9 Tips to Help You Live on One Income and Make Your Stay at Home Mom Dreams Come True

As a stay at home mom for over 7 years, I can tell you from experience, living as a single income family can be a CHALLENGE. See what I’ve discovered over the years and learn how to live on one income without sacrificing anything! Trust me, it’s totally doable.

photo of couple with a baby sitting

Whether you are just starting your single income life or you’ve been single income for a while now, these tips can help you learn how to make the most of what you have without feeling like you’re missing out on anything. Let’s be honest, it can be a challenge living on one income, but it is absolutely possible. If you’re making the decision to live on one income so you can be a stay at home mom… mama, that decision is SO WORTH IT!

Here are my tops 9 tips to help make your transition to life on one income easier!


We are starting this list off with a BANG! I know, this is a tall order for some and a tough pill to swallow. The truth is, living on one income WILL take some sacrifices… but believe me when I say this: You won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything! The joy you gain by getting to stay home with your children far surpasses the happiness any house or location can bring.

small white house with green grass

We’ve lived in small houses for most of our marriage. In fact, our current home is only 1300 sq ft. Is it noisy in here at times? Yes… Does it feel too small? NO! I honestly believe you will fill any house you buy so if you buy a huge house, it’s just that much more stuff you have to buy to for it. Stuff = money… see where I’m going here?

Not only do you have to spend more on furnishings, curtains and stuff, if your kids are anything like mine it won’t matter how big your house is—they’ll be in the same room as you most of the time anyway! Seriously, we could live in a 2500 sq ft house and they would still play right next to me all day. I mean, what’s the point of all that space?


When you are looking to downsize, consider location to cut costs. If you live in a city, you may consider looking a little further outside the city. Depending on where you are, cost of living may drop significantly the further you go. Just make sure to take into account the cost of commuting to work and make sure you really are saving money.

If you aren’t tied down to any particular location or job, search for more affordable areas to live in and start the job search!The cost of living where we live in Texas is pretty low and that really helps us thrive on a single income.


Communication is KEY when it comes to making a budget and actually sticking to it. Sit down together and make a list of all your expenses and costs and decide together on a monthly budget for your family. This is my absolute favorite budgeting site. She has tons of free information to help you get started.


Do you really need all those channels of Direct TV? Probably not, right? What about those apps on your phone that began as a free trial and you never cancelled… yeah, I’ve been there. The truth is, if you look closely enough, you’re probably spending waaaaay more money monthly than you even realize. Some of it you may not even know about! (Helloooo forgotten subscriptions…)

man holding remote control

Coffee runs, movie theater dates, clothes shopping and even expensive make up can all be cut out of the budget to help you get your monthly costs down. Do you spend a lot of money on a hobby or craft? I know you love getting those pre-prepped meals delivered right to your door as well… but those may just have to go if you want to transition down to one income!

Like I said… it will take sacrifices to transition to one income, but it’ll be so worth it and sooooo freeing!


Well, since you’re downsizing, you probably have a lot of extra things you won’t have room for. Sell that stuff! Use marketplace on Facebook or just have a good old-fashioned garage sale. If you have some good stuff, you will probably make more than you think! What better way to turn extra stuff into cold. hard. cash.


Other than our mortgage and car payments, groceries take up the biggest portion of our budget. I know you’ve probably heard this before but meal plan, meal plan, meal plan. Personally, we spend more senseless money eating out because I haven’t meal planned and have no idea what to cook at 6 o’clock. It happens… but it shouldn’t happen every week.

Get my free and flexible printable weekly meal plan here to help you get started. Also, online grocery pickup is a lifesaver when it comes to staying on budget. If your cart is over budget, you can see exactly what you need to cut to get it down before you order. It’s awesome!


As nice as they are, major cell phone service providers are SO DANG EXPENSIVE. Look into pay as you go options like Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile or TracPhone. Depending on where you live, you could get just as good of service on with these companies as you do with yours. Want to know a secret? Most of these companies use the same towers as the big companies!

You may have to do with less data and fewer bells and whistles, but you can really save a ton by switching!


I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the thrill of a good thrift store find. Maybe I’m weird… but it’s so rewarding! Whether you feel the same or not, thrifting is undeniably a great way to save money.

woman fixing clothes on the rack

I save a ton on clothes by thrifting. The trick is, find a thrift store in nice area of a city. Seriously, I have scored some reaaaaally cute and high-end brands at my favorite spot for like $2 a piece. Really, you can’t beat it. And trust me… you would never know my clothes were thrifted if I didn’t tell you. ;)l


This one should go without saying, but if you’re a one income family… live within your means! Getting into credit card debt can be so much harder to overcome when you are living on a single income. Trust me—don’t do it. Seriously, just don’t.

When it comes down to it, learning how to live on one income is both doable and enjoyable. If you feel like God has given you the desire to become a stay at home mom, pursue that—even if it means “downgrading” parts of your life to make it work financially! Sure, you may have to sacrifice things in your budget, but the time you will spend together at home is most definitely worth that sacrifice. We have had many financial difficulties over the years, but God has ultimately provided for us every. single. time.

How do you make it on one income? Tell us your tips in the comments below!

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