Could you support family on 1 income?

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jehovasfitness
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Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by jehovasfitness » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:42 am

I'm sure several here already do. But for those in a dual-income household could you?

I've got a BS degree and work for a local gov't for the past 7 years, graduated college in 2005.

Based upon my income, we could not.

Taking into account that we have no debt other than our mortgage. Student loan will be paid off next week.

Now, if we had stayed in our old house that we bought back in 2011 in a non-desirable area due to crime (mainly county issue not so much neighborhood), and terrible school system I still don't think we could. Mortgage at the time was a 15 yr with $1500 total payment.

Our expenses now are total of $4,400 with a more expensive house in a more desirable location ($2200 mortgage). I don't see that as being crazy.

We wouldn't be able to make it on just one income, and we have no kids.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:47 am

Depends on where you live, how you live, and how much you earn.

I'm sure you could, but you might not enjoy the quality of life.

On the other hand, why would you want one spouse to stay at home? I assume both of you went to college, and should be contributing members of society.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by onourway » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:49 am

We could. It would require some sacrifices, but we could do it even with 3 young kids, on either one of our incomes. Making sure that our necessary expenses don't creep above that baseline is a big part of our emergency fund.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by SRenaeP » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:52 am

Yes. When DH and I got married (2006), we agreed that we would live in a such a way that we only *needed* one income. You never know what life may bring. That said, I suspect it is much easier to do given that we don't have or want kids.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by sport » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:56 am

We could and we did. DW stopped working when the children arrived. She worked part time when they started school, and we saved everything she earned. She went back to school, part time, for a Master's degree while the kids were in high school. She started working again full time when the kids went to college and her earnings paid their tuition. Neither of us ever made a lot of money. However, both children finished 4 years of college with no debt. We are comfortably retired with a nice house with no mortgage.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:58 am

In 2001, my wife and I were considering me becoming a SAHD (Stay At Home Dad). We figured that with the reduced childcare costs, we could just manage it, but we expected that we'd have to be aware of costs.

Shortly afterwards, with the freedom to accept a business trip when necessary, with the freedom to come home late on occasion without worrying about childcare availability or our kids' quality of life, my wife's income started going up. She currently makes a considerable multiple of what she made then, enough to make my "lost" income a rounding error.

So, it was a tight calculation initially, but it turned out really well. My wife makes good money, she loves her job, and if I may say so myself, I'm a better father than I was a "code monkey." Win-win-win-win.
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David Jay
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by David Jay » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:59 am

Yes. And we have. Since 1985. When our daughter was born.
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Elemental
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Elemental » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:00 pm

I am the sole provider for my family. I wish that weren't the case, as my anxiety due to being the sole source of income is paralyzing. My wife has been a stay at home mom, and has recently become unable to work even if she wanted to, so that is our reality.

We make some sacrifices. Vacations are mostly cheap, in-state vacations to national parks and the like, with a budget Disneyland-like trip thrown in every couple of years. Our home is small and we wish it was more suitable to our needs and wants. Our furniture is worn, and house needs repairs here and there. Our neighbors have new, big homes, new cars, and fancy vacations. We just have to accept that we're different. Overall, we're pretty happy, but we do feel the constraints now and then. Everything is relative though. We have clean, running water, good health care, and lots of supportive family. Housing has gone up dramatically, so if I were looking for a home now, we'd probably be in a less-desirable area or in a townhome, multiplex.

MindTheGAAP
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by MindTheGAAP » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:03 pm

We do and have done for 6 years. We ended up having kids at 24, 25, and 28 and my wife stayed at home after the first (even if not planned, our first 2 are 15-mos apart so she'd have needed to most likely anyways for a little while). It has gone from being very tight to being much more easily handled as my income has grown significantly over the past few years and in a way, my wife stopping working at just 24 made it an easier transition b/c there was no "lifestyle" adjustment. She went from teaching in a really poor school district and making $27k/yr to nothing but not having to commute 30 miles each way, etc.
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getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:03 pm

We could and we did for a short time. DH went back to school to change careers when our first was born, and so he did the SAHD/student thing for the first two years. We had to keep an eye on expenses, and were more frugal than I'd like, but it was manageable. With the second kid we find the second income handy, but the main reason we've both chosen to work is to maximize family resilience as we're in fields unlikely to suffer recessions/layoffs at the same time. Having a sole breadwinner just would give me too much anxiety, and with two flexible work-from-home jobs we feel the kids get plenty of parental attention.

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mattyfu1
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by mattyfu1 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:10 pm

I am a teacher in NY and when my wife had our first baby we decided she would stay home. One income on Long Island (expensive).

We struggled our first year and I decided to start a 2nd business: SAT/ACT tutoring business. 3 years later, the business now nets more than I make teaching and my wife has been home 4 years. I plan on continuing the business as she goes back to work and reaping the benefits. The business has also allowed me to purchase my first rental property which nets me easy passive income.

Think about a side business you could start. A niche where your skills can earn you money.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:11 pm

Elemental wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:00 pm
as my anxiety due to being the sole source of income is paralyzing.
We went down to one income when our baby was born.

That, combined with our mortgage, is what gets me. We made sure our PITI was only $800, so we could cover it delivering pizzas, but knowing that we literally can't chop our monthly expenses to under $1,000 in a bind is extremely irritating. That's why I'm bumping up our emergency fund from $6,000 to $10,000, and why we're hitting the mortgage hard. The mortgage is only 3.875%, but I don't care - I want it gone.

I used to feel so rich. Now I feel so poor.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:14 pm

We went down to one income when our first child was born. We've been a 1-income household for 20 years now.
We planned from it from the get-go (when we first got married, before we bought a house, etc.).
I believe nearly everyone can support their family on 1 income if they plan accordingly provided they are making a fair amount above minimum wage.
Should you? I don't know - I'm not sure why are contemplating it with no kids.

JoeRetire
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:19 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:42 am
I'm sure several here already do. But for those in a dual-income household could you?
Yes. We did for 8 years while the kids were young.

Before deciding to have children, we made sure we could live on a single income. That plan guided our choice in housing, cars, vacations, furniture, etc, etc. It also helped shape the kind of jobs I held.

Before we purchased our first home, we banked my income and lived solely on my wife's income for several years.
And once the kids left the nest, we lived on a portion of my income and banked my wife's.
Our expenses now are total of $4,400 with a more expensive house in a more desirable location ($2200 mortgage). I don't see that as being crazy.
It's not crazy as long as you don't mind both having to work.

We each make our choices and live with the results.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

crazcarl
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by crazcarl » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:20 pm

Well since my wife's whole salary pays for 403b max, 457 max, and all healthcare, which leaves us $250 every other week, and I max 401k, and bring home $1400 every other week after all said and done, it could be accomplished easily. There would be less to the retirement accounts seeing as healthcare would then come out of mine, but I am sure we could make it work. It is all in how you live. We also don't have cable TV, live comfortable in a 1k sq ft house with two young kids, and budget. We still feel like we have more than enough money. I think our monthly expenses come to about ~$2500 (and that is paying an extra $400 to the mortgage every month). I would be interested in seeing what your expenses are....

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by ThriftyPhD » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:21 pm

SRenaeP wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:52 am
Yes. When DH and I got married (2006), we agreed that we would live in a such a way that we only *needed* one income. You never know what life may bring. That said, I suspect it is much easier to do given that we don't have or want kids.
Similar story. Living on one income means you can save the other.

If one of us lost our job, we could keep our quality of life, though at a much reduced saving rate. If it was a temporary job loss, we wouldn't make any changes as the person without a job would be job hunting. If it was a more permanent situation (by choice, by health) there are places we could cut to lower expenses, but no strong need to.

It is a very fortunate situation to be in. It did require us to buy a house well beneath the 'affordability' the bank, realtor, and colleagues would suggest. But it more than suits our needs, and the mortgage can be paid easily under one salary.

Actually, just ran the numbers and looks like in 2018 we'll be putting half of our combined gross base salary into retirement accounts, not counting taxable savings. :sharebeer
Last edited by ThriftyPhD on Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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celia
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by celia » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:23 pm

When we married and thought we might have kids, we decided to live on one income and save the other. That worked well for us as I took a long leave when each kid was born, when DH went back to school full time, and when we were both laid off in the same month and were unemployed for a year.

Of course, lifestyle creep came along when the kids did, but we had more options since we could live on one income if we had to.

Now we're retired and have no wages at all, but that is another story. . .

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by dsmil » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:23 pm

My wife has stayed home since our first child was born 3 years ago, and the plan is for her to stay home for the foreseeable future, unless she wants to go back or we have money issues. She always wanted to stay home, but we didn't really think it would be possible. Luckily, my career has gone better than expected so we've made it happen. We'll always be counting our pennies and won't be saving as much as the average Boglehead, but we're happy.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by feh » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:25 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:42 am
But for those in a dual-income household could you?
Yes.

My spouse works at the moment, but stayed home w/ our son for the first 12 years of his life. However, my profession provides a fairly high salary (relative to the average American), and we don't live in a HCOL area.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:27 pm

We did it when our kids were older (middle school/high school). Activities before they can drive. At this time I am happy we waited and toughed it out through those first years when they were in daycare and Elementary school. That allowed us to power save and power pay off debt.

We had our mortgage paid off, college savings at a good level, retirement savings at a good level.

We can still max out 401k (pre-tax), Roths x 2 and HSA. There isn't much taxable savings anymore. We can do anything we want, just not everything.

Do I wish at times we still had the other income? Yes, but life is short. Stress is real. Your kids move on fast. I do miss having $3,000, $4,000 left over every month. But, money isn't everything.

It probably depends on how big your mortgage is compared to 1 income. I wouldn't have wanted to do it with our mortgage payment intact. That would have meant not filling our Roths or no HSA or something would have to give. No easy answer.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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aristotelian
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by aristotelian » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:27 pm

My wife has been working part time since our kids were born, dropping her income from about $45K to $15K. She did not plan on being SAH, but she works in a low paying field and with the cost of daycare it just turned out not to be worth it at the time to work full time. I do think the decision set her back in her career long term more than she expected. She will probably never work full time again, although she could if needed. The point being, there is a risk that a decision that is intended to be temporary could turn long term, so you should make sure and talk through the possibilities.

That said, between the mortgage locking in our housing cost and my raises and promotions, we have been able to go from "treading water" to "saving comfortably". She is now working a part-time W2 job and we put 75% of her paycheck into her 401k, so we kind of live like we are still one income, but saving at a much higher rate.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:29 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:58 am
In 2001, my wife and I were considering me becoming a SAHD (Stay At Home Dad). We figured that with the reduced childcare costs, we could just manage it, but we expected that we'd have to be aware of costs.

Shortly afterwards, with the freedom to accept a business trip when necessary, with the freedom to come home late on occasion without worrying about childcare availability or our kids' quality of life, my wife's income started going up. She currently makes a considerable multiple of what she made then, enough to make my "lost" income a rounding error.

So, it was a tight calculation initially, but it turned out really well. My wife makes good money, she loves her job, and if I may say so myself, I'm a better father than I was a "code monkey." Win-win-win-win.
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Wellfleet » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:32 pm

Did it when spouse took year off after babies were born. Tight budgets, only retirement match and no fancy expenditures but make it work.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by bigred77 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:37 pm

Well our 2nd income stops in August so I hope we make it!

I'm early 30s and we just had our first kid. We live in a expensive(ish) city but nothing like NY or SF. All of my friends and peers who started having kids are all dual income except for 1 or 2 who had family financial support. It's relatively rare to be able to support a family on 1 income among my circle but it was important to my wife so we waited much longer than she would have preferred to have kids and we're giving it a go. Finances are going to be much tighter but we will make the adjustments to make it work.

It helps that we identified this as our preferred course and had close to a decade to plan for it. I realize that's a luxury not everyone has.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by jayk238 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:38 pm

My choices are a bit different.
Wife has law degree but no longer works and have no kids.
We currently have lived on one income for past 3 years at 52k or less. I know other colleagues w kids who do same.
We still save about 600 a month sometimes more.

Starting july ill make 255k a year w hopes of even more thereafter.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by mhc » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:43 pm

I know of very few dual income families among my friends and co-workers, and they are all doing fine.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:43 pm

We could support our family (wife, a 6yr old and soon-to-be 3yr old, and I) on half of one of our incomes and neither one of us is a "high earner", at least in Boglehead terms. Our total household expenditures last year were ~$45k, that included full-time daycare for both our children, full-time college tuition for my wife, and a 15yr mortgage in a MCOL area. If push came to shove, I could think of several other things we could cut. Both the wife and I grew up in abject poverty, we are very simple people; even by Boglehead standards.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by livesoft » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:45 pm

I am pretty sure we could do it now and we also did it when we were younger even with kids at home. We would not have been able to save the higher earning spouse's gross salary though.

Some spending patterns that others seem to want to do were not things that we did. For instance, we had only one car (sometimes zero cars) and one of us bicycle commuted. We rented small apartments until we were in our late thirties in HCOL locations. Our child's first residence was an apartment. And there was daycare to pay for, but that expense would go away if one parent was not working. At home: No cable, no internet, no cell phones.
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by prudent » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:48 pm

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:47 pm

After receiving a member request, this thread is now unlocked.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by soccerrules » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:08 pm

We waited 5 years to start having kids and planned to live on 1 income prior to spouse staying home with 1st born. Saved as much of the 2nd income as possible leading up to 1st retirement.

1 income for 15 years when the kids were littler.

The spouse went back to work 20 hours a week / flex schedule and was able to get kids off to school and then be home or pick them up after school.

Youngest in HS/driving , spouse now working FT and we are maxing tax-deferred account with 50+ catch-up.

Now calculating spouses 2nd retirement.

It can be done, It takes sacrifices.
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by gouverneur » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:12 pm

SRenaeP wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:52 am
Yes. When DH and I got married (2006), we agreed that we would live in a such a way that we only *needed* one income. You never know what life may bring. That said, I suspect it is much easier to do given that we don't have or want kids.
Very similar story for us. We could do it, although it would be a monster hit to the amount we save on a year to year basis.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Chicago60 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:19 pm

We have survived on one income for 30 years, and raised 3 kids, all of whom have graduated from college and moved on with their lives.

Afty
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Afty » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:33 pm

We have two young kids. We could do it, but it would be painful. We'd have to cut back both savings and spending. It would also put a lot more pressure on the person who continues working.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by invst65 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:54 pm

My first wife of 27 years (deceased for 18 years now) never worked and we raised three kids so the answer to your question is obviously yes. This was even true back when I was making less than $200/wk when we were first starting out.

When I remarried my wife was 17 years younger than me and we were still raising two kids, one hers and one mine by grandparent adoption. She still didn't work for two years while she was waiting to get her green card and citizenship.

I'm now retired and delaying social security until age 70 (next year) while my wife is working as a medical technologist. Her income gives us a slightly positive cash flow all by itself but if if she lost her job we would still be in pretty good shape. I could start collecting SS and we wouldn't need much from the portfolio to make up the difference.

So, my long answer to your question is absolutely yes - I could support my family with one income all my working life and can support it with zero earned income from now on (they don't call SS earned income for some reason - go figure).

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by JBTX » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:58 pm

.....
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by BHUser27 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:04 pm

You'd be surprised what you can do when you *have* to.
Went from 2 incomes to 1 when DW had to be on bed rest for 4 mos due to complicated pregnancy.
Took many steps to reduce recurring expenses.
Turned in two new (leased) cars and bought two used beaters for cash.
Cancelled landline phone and cable TV.
Cut back on many fronts.
When son was born decided she would stay home to raise him.
Best thing that ever happened to us.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by DVMResident » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:09 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:42 am
Now, if we had stayed in our old house that we bought back in 2011 in a non-desirable area due to crime (mainly county issue not so much neighborhood), and terrible school system I still don't think we could. Mortgage at the time was a 15 yr ...
Our expenses now are total of $4,400 with a more expensive house in a more desirable location ($2200 mortgage)

Is the second house also on a 15-year note? If yes, that's why it's so tough to swing on a single income.

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JoMoney
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by JoMoney » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:25 pm

The answer to just about every economic question is "it depends..."
http://news.gallup.com/poll/166211/worl ... e-000.aspx
...The median annual household income worldwide is $9,733, and the median per-capita household income is $2,920 ...
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by jehovasfitness » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:32 pm

DVMResident wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:09 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:42 am
Now, if we had stayed in our old house that we bought back in 2011 in a non-desirable area due to crime (mainly county issue not so much neighborhood), and terrible school system I still don't think we could. Mortgage at the time was a 15 yr ...
Our expenses now are total of $4,400 with a more expensive house in a more desirable location ($2200 mortgage)

Is the second house also on a 15-year note? If yes, that's why it's so tough to swing on a single income.
No. Old house had refi of 163k new house is 332k

We bought the old house right at near bottom of market

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TierArtz
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by TierArtz » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:36 pm

Yes. We've done it since the first child was born in 2005. My wife has two college degrees, including a Masters in an in-demand field, so the decision was strictly for the benefit of the children. The answer will always be yes if you structure your expenses to be no more than 75% of your income; invest at least 15% and give 10% to a worthy charity.

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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by goodenyou » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:37 pm

If you ask that question in a family with a high earning spouse, of course. We made all of our decisions based on 1 income since we had 3 kids. My wife went back to school and re-entered the workforce in her 40s. It can be done. You just have to find the right place and right job.
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by jehovasfitness » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:37 pm

TierArtz wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:36 pm
Yes. We've done it since the first child was born in 2005. My wife has two college degrees, including a Masters in an in-demand field, so the decision was strictly for the benefit of the children. The answer will always be yes if you structure your expenses to be no more than 75% of your income; invest at least 15% and give 10% to a worthy charity.
That's kind of my point that the system isn't set up for some people do such even when educated and have a career job.

I mean, sure if we wanted to rent a bedroom or possibly basement it could be done.

Al Bundy did it on a shoe salesman job in the 80s lol

quantAndHold
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:44 pm

We always arranged our lives so that we could live on the lower income, even if we didn’t always do it. My career was very cyclical, and we both felt like we needed to be able to live on her income if need be. When things were going well, we could and did buy cars and vacations and such, but our everyday living expenses were always completely covered by the lower salary. Mostly this involved choosing a house that was within our means, and not running up debt for anything else.

Fast forward a few years, and I guess it worked out okay. We got to FI when I was in my early 50’s, without us ever feeling like we were denying ourselves. This is in HCOL California, if it matters, and wife was a nurse before she retired.

Hillview
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Hillview » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:44 pm

We recently went to one salary. It was HARD. Lifestyle creep got us. In fairness we had only ever been a dual income household and the move to one income was not planned (husband was let go without any notice -- but he got severance). We've finally adjusted and I make good money so we are very fortunate. I wish we had been running a better budget years ago!

Sam1
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Sam1 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:47 pm

Yes. We do so now by having one spouse’s paycheck deposited into our brokerage account and we try not to spend any of it besides the monthly check for childcare.

We are able to do this because we paid for law school in cash (that hurt), don’t have any car loans or payments and have a relatively inexpensive house for our income.

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teen persuasion
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by teen persuasion » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:17 pm

Yes, DH was the only earner for nearly 20 years while I was SAHM for our 5 kids. When youngest was beginning school, oldest was starting college, we were just making the last payments on our mortgage (it was an ugly 9.75%, so I developed a plan to pay it off in under 15 years by ramping up our retirement savings), and I was offered a *very* part time job (maybe $600 the first year). Three directors later, and I'm earning nearly enough to support us, still officially part time, and we are saving nearly all of DH's larger salary for early retirement.

If either of us couldn't work, we could coast to a normal retirement age on one part time income at this point. If SS continues as is, our already earned SS benefits should be a bit more than our current expenses, so our savings are to cover the gap to max SS, and for back up, and for our kids/future grandkids/charity.

warner25
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by warner25 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:20 pm

I'd just like to point out that among active duty military families, for a variety of reasons, living on one income is the norm, almost regardless of the spouse's education level or the service member's rank/income. This is a good primer on the issue which states that only 38% of military spouses are employed full-time, and maybe 18% of those are in temporary/seasonal work. People just find a way to make it work, even (especially) with kids. We are one of those families. When we were dual-income for a short time before having kids, we saved up to 70% of our income, so moving to one income was easy.

Mike Scott
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Mike Scott » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:26 pm

We did for 25 years. As a personal choice it was a trade of less money for more time with family. It was a deliberate choice for us and was very much worth it for our family.

Yooper
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Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Post by Yooper » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:42 pm

Elemental wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:00 pm
I am the sole provider for my family. I wish that weren't the case, as my anxiety due to being the sole source of income is paralyzing. My wife has been a stay at home mom, and has recently become unable to work even if she wanted to, so that is our reality.

We make some sacrifices. Vacations are mostly cheap, in-state vacations to national parks and the like, with a budget Disneyland-like trip thrown in every couple of years. Our home is small and we wish it was more suitable to our needs and wants. Our furniture is worn, and house needs repairs here and there. Our neighbors have new, big homes, new cars, and fancy vacations. We just have to accept that we're different. Overall, we're pretty happy, but we do feel the constraints now and then. Everything is relative though. We have clean, running water, good health care, and lots of supportive family. Housing has gone up dramatically, so if I were looking for a home now, we'd probably be in a less-desirable area or in a townhome, multiplex.
"We just have to accept we're different". Quite the contrary, in my world you're the norm. And a respectable norm as well. Or maybe I'm saying that because what you described is a mirror of what I/we live. But in those quiet moments at night before sleep overtakes me, I take a lot of satisfaction in knowing that those who depend on me (my family) are covered because I'm not overextended like a number of people I know. And if something should happen to me, well I've tried to cover those bases as well as possible so there's not too much disruption to their lives. Would it be easier if there were two incomes? Sure, but there's not. And I deal with that the best I can. Sort of like my parents did in similar circumstances (single wage earner). Funny how it comes full circle, every now and then when I'm alone with my dad I say, "Dad, how in the world did you do it with 6 kids....?" And it's said with respect.

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