and I can attest to how a small mortgage has helped BIG time!! We pay less owning a home than we did renting an apartment. I know…crazy, especially for California.
    And not getting in debt just makes life so much easier and stress free 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you guys! It is tempting to want that “instant gratification” of the bigger house, etc. sometimes, but when I’m seeing our savings grow instead of our debt, it is SO worth it! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Selene!

      ~Abby =)

  17. I love this post! It has inspired me to budget my own money. I am a college student and am working very minimal hours right now. I have the habit of spending money without thinking about it because I like to avoid the thought of money. However, this always ends up biting me in the butt. Thank you so much for the tips!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you, Karlie! Now is the time to start! The earlier, the better, I say! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  18. My husband and I have been doing Dave Ramsey’s plan for 3 years. I took the Financial Peace University class, and it has truly changed our lives! I only wish I had discovered it when we were first married!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you guys!! We are huge Dave fans around here too! I’m with you– Total Money Makeover definitely changed our financial lives! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Tanya!

      ~Abby =)

  19. Laura @ The Turquoise Home says:

    Great post! We, too, live by the DR plan and live on one income. So worth it! Even when I want a fancy kitchen and have to wait and save my money. 🙂 It’ll be worth it in the end!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hooray for Dave! I am so glad we came across Total Money Makeover several years ago– it literally changed our financial lives! Good for you guys for being so disciplined and sticking with the baby steps! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Laura!

      ~Abby =)

  20. Great tips Abby! Thanks for taking the time to cover such a taboo subject. I have to admit – its been amazing to see my savings grow by doing the automatic transfer each pay. Think I need to go back to your budget binder info and check it out.

    Thanks again!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I hear ya! Sometimes it makes it a little tight, but having that savings as backup is SO worth it! Hope you are doing well!! <3

      ~Abby =)

  21. Jen @ Migonis Home says:

    I love it when you share your personal life stories like this. 🙂 I just went to the library and checked out Total Money Makeover. We would love to be out of debt by our anniversary in July so we’ve really been trying to be good.

    I’ve found it helpful lately to check out my credit card statement to analyze where I’m spending my money. I found a few too many receipts from Dunkin Donuts last time and since then I’ve been so much more conscious about even those $2 purchases I’m making because they can really add up.

    I’ve been trying to spend barely anything since Easter as part of a contentment project and it’s been really opening my eyes to what my spending was like before and it’s also forcing me to be more creative by not spending money to create.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You will love Dave’s book! It totally changed our financial lives! And CONGRATS to you for being so close to being out of debt! That’s awesome! I love the sound of that contentment project– I need more of that in my life! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  22. You guys are so smart for doing what you’re doing. Sometimes it’s hard to give up immediate gratification (bigger house, new items, etc.), but in the long run you will be so happy you did. Excellent post and great advice for everyone. There is nothing better than being debt free and living within your means!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Sarah! I agree– sometimes the immediate gratification thing is tempting, but I know we’re better off living below our means! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  23. Jennifer @ Brave New Home says:

    Great tips—thank you for your candidness! We follow all those same principles except that we just bought a house that is more of our budget than the previous one. Right now I’m focused on getting our food budget more under control…

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you guys! Congrats on the new house! I am totally with you– that food budget can be a bear! I have two boys, and I think when they become teenagers I’m going to have to get an extra job just to feed them, lol! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Jennifer!

      ~Abby =)

  24. Good timing on this post. I am posting about embarking on the basics of Dave Ramsey’s plan next week. I want to get our debt under control! It’s nice to hear your story!

    Stacy
    http://www.anygirlcandoit.com

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Awesome! Good luck on your journey to being debt free, Stacy! We are huge Dave fans and love his philosophy! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  25. Ct Granny says:

    We have always lived on one income. Anything I earned was saved. I was never able to get my husband to keep track of his spending but he was able to spend only cash that we agreed upon each week.

    As a result, our two children were able to graduate from college without debt and we have enough investments to enable us to live and travel without worry now that we are retired. A large house is highly overrated and keeps you busy cleaning and maintaining it when you would rather be doing something else. It also allows you too much space to store stuff you bought but didn’t need.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      What a great testimony to the power of saving! Your children are so blessed to be able to start off their adult lives debt-free! And how awesome that you get to do so much traveling now! Thanks so much for sharing your story!

      ~Abby =)

  26. Carrie This Home says:

    Great tips, Abby! I’ve heard so many great things about Dave Ramsey’s programs. I totally agree with trying to do what you can to make monthly payments as low as possible. I know that’s one of the many reasons we live off one income! (Besides God’s grace!)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      God’s grace is definitely a huge part of it, for sure!! We are huge Dave fans! We first read Total Money Makeover shortly after we were married, and it totally changed the way we looked at money. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Carrie!!

      ~Abby =)

  27. Ricki @ The Questionable Homesteader says:

    I love Dave’s system! I’m currently working my way through it, on baby step #1 right now. Every time I think I can move on to #2 something comes up, a car battery that needs to be replaced, a phone gets stolen, or the dog rips a nail off… and I have to start saving again. I am however extremely thankful that I had the fund as I was able to pay for everything with cash.
    I’d love for you to share this post at The Weekend Social to help get the word out about how great Dave’s system is.
    https://thequestionablehomesteader.com/weekend-social-21/

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you, Ricki! I hear you– there always seems to be a sticking point in our emergency fund where when we get above X number of dollars, something happens and we go below again! But like you said, that’s the beauty of an emergency fund– we can pay cash instead of going into debt, and for that, I am thankful! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  28. Elizabeth says:

    This is so good. We all need to be aware of our spending and where our money goes. I must be honest: I need to be better at this. Living on one income in today’s economy is difficult. Thanks for the tips. I also LOVE what you have done with your home. With our last home, we did a complete makeover and it was beautiful when we finished. There are still bits of that home that I miss! Thanks for the post!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth! I totally agree– it is tough! We have definitely slipped into times where we are not as disciplined about it and have to get back into it. Sounds like your home was gorgeous! It’s especially fun when you do it with your own hands and get to enjoy the results! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  29. Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com says:

    Great tips, Abby!! We are a one income family too and thankful for smart-spending/saving ideas that we practice as well! Especially agree about not going into debt for projects! Have a great weekend!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Good for you guys! It can be a challenge, but I think it’s worth it! Enjoy your weekend, Kendra!

      ~Abby =)

  30. Denise Ross says:

    Great ideas Abby :). I’d also say simplifying your grocery bill, baking your own things and cooking from scratch can save a ton of pennies too.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oooh love those tips, Denise! So true! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  31. Made From Pinterest says:

    These are great tips! My husband and I try to do these things, but there’s always room for improvement and this is a great reminder of why it’s so important. Thanks!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for popping over to my blog! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  32. Alexis @ Persia Lou says:

    SUCH good tips. We live on one income too, and have been going through Dave Ramsey’s steps to be debt-free. We were contemplating moving to a bigger home after baby number three joined the family, but ultimately decided we couldn’t do that until we had finished paying off our student loans. I would love to have a bit more space, but like you said, we are really fine where we are!

  33. It’s always refreshing to read other people who have enjoyed their lifestyle changes because of the Dave Ramsey seminars and teaching tools. My wife and I attended his course five years ago and we’re sitting pretty good right now because of it. I won’t bore you with the details because they mirror pretty close to what you and your husband have done. Our town home is slowly getting a makeover as we can afford it and the payments are so much more manageable.

    Thank you for sharing your success story. I’ve tried to pass along this information to family and friends by going so far as to actually buy them the book. You’ve gotten a lot of responses to this post and I’m sure your inspiring others to live within their means and budget wisely. 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks, Nick! Good for you guys for sticking with the plan! Sounds like you are doing great– and kudos for passing it on to your family too! They will thank you one day!! Enjoy your week!

      ~Abby =)

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  35. Those are great tips! We are a 1 income family as well. My bank allows several savings accounts so I set up a bunch for different things. I put a little aside each payday into an account called Vet Fund so when it’s time for their annual check up, I don’t have to find an extra $200. I also have accounts for vacation, Christmas, home repair, emergency fund, and utilities. Utilities is for trash and water, which is paid quarterly. It really helps with budgeting.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oooh love that idea, Bonnie! We have split things like that on paper before, but not in separate accounts. That would really give you a clear picture of your money! Thanks so much for sharing! Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  36. Amy Espinosa says:

    Found you from TaterTots and Jello’s Link Up Party. Wonderful blog and just so happens I have a five part series on a similar topic begining Monday 6-2 on my blog. I’d be honored if you’d come by for a visit!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for popping over, Amy! I just went and caught up on your series, and I love it! It’s definitely hard to get into that mindset of “living at the core of the onion” as you say, but the payoffs are worth it! Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

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  38. I agree so much with everything you’ve said, so many people buy a larger more elaborate home than they can afford trying to “keep up with the Jones” or to have a standard of living that it took their parents decades to get too!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So true, Margo! I can’t say I’ve never been tempted or wanted those things, but I am happy with the decisions we’ve made for our family! Thanks so much for reading! Have a great night!

      ~Abby =)

  39. These are great tips. Thank you. I’ve been planning to get some of Dave Ramsey’s books and I’ve listened to him on the radio. You have a beautiful home and a beautiful family. The photos are really nice. My husband and I have two sons as well. It is great that you are showing such positive information about having a family on one income whether it is just temporarily or for a longer period of time. This will be very helpful to people.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Nyesha! We love Dave around here! How sweet that you have two boys– aren’t brothers the best?! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  40. Sara Carter says:

    Hi Abby!

    Great post! I found you via the abowlfulloflemons link up party. 🙂 Great reminders and it gave me a lot of inspiration.

    Question. We are currently living in my parents’ old home and I would LOVE to paint over the oudated wooden cabinetry. Were yours finished or unfinished and did you have to prep them much? You have a gorgeous home!

      1. Thanks,for your help, Abby. I’m going to pop in over there and see what she says. 🙂

  41. thank you for this! i loveeeee what you did with your home! such a transformation! my husband and i are trying to save up to live off of one income for when (Lord willing) we have a child. it’s so hard to stay motivated sometimes – but articles like this really help 🙂

  42. Ashley Z. says:

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  43. Jayleen Zotti says:

    There are many sacrifices we make as a one income family. We take fewer vacations, eat out less, watch movies at home, look for deals on groupon, and take advantage of free activities and things to do! I have to say it is worth it!!!

  44. Paige @ Reasons to Come Home says:

    Just curious how you like Roku? My husband and I are also looking to cut our cable bill out but can’t figure how to watch sporting events like football. Also, which cell phone provider worked best for y’all? Thanks for sharing!

  45. These tips are great and so spot on….all of them we have done too since we were married. We’ve lived on one income the last 6 yrs. and it’s been mostly painless because of doing these things. It’s always refreshing and fun to see other people that are willing to do the hard things in order to live financially free!

    One question, and I promise I’m not trying to be a jerk. 🙂 I assume you make money from your blog, right? So do you not consider that income? Or how is it that you can say you live on one income?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Great question, Lydia! I would not say that we are a one income family anymore, but it’s hard to pinpoint when I would have stopped calling us that. I was home before I started the blog, making $0. Then I started blogging and actually felt like I was making negative income because I was spending money on projects and web hosting and not making any money, lol. Then eventually I matched my expenses. At the time I wrote this post, I think was maybe making a little more than my expenses, but definitely not anywhere close to a full time income and then it has grown from there. We have definitely been through many varying income situations in our married life, and these strategies have helped us no matter how much we were making for sure! Hope you have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Yes, that totally makes sense! Thanks for taking the time to clarify. Btw, you have a beautiful home! I’m one of those people that is not blessed with the ability to decorate and I so wish that I had some of your creative talent. 🙂

  46. We have been on a budget for 40 years. That is the only way I was able to stay at home with my children. I was the major income in the family when we had our first child and decided I should stay home. We had every penny allocated until I was going to quit work 2 weeks before #1 was born — he came 5 weeks early. Huge commitment but I stayed home, made almost every birthday gift, made menu plans, hand-me-downs, etc. I worked very hard to save enough money to stay home. It still helps us today many years later. Keep up the hard work ladies — some HAVE to work and that is no shame. The sad part is that many are not willing to live with less and show their children how to be content. Blessings.

  47. Janet Fazio says:

    These are great finance tips for everyone. I wish they taught this in college. I’d be a lot richer today if they did.

  48. your tips will be very helpful. I lost my job last June. we could no longer afford our rent so we had to move. we bought a new place 70 miles away – almost 1/2 the price – to give me time to find a job I love, not something I need (he could afford the mort on his income). well, 4 months later I’m still not working.. and 3 months ago, one of the cars died so we now have a car pymnt on top of the mortgage. we’re just taking it 1 day at a time. all the ‘upgrades’ we wanted to make on our “new house” – all completely put on hold. we’re always looking for new ideas and tips to help until I can get another job.

  49. I was just looking at your income reports. I would expect that when you’re clearing 10,000+ per month with your blog, it’s pretty easy to live on one income.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Lol! When I wrote this post, I was barely making anything from the blog. We’ve had several different income levels in our married life, and from dirt poor to our highest point, these principles have certainly helped us to manage our money in the most effective way possible! Thanks so much for checking out my blog, Sally!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Yes, I just realized this was an older post from 2014.

      2. Heather A says:

        I was talking to a friend recently about money and asking her advice. I mentioned how I can’t wait to be making more money with my businesses because then I won’t have to waste time couponing and finding sales. I can just buy what I want when I want. She said something that I know will stick with me forever – “Well, I think if you keep working as hard as you are, you’re not going to WANT to just throw your money away. You’re going to want to make it stretch even further, so couponing and looking for sales is something you should stick with because you’re good at it.” I agree. 😉

        1. justagirlabby says:

          YESSS!! Preach, girl! 😉 So true!

          ~Abby =)

  50. Heather A says:

    Abby this is a bowl full of awesomesauce because it’s so helpful! Thank you!

  51. Hi, what is the font you use for your logo with the heart? I love it!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi Loz! The font is Carolyna Pro! Thank you, I’m loving it too! ~Abby =)

  52. I have a question, but first let me say I read your blog, I like your tips and your upbeat, positive attitude, and you are very lucky to get to be home with your children. My question is this…is it fair and true to write a blog post about how to live on one income, when the fact is whether it’s a little or a lot, your blog brings in a second income? Some people post their income reports as little as $3000 a month which by the way is 2/3 of our 2 person income all the way up to $30k in a month which for some of us is one persons entire annual income. I would love to just once read an article that is a true single income of $3000 a month before taxes and insurance, who owns a home, has kids, and no “side hustles”. My family of 4 has had to do it a couple times and it’s not easy to not amass some debt in life. I had 2 kids need their impacted wisdom teeth removed at the same time. We have insurance but it still took me 6 months to pay off the $500 that wasn’t covered. We don’t have credit cards, we have a very low house payment, (less than an apartment rent) we have one small car payment and still with utilities, insurance, food, gas, and other regular expenses, saving money even on 2 incomes is a struggle. And where we live we make what people consider to be a good income. Please, I am not trying to be rude or offensive, just trying to figure out how to be financially secure with real information. Any tips for that would be great.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Ambre! Believe me when I say I totally know how you feel and have been there. Yes, we’re both able to be full time bloggers now, but when this post was written almost two years ago, I had just barely started to make any money from my blog after over a year of putting in lots of work and money without getting anything out of it. Before I started the blog, I was a stay at home mom with no side hustles or extra income, and my husband was the only one who worked and his salary was not large. At one point in our marriage, he was laid off two weeks before Christmas, which was also three weeks before we had our first baby, and we were scared to death, not knowing where money would come from. I also grew up in a ministry family where we lived off of far less than $3000 a month and found ways to make it work. I know what it’s like to have to stretch every dollar and pinch every penny. And I know it can feel hard and overwhelming and frustrating sometimes, but I also felt like those experiences really taught me a lot. The strategies listed in this post are truly the ones that we used during those times where things were super tight in order to make it work, and they’re still the strategies we use to be good stewards and smart with our money. Best of luck with your upcoming endeavors!

      ~Abby =)

  53. Amber Mitchell says:

    I originally found your blog about a year and a half ago- because my husband and I just finished Dave’s total money makeover. I made my own home budget binder from your printables and it changed my life! I can’t imagine how we were thriving before making this change. NEWS FLASH: We Weren’t! Thank you Abby! Everything you share is so helpful ♥

  54. Whitney Mathis says:

    I found you through Pinterest one day and I thought that you was such an organized person that I kept up with you on there and then I saw one day that you actually blogged and even though I haven’t been able to sit down and read all of your blog entries; I am hoping to become a more organized individual by reading your tips and tricks. I have been struggling recently with saving up money and reading this entry today makes me feel more confident to start doing better even if it is the middle of the year 🙂 I also snagged some of the free printables to see if they will help me and hopefully they will! Also they have the cutest designs!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Aw, yay! I hope they will be helpful for you, Whitney! Happy organizing! <3

      ~Abby =)

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