How To Live On One Income: How To Live On 50% Of Your Income And Save Money

Ever tried to challenge yourself financially and live off of just 50% of your income?

Maybe for you it’s not quite a challenge but a necessity. Maybe your family has welcomed a new baby and you’d like to be able to stay (or work) from home.

Either way, being able to live off one income is a great ‘skill’ that helps you save more, be more conscious of what and where you spend and can make for greater peace of mind.

Related: How To Save Money On Organic Meat

The challenge is being able to pull it off without sacrificing too much and still living decently (no one wants to clip coupons for 5 hours a day, let’s be honest).

One income living is also a great way to stop depending solely on each incoming paycheck and break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. But, how exactly can you be equipped to half your spending successfully? Here are all the ways you can live on one income and still thrive.

Related: 45 Healthy Snack Ideas To Lose Weight And Satisfy Your Cravings

How to Live On One Income— Live On 50% Of Your Income With These Useful Tips

Shed Some Light on Your Budget

It might not be clear right away but taking the steps to save in every category that you can does add up to thousands of dollars saved at the end of the month.

This is great news for you, because it means single income family living is possible and doesn’t have to be financially straining.

As with anything, it’s always best to start off at the base and see where you are with your budgeting. Chances are, there are lots of things you can cut out of it, funds you can reallocate somewhere else, and things that you can substitute to spend less.

Before doing all of that, though, the biggest money sucker in a budget is usually credit card debt.

This is probably what you may want to start tackling first, before even attempting one income living.

Check out your credit score with Credit Sesame to know where you stand financially.

They’ll tell you a lot more about your financial standing than just your score, like what you can do to have better credit and pay off debt sooner.

Paying off your debt or at least lowering it as much as possible is a fundamental part of single income living you can’t overlook (though it’s tempting to stick your head in the sand when it comes to paying debt off completely).

It will make it easier on your day to day spending and you won’t be as constrained with how you are able to spend your money.

If you really want to get a good handle of where all your finances are going and what to do with your money, then I highly recommend Personal Capital.

It helps you see your cash flow, your investments, and your retirement accounts all in one place for a better financial picture.

Get started with Personal Capital FREE here

Be Smart About How You Cut Spending

After debt, the biggest money sucker is carelessly spending your money on things you don’t need or even use. Here are easy money saving tips to help you achieve your one income family budget goal:

Related: 53 Ways to Save Money— Money Saving Tips For A Tight Budget

Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions

You’ll be surprised to learn just how many unnecessary monthly subscriptions you have that are sucking money out of your bank account. Single income family budgets can’t sustain money leakages to subscriptions you don’t need or never use.

You’ll save tons of money by taking just a few minutes out of your day to cancel them for good.

Dump your unnecessarily expensive cell phone plan

I have a special dislike for cell phone contracts. They are hands down expensive and are always trying to find new ways to charge you more money.

Straighttalk is a great way to dump your crummy cell contract and do a monthly prepaid service instead. They offer plans as low as $35 unlimited talk and text with 2GBs of data or a $55 dollar unlimited everything plan.

Straighttalk is a great alternative to spending upwards of $150 on your cell phone bill.

Get started with a lower cell phone plan HERE

Get energy saving lightbulbs

These energy saving lightbulbs are a great long run investment for lower electricity bills and keeps you from constantly having to run to the store for replacements. I’ve had mine for a few years now and they work great.

Learn to cook cheaper meals

I finally learned to cook cheaper meals by purchasing my very own crockpot (it’s the absolute best one I’ve found so far!).

It helps me beat the temptation of eating out so much and lets me create hearty meals without overthinking it or taking too much time.

Learning to make cheaper meal ideas can also go a long way spending wise. Especially if you have a bigger family.

Other ways to save money on spending/bills:

  • Create your own indoor clotheslines
  • Learn to create cooking essentials from scratch
  • Start your own indoor garden
  • Collect rain water to water your lawn
  • Create a monthly meal plan (I recommend the $5 meal plan)
  • Only go grocery shopping once a week/month
  • Take advantage of coupons and rebates
  • Start a ‘clean eating’ diet and eliminate all junk food/soda
  • Put away 10% of ALL the money that comes in
  • Create a tracker sheet for your daily spending
  • Make your own coffee instead of buying out
  • Always incorporate leftovers into your meals
  • Use microfiber towels instead of paper towels
  • Make your own organic at home cleaning products

HERE is a complete post on the best tips on how to go about saving when you cook.

Learn to reduce all your monthly bills

Check out the handy checklist below of ideas on how to cut spending on all your monthly bills like a pro.

Start Bringing In Extra Income

THE best way to start making extra income without being overwhelmed or overworked is to make money online.

Now, there are definitely other ways to increase your income, which can be as simple as asking for a raise or searching for a new job.

But for now, lets look at all the ways you wan pick up a laptop, some Wi-Fi and start making money from the comfort of your couch:


Sign up with Swagbucks here to make money on your spare time.

Swagbucks is a great way to make money online by watching videos using their websites or taking surveys that can and add some extra spending money to your one income budget.

Sign up with Swagbucks HERE and get $5 FREE


With Ebates you can get money back on all your purchases that you make through them online. It’s a no brainer way to save money and make money when you refer your friends to the program.

Get started with Ebates HERE and get $5 for signing up.

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is a great way to answer surveys for money on your spare time, whether that is during tv commercials or for a few minutes before you go to bed, if you don’t mind answering a few questions I recommend you check them out.

Get started with Survey Junkie HERE


Blogging allows you to ‘be your own boss’ and has created a great way to build scalable income (read: you decide how much you want to make with your blog in the long run as you make money from home).

Personally, deciding to start a blog has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as it is now earning more than $2,000 in passive income (meaning I did all the work to set it up before and it has now built up to make that much on ads alone).

It has helped me create more financial freedom for myself and my family and has been a HUGE learning experience on what it takes to make a living online.

You can learn what it takes to start your own blog and make money on the side with THIS HANDY BLOGGING GUIDE.

Drive for Ubereats

Uber has expanded into the food delivery sector and is actively looking for drivers to deliver foods from thousands of restaurants already enrolled.

If you want to make some extra cash, check out Ubereats for details on how to get started.

Teach from home with VIPKIDS

Teaching English from home can be another way to pad your single income budget if you’re ever in a tight spot or need to pay off debt.

HERE are all the details you need to know to start earning $14+ per hour from home.

For more money-making ideas, check out the ultimate guide to earn money from home and learn to make an extra $1,000 in income.

These guides include legitimate work from home jobs, data entry jobs from home, and even part time work from home that you can get more info on.

Making online income is a great way to create passive income streams that can help you achieve your single income goals.

Finally, Automate Your Savings Easily

So, what to do with all that extra money that you’ve successfully saved and made with some of the tips above?

Living on one income while saving the other leaves you with some cash to handle and some financial choices to make. This can be very exciting! ?

Chime is a great way to automate your savings with an online bank account. It is FDIC backed and has great features for someone trying to save money from each paycheck.

For instance, for every purchase you make, Chime rounds that up to the next dollar and automatically puts it away for you.

On top of that, you can automate it to save 10% or more from each deposit made. It is super flexible and convenient and you don’t even have to think about it.

It’s the perfect set it and forget it online bank account.

Sign up with Chime HERE to get started saving automatically.

A Note On Frugality

Granted, living on a single income means you might have to cut out more than one ‘luxury’ whatever that may be.

It’s important to have the right mindset to be able to succeed and thrive on a single income. This might mean you won’t be able to eat out as much as you used to, buy as many gifts, or be as mindless about how much energy you use.

If you are constantly being impulsive on your spending it can lead to being worse off financially than when you started, which can lead to further debt in the future.

So in essence, remember, it’s nice to be able to relax and not try to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and practice contentment instead. ?

Being happy with what you have will always be infinitely better than trying to overreach to be happy with more than you can afford (which is almost always never the case).

Related: Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes: 37+ Tasty Chicken Recipes

One Income Family Budgets Are Possible

Single income family budgets are possible if you review your spending and get smarter about the money coming in and the money going out.

Becoming a one income family can be as easy as being more mindful about where your finances are going on a daily basis.

Things like budget tracking sheets and money envelopes help control your spending a TON.

NOTE: I recently designed a set of spending trackers and budget envelopes along with other printables to help you keep track of your money—

>> Check Them Out Here! ?

There are lots of ways to cut your spending, and some of it is based on your personal situation, where you are living, and what your financial goals are.

One income living might take some frugality and determination, but in the end can be well worth it.

Related Posts:

How To Save Money On Your Monthly Bills: The Ultimate Guide

A Money Savings Challenge For The Year You Need To Try

Save Money On Groceries: 29 Ways To Drastically Lower Your Bill

53 Ways To Save Money For A Tight Budget

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