So you're not a "DINK." If, like me, you didn't know this is an acronym for "Dual Income, No Kids." Those types of families are usually some of the most financially stable because they have two steady incomes, and they don't have the financial responsibility of children to take care of. Sounds ideal, right? But...
Regardless of the reason, if you are the sole income earner in your life, you can just as easily thrive and succeed with some fundamental pieces of advice. As some of you may experience, being the sole income earner means that all the savings, bills, debts, monthly expenses, and anything else miscellaneous you might need falls on your shoulders. Considering all these moving parts can be mentally and emotionally draining and lead to procrastination.
Let's take a look at how to survive as a sole income earner with these five best tips for feeling more financially secure in your life.
Tip #1: Detail a Monthly Budget
Most people tend to slack on budgets. The main reasons are budgeting is tedious and most don't like seeing their reality written on paper in black and white. Makes that five-dollar Starbucks Latte each day look like a high expense when you write out the monthly cost, right? Having a detailed monthly budget set out helps you focus on what's coming (income) and going (spending/saving). If you're not making one out each month, you should. There are many smartphone apps that can help. Granted things are going to be on there every month, like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, your smartphone, and any student debt you might have, but sitting down each month and factoring in additional things that you know are coming up will help you stick to your budget so that you don't run out of funds.
Tip #2: Share Expenses Where You Can
This is a great tip. Even though you are a sole income earner that doesn't mean you can't share expenses where you can with friends or family. That monthly Netflix bill? Split it with a buddy, save yourself seven bucks, and redirect the seven bucks towards other areas like your emergency fund or repaying debt. Up to four different people can use the same account. Little things you can save on add up at the end of the month so don't underestimate splitting the cost of things when you can.
Tip #3: Have an Emergency Fund
This is very important to help keep you away from credit cards in case you become ill or life happens. Ideally you want to have at least six months of committed expenses saved where you can access it quickly, like a bank, separate from any investment accounts. Committed expenses include rent/mortgage, insurances, utilities, groceries; expenses that will be there regardless of whether you're employed or not. Committed expenses don't include dining out and weekends in Tahoe. Six months of committed expenses may be $20,000 which is a big number and may seem impossible to reach. The idea is to chip away and systematically save every week, increasing when possible, to reach that goal. If six months is too overwhelming aim for three months of expenses.
Tip #4: Pick Up Gig Work
Skynet and the robots haven't taken over completely (yet), which means there's still a need in the gig economy for sole income earners to fill. Become a dog walker on the weekends, play out with a band, do some contract or freelance work within your field of expertise. The point is that by using your skills you can always figure out a way to make additional funds. There are many websites where you may advertise your freelance skills on a project basis.
Tip #5: Relax!
Money is stressful. Bills are stressful. Life is stressful. You get the point. Try to relax and know that you are a fiscally capable person. You are amazing and have accomplished a lot in your life with more to come! You can be a sole income earner and thrive with some discipline. If you find that money troubles are on your mind, or have more questions, reach out to us to determine whether we can help set you on the right path.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.