Saving a Buck: Learning to live as single-income family

Posted on: 10:26 am, April 25, 2013, by , and , updated on: 05:54pm, April 25, 2013

There are many couples in Oklahoma living on just one income.

For some it’s due to job loss. Others choose this path to be a stay at home parent.

Either way, the loss of one income can create financial stress.

The good news, it doesn’t have to cause stress.

Experts say it takes a little work, but living on one income can be managed.

Misty Clark is new to being a stay at home mom.

Misty said, “Things are going really good. We’re getting a routine, getting things down.”

It’s definitely been an adjustment for her family.

Misty spent the past nine years working, but when she got pregnant she knew at home was where she wanted to be.

Misty said, “It’s really important to me and I didn’t realize how important it was until I got pregnant.”

With time to plan she and her husband reduced their spending the right way.

Curtis, Misty’s husband, said, “We probably had almost a year that we knew she would stay home and we just spent that year paying off everything we could get paid off.”

While the Clarks had time to plan other families don’t have that luxury.

For some the loss of an income is due to job loss.

In that case, financial experts say rather than stress start alerting lenders as to what’s happened to see if they can help.

David Feisal, with Spirit Bank, said, “Work with lenders before you become late on your payments.”

Feisal says whether it’s a choice or not you need to review and adjust your budget.

Feisal said, “It makes a lot of sense to sit down look at the numbers.”

The Clarks have a strict budget and, now that she’s home, Misty plans their meals and clips lots of coupons.

Planning ahead really is key, regardless of your income.

Feisal said, “You should always plan for it. You should always have cash reserves.”

Misty and Curtis made a lot of changes, even trading in his sports car for a more reasonable family car.

It’s a change they feel was worth the pain of cutting back.

Misty said, “I think we are definitely in a good place and I’m excited.”

Experts say open communication between the couple is key.

Talking about concerns and fears openly will help you to deal with those issues.