Whether due to job loss or by choice, households operating on one income face numerous economic challenges.

Although it can be difficult, families do have plenty of budgeting tips and techniques at their disposal. From comparing vehicle insurance rates online to downsizing to a smaller home, surviving on one income is possible for many households with a certain amount of lifestyle adjustment.

Before Taking the Single-Income Plunge

If possible, a budget should be established based on an estimate of the household’s income with just one wage earner before making the switch to a single-income household. Listing “wants” versus “needs” is helpful when trimming expenses.

Upon determining how much it will cost to run the household after eliminating extras, using a free online budget calculator is a great way to establish spending categories. In addition to managing monthly expenses, it’s important to remember that retirement and savings requirements demand as much as or more attention than before.

One-Income Trial Period

If both partners are still employed, the best way to determine whether the household can survive on one income is to do a three-month trial run. Although some expenses will be eliminated when one wage earner quits working, couples shouldn’t overestimate work-related expenses in order to feel better about making the transition to a one-income household.

If the family survives on one income for three months without any major negative effects, there’s a good chance that it’s possible to do so on a long-term basis without making drastic lifestyle alterations.

Forced to Survive on One Income

Some households don’t have the luxury of mulling over a one-income budget or going through a trial period. In this case, an immediate lifestyle change is a must. Although commuting, dry cleaning, lunches out and other work-related costs will be reduced or immediately eliminated, others are less obvious.

For example, it’s a good idea to compare insurance rates online. In addition to finding a less expensive insurance plan, drivers who no longer commute often save even more on auto insurance premiums. Comparing rates and plans online is surprisingly easy and convenient.

Earning Income From Home

In addition to cutting monthly costs, it may be possible to earn extra income without leaving the home. Telecommuting allows a great deal of flexibility, as well as the ability to determine one’s income.

Many skills are adaptable to a home business. Freelance writing, consulting, affiliate marketing, online auctions and craft sales just a few ways to earn money from home. Even those who choose to shift from two incomes to one may find that a flexible part-time earning opportunity suits their needs.

Adjusting to One Income

Whatever the reason for a change in household income, the shift requires some mental and financial adjustment. From buying in bulk and cooking at home to comparing vehicle insurance rates online, surviving on one income in a two-income society is more feasible than many people think. With proper planning and a reduction in unnecessary expenses, this new lifestyle can be even better than anticipated.