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Living on one wage..

How to the hell do people do this? I've just quit my full time job because we are not coping as a family with me not being home often enough to get things done and I am freaking out. My husband earns around $1100 a week. The mortgage is $350 a week and we pay out around $300 a week in bills, repayments etc..
He seems to think we will be fine, I am stressing hard because I have never not earned my own money. I feel like I need a crash course in how to be frugal, does any one have any tips? Do any of you guys live on a similar amount?

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Answers (27)

Here are some tips I do to save money (i am a single mum and don't receive cs)
-Each pay put a set amount in a separate account for bills.
-Do a proper menu plan and shopping list before you go shopping (compare prices in catalogues and make list).
-Always keep the car tank half full so it doesn't cost so much to fill up.
-I buy a lot of my clothes from our local vinnies op shop (everything is $2)
- plan ahead for special occasions and holidays and put money aside each week
-Utilise free BBQ and parks etc for family outings.
-pack a picnic lunch and go out rather than buying take away
-Do an energy audit of your appliances to help you cut back on energy consumption
-Always turn lights and appliances off when not in use.
-Walk or use the bus rather than the car when possible
-Buy food and groceries in bulk when they are on special
-bake your own bread cakes and make your own treats (there's heaps of great recipes on here)
And most importantly don't panic.. You are not the only one feeling the economic strain x

 Some aw some tips here 👍🏼
helpful (0) 
 Ok, that's meant to be awesome 😉
helpful (0) 
 Don't be ridiculous (the person saying thats not living) we'll all be dead one day and all the pretty hair, nice food and stuff money been spent on over the years won't be worth much but the time invested and memories made will remain with those left behind. NOT that I disagree with those wanting to work. Its all about personal choice. One is not better than the other
helpful (7) 
 I could have wriiten this!
helpful (0) 
 ^^ yes cos everyone who works does it for pretty hair. Um, no. Some people do it to protect their family. And of course those of us who work dont have memories. y'know...
helpful (2) 

Lol we pay a $550 mortgage a week, have 2 kids and only my husband works. My husband earns $1000 a week and we do totally fine. Guess you need to start being a bit more responsible with money

OP I guess I do! Thanks, I feel better knowing it can be done.
helpful (3) 
 This is us too, but we have 3 kids. It's really not hard!
helpful (0) 
 Plus centrelink. Tell the truth.
helpful (4) 
 So you get $52K a year from wages. You would get about half that again from centrelink... not as tough as you are pretending.
helpful (2) 
 Op of this comment. We don't get anything from Centrelink.
helpful (1) 
 ^ somethings burning. Oh look, its your pants.
helpful (6) 
 You're kidding right? Why would I lie about receiving Centrelink? I have been told repeatedly that we earn too much to receive anything
helpful (1) 
 Uhhhh what a load of crap! My husband earns double that a year, and I still receive about $50 a week from Centrelink, so finding it pretty hard to believe you get nothing especially with two kids!
helpful (5) 
 Well I guess I need to give Centrelink a call then!
helpful (1) 
 Wow you definitely need to call Centrelink. My husband gets $3000 net a week. I still get $800 a fortnight family tax
helpful (0) 
 ^ how long has he been getting that wage for though. I posted nearly exactly the same thing a while back and just saw people lost their minds over it. I hadn't taken into account he'd not worked a full 12mnths on that wage.
helpful (0) 
 Oh true ha ha yeah he's only started a month or so ago
helpful (0) 
 these comments are insane. what is wrong with people. I'm a single mum, earn 1500 a fortnight after tax, pay 700 in rent a fortnight, get 100 a fortnight child support and last financial year was paid a lump sum of $5000 family tax benefit. I have three kids between 9+12. some weeks I budget, some weeks I can save money, some weeks I blow my budget, get maccas, buy the kids new shoes, then think crap now I'll have to extend the due date on my power bill. my rent is never behind tho. it's a learning curve, play around with some different budgets to find one that suits you :)
helpful (1) 

My hubby gets around $1000 per week and rent is $480 per week. Doing a meal plan and sticking to it really helps, cut our grocery bills in half. We constantly reassess the budget and what we can afford. We have a "savings" account where money comes out automatically from our "spendings" account to make sure we have enough money to cover bills. Whatever is left is what we know we can spend.
Say goodbye to coffee's out, brought lunches, impulse buying of clothes, trips to play centres, getting your hair dyed professionally etc. Not to assume you already do all of that, but they are things my 1 income family doesn't do that a lot of 2 income families I know do.

 We live like that because I have chosen to bring my kids up myself and be there for them. Too many people think they need it all (best car, great house, etc etc). You can cut back and live life well on one wage! Yes, there may be tough times, and you may not be able to impulse buy, but my kids havd everything they need, and honestly want for nothing.
helpful (9) 
 OP of this comment here. I have chosen not to feed the troll. I love my life and my family is happy, equals winning :-)
helpful (5) 
 I don't want to spend my life counting every little dollar and wondering how much we are going to have left after every pay so I work so we can live freely and not have to say no to buying something nice for myself or the kids. A
helpful (2) 
 For F sake. Yeah everyone who works is doing it for nice cars, iphones etc. Dont justify your own life by making up false things about other peoples.
helpful (6) 
 ^ Exactly. I don't work for phones, nice cars etc, I work part time so I can make sure that life is not hard and I'm not worrying pay check to pay check. I don't need that kind of stress in my life. Life for us is really cruisey and worry free. I wouldn't have it any other way.
helpful (1) 
 ^by commenting on this thread and continually going on and on about it appears as though you are trying to justify it to yourself more than anyone else. I agree with op and the other replies. I would rather be a full time mum than a part time one.
helpful (1) 
 ^I really hope your children can forgive daddy for only being a part time parent!
helpful (2) 
 ^ lol a part time mum because we work while all of the kids are at school?!! What a pathetic thing to say!! Lol, totally made me giggle. I guess we are all "part time mum's" when our kids are at school then because we sure as hell cant be full time when our kids are not with us. So you will be a part time mum one day too even if you continue to stay home lol!

helpful (3) 
 Oh and only a mod would know if I am continually commenting on this thread or not. Hi mod!!!! Go back to making your shitty Facebook page!!
helpful (1) 
 I choose to home-school my child so no part time bull shit for me
helpful (1) 
 ^ poor kid
helpful (0) 
 I love it when people say I agree with all other replies but the other replies didnt agree with them. Truth hurts?
helpful (1) 
 Yes, and also when they accuse multiple people of being the same person cos they cant accept lots of people disagree with them. I know its not the same person as I wrote one of the replies and not the others. :P
helpful (0) 
 I work so my children can go to childcare. They are learning and having so much fun and building friendships. They are only there school hours but they love it. They like the change from being at home with mum.
helpful (0) 
 I don't work so my kids don't have to go to child care. I worked in child care for years and wouldn't send my kids.
helpful (1) 
 I work part time. My kids go to family daycare two days and my parents one day. They are pretty happy well adjusted kids. One of my friends is a sahm and guess what, her kids are pretty happy well adjusted kids too. We are both doing our best for our kids and family. Stop fighting over which way is best because there is no right or wrong way. It's what you want for your family
helpful (0) 
 I work cos like single parent gets cut off at 8. 😂
helpful (0) 

For us this works. Bake. Anything you can make yourself make it, to avoid the shops. I even make own bread. Go without. Anything non essential becomes a treat or luxury. Value more time with family over "stuff". No take away! Stick to a budget. Shop for birthdays and Christmas year round, buying in sales and using layby. I save gold coins and anything left from the fortnightly shop to put towards outings. It was a big adjustment for me, we only eat out to celebrate birthdays and the kids play 1 sport each. I cut/ colour my own hair, new clothes almost never happen but we have the mortgage paid, car loan paid, bills paid and food in the house and best of all everyone is happier. Good luck

 See, who wants to live like that? Sticking to a tight budget, not indulging in take away and having to bake everything!! No thanks. I will work any day to ensure that's not our life.
helpful (0) 
 Clearly she does, as the last sentence clearly states her family is happier. You don't need to feel bad or try to make others feel bad, every family is different, and that's okay.
helpful (5) 
 Not trying to make anyone feeling bad. I'm stating my opinion and how we live just like she was.
helpful (1) 
 I'm the OP of this question, I have worked full time as a mum since.. well since I became a mother! I had 6 weeks off full time work with each of my kids and that was it - The reason I have to stop working and stay at home is because we are just not coping as a family unit, my kids need me more than we need material things right now. I am absolutely no way at all judging working mums.. because I have been one for a very long time but when it comes down to it if my family is failing then I gotta do what I gotta do! I'll very much miss having my own money and buying basically what ever I feel like, splurging on myself and spoiling every one but it's already been worth it, for us.
helpful (2) 

Don't forget you would be entitled to some FTB from Centrelink!

 Really?? I did not realise that, thanks
helpful (0) 
 For sure, my partner earns $4000 before tax a week. I still get $800 a fortnight from Centrelink
helpful (1) 
 How can you get anything from Centrelink with your husbands income so high? We're on combined $150k and we get nothing
helpful (3) 
 Wow.. Single income is 65k and one child. We receive 270f/n. Ur obviously screwing the system
helpful (1) 
 Sorry 60k... Still :)
helpful (0) 
 Maybe - we are single income - approx 68k. When bub no. 3 is born will be eligable for about 750 fn (but includes rent assist)
helpful (1) 
 I didn't think I should be getting that much either, I contacted them and they said it was right. He hadn't worked a full 12mnths at $4000 though. So his income was around $110,000 by the end of the financial year. I got $6000 from Centrelink at tax time as I got one of the family tax payments and my Childcare rebate back as a lump sum. My oldest was doing kindy twice a week last year and I have the two younger ones at home with me. Not bullshit I just didn't factor in that he hadn't worked a full 12mnths.
helpful (0) 
 ^ I think you need to get that in writing before tax time & You are sent a MASSIVE bill and a threat to go to court for fraud, It's going to happen.
helpful (2) 
 We've already done tax since then, which is why I got the $6000 back from Centrelink
helpful (1) 

It can be done. My "job" as a SAHM is to make our budget and stick to it. Bulk buying is a great tool. It's more upfront, but the long term savings add up. We sell off old stuff for a few dollars as our youngest kids grow out of it.

 its a lifestyle not a job
helpful (0) 
 Agreed, it's a lifestyle. It's not a job, it's called being a mother.
helpful (1) 
 Yeah no. Im a mother thanks and I dont stay at home.
helpful (3) 

I find paying a bull in small instalments helps a great deal. For eg. Our electricity bill was up around $200 for the allocated rime (2months I think) anyway divide the bill into 8... (8 week billing cycle) and then that is your weekly cost. When you get your final bill, its much easier ro find $20 than $200.

These comments are funny, who cares what other people do.
I love being a sahm, missing out on a few extras is not a big deal, I'm sure working mums have different perspectives, not sure why anyone would get upset over it. The only thing I find difficult living on one wage is others not understanding why sometimes we don't have the money to spend on things. My mum carried on like a pork chop about us choosing to live an hour away from her, we didn't want a huge mortgage and would have had to have one to live near her. I gave her the option of looking after my kids three days a week so I could work to help pay for the mortgage, but no she doesn't want to give up her free time to look after her grand kids, but still complains we don't live near by. I have a few friends that like going to play cafes, and get annoyed when I won't go too, but that's mostly because I think the entry fee is ridiculous.

Why are all these judgmental bi****s on a stay at home mum site? I've been mostly a working mum, now I'm stay at home but have a small part time business I'm working on. With all due respect, just because you've all bought into the women can have it all crap stop inflicting it on others. Cheers but I'll pass on killing myself being full time mum, full time worker, full time cleaner, full time accountant,full time secretary, full time family legal advisor.... so you please be taking out the full time worked because I'd rather be a mother than a consumer. And of it wasn't for the moderator I'd go harder on you disgusting women commenting on here about how wonderful you are working full time. Probably just bloody secretaries or checkout chicks anyway! That's not a career sweetie .... how about we let mums decide what they want to do for their kids and leave your judgements in your top desk drawer with your Prozac. 👍🏼

have 1 baby cause hubby and i dont want to count every dollar every fortnight

we eat t bone and scotch fillet 2 times a week
take away 5 times a mth
movies once a mth ....bubs with family
holiday interstate 4 times a year between 4 to 6 days stay
OS holiday every 5 to 8 years

sucked in for existing

Similar earnings. We don't go to the hairdressers, or eat out, no takeaway coffee, we buy clothes/toys/books at op shops or accept hand me downs. I take my kids to free community run events, we don't buy much packaged food, nearly all food is on sale & meat reduced as it nears expiry. It's not a lot of fun but it's worth it for me to be home while the children are young.

We live on one wage. I earn around $2000 per week, and we pay $250 per week in mortgage. We purposely moved to a cheaper area in a small country town to reduce our mortgage stress. Our children go to the local public school, we shop at Aldi. We are in a fortunate position because I'm doing well at work, but we tend to spend more than we save. When we have been sailing close to the wind previously, we downloaded a free budgeting app which tracks all spending and saving, and I would update it every night. It really helped, and we ended up saving enough (on a much smaller income) to have a holiday overseas.

 Not everyone can move though. Depends which industry. My MIL is sick and we cant leave where we live as we care for her. Good if you can do it but its not realistic for most.
helpful (1) 

I only earn $785 a week and our mortgage is $600 a week hubby is unable to work due to sickness and Centrelink won’t help because I earn to much,
So we are behind in the mortgage, and all our bills this is not living and get things of the side of the road to sell so we can buy food. Our house will be repossessed soon and it’s not going to be a good time to sell as at this stage the house will sell lower than what we owe. So I done understand why Centrelink won’t help.

 Hmm maybe if hubby collects family tax instead of you he might get more part b as the stay at home parent?
helpful (1) 
 Have you check you life insurance through your super? That might cover your mortgage payments depending on your husbands illness
helpful (0) 

With the cost of daycare and travel etc, part time work may be no better.

I stay at home now but my maternity leave only just ended, so we have just started on one income. We have paid our mortgage and have no other debts (own our cars, hecs paid, no credit cards), so we are in a different situation.

We still live quite frugally in some areas of expenditure.

Work out your greatest expenditures and reduce these where you can. Some are not negotiable like rent/mortgage, but others like insurance you can get better deals. Big things like that get you the best savings. Scrimping on soap etc., only saves perhaps a couple of dollars a year.

That being said, I have a stockpile of toiletries, paper products, and cleaning products. Generally I buy them in bulk from Aldi. This is good because it cuts down on trips to the shop, reducing travel expenses and impulse buying.

We also put money into our savings before our expenses, so the day my husband gets paid. Then if we need more we take only what we need back out of savings.

Take advantage of deals with your bills, like the pay on time discounts and if you have private health insurance, pay annually before the rate increase.

If you want to go out for a meal, do breakfast. It's usually the cheapest.