Advice for transitioning to single income family : Frugal
I’ve always been an r/frugal lurker, but want to take my frugality a step further as we consider transitioning to one income. Is there any advice other single income families have for making it work? We’re already cable free, no car payments, debt-free except mortgage, and I shop sales/discounts for all purchases but do not have time to do the extreme couponing thing. Husband is handy and does most of our basic repairs/maintenance for house and vehicles. I feel that we already do most things “right” by r/frugal standards and have been using our leftover money after savings for life luxuries that we enjoy like dates/dinners/alcohol/trips etc. If we cut down the frivolities, what more could we do to make single income work? Feel free to respond generically or read on for additional details of my situation.
I’m mid-20sF, husband is early 30sM, we have one child under 2 years old, and a cat. I am a shift worker with variable income typically between $3900-4500 a month after tax, but can pick up additional shifts (my max was about $5100). Husband’s full time job currently about $3000 after tax, he will keep part time job of $400, monthly but is looking to quit to pursue his business/care for our child/etc. We both are in stressful careers but ultimately I have more earning potential and a college education while he has no ties to his field, so we agreed he can quit whenever. As for our budget: previous spending about $600 on groceries/diapers/necessities but I was able to cut down to $400 this month, phone bill is $150, car insurance $200, health insurance $220, utilities $420, mortgage is $1800 but we currently pay $100 additional on principal for mortgage each month. With the variable expenses like gas, appointments, etc we spend about exactly what I make monthly if you do not include our childcare costs and the recent purchases my husband has made to start his business. When I’ve crunched the numbers, the math works out that a single income is feasible but is cutting it close.
As far as saving, I have money going into my 403b for saving and my husband will have retirement benefits from his part-time military gig. We have $11000 in liquid/easily accessible savings and $3000 in a less accessible investment account. I can pick up additional shifts as needed if unexpected expenses occur or we want to save up for a purchase.
Just looking for any advice or constructive comments to improve our budget.