Are you homeschooling and trying to thrive on one income? You’re not alone. Studies show that while one-third of homeschooling families have two working parents, the other two-thirds are living on one income (or less than one income.)
Here’s my reality: Ever since my husband and I have been married (almost 20 years!), we have lived on one income. Grad school and more grad school, an international move and then having babies just contributed to this lifestyle.
We have chosen as a family that I will be a SAHM and the primary instructor for our kids’ homeschool education. My husband is a pastor. We have five kids, which is a large family by most statistics these days (although much smaller than many homeschool families). I have side gigs and businesses that I have pursued to help our family financially since I am not able at this time to go get a job in my degree field. But those side hustles don’t bring in a full-time income, so we are still a one-income family.
Some homeschool moms work full-time and still homeschool! My hat is off to you! You are amazing.
But what if you are a homeschool mom and you can’t work right now or don’t want to because of your responsibilities at home?
Here’s my guide to living (and homeschooling!) on one income.
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If money is tight, then a good first step is to look at your regular expenses and see what you can cut. Some of these cuts are not even painful because the DIY option is better! Try a few of these ideas and see how much money you can save each month.
Save money on household expenses
- DIY products like deodorant
- Reusable feminine products
- Freezer cooking (so you can stock up when things are on sale, which saves you time and money)
- Buy used cars and pay cash (or, can you get by with only one vehicle? We’ve done this in certain seasons and saved a lot of money this way.)
- Cut the cable bill (utilize the library, amazon prime videos, or Netflix if it’s cheaper)
- Save and reuse kids’ clothes, shoes, and outerwear for the next kiddo
If you’re going to have to shop, you might as well save money (and make money) as you do it. Here’s how.
Shop online the smart way
- Log in to your Ebates account before you make purchases online and you will earn money back every time (get $10 back for signing up here)
- Grocery shop online (you won’t spend as much – less impulse buys)
- Check out online toy consignment site Toycycle.co
When you have to live on one income, you can improve your situation by cutting expenses or you can improve your situation by bringing more money in each month. You don’t have to work a full-time job to help your family’s bottom line. You can work some side gigs in the margins of your life. Here are some ideas to get the inspiration flowing.
Make money on the side
- Start at Etsy shop
- If you’re making printables and worksheets for your homeschool anyway, then why not sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers
- Sell off old clothes and toys on eBay
- Leverage your talents :: Do you play an instrument? Teach music lessons in your home. Do you enjoy cleaning? You can make a nice side income cleaning other peoples’ houses. What about in-home child care while you homeschool your kids? I know some people who have successfully done all these things and more to help the family’s finances.
- Check out more work-from-home ideas on my Mompreneur Pinterest board.
It doesn’t matter how much extra money you manage to bring in, or how well you do at cutting expenses if you don’t know how to budget! You can be making a great income but still be living in the red without a budget.
Learn to budget well
- Tell your money where to go before the month starts instead of wondering where it went. Stop living pay check to pay check. How? By budgeting last month’s income for this month’s expenses. Sure, it will take a bit of discipline to get one month ahead, but it’s worth it! The next two tools teach this method of budgeting.
- YNAB :: You Need A Budget – our family personally uses this tool and they will walk you through how to set up your budget
- Every Dollar app from Dave Ramsey
Living on one income can be challenging, but you are not alone and it can be done! By cutting costs where you can, shopping smart, starting a side hustle and sticking to a budget, you can make it work. Share your best tips below or on our Facebook group.