How to Support Your Family on One Income

Taylor McKinney is an Marketing Specialist at TrustRadius, which has become the most trusted website for B2B software reviews. When she is not writing about the latest tools and small business trends she is enjoying Austin’s beautiful scenery with her family.


Herbert Hoover once famously said, “About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.” If this describes your financial situation, rest assured that you’re not alone in your struggle to keep up with rising rent, childcare, healthcare, and general life costs. In fact, 54% of US families are doing this on just one income. If you’re one of these families, you could surely stand some savings to supplement your constant spending. Here are the best ways to save your money wisely so you can be comfortable supporting your family on just one salary.


Find a side hustle

There are plenty of ways to find a part-time job that will supplement the main salary of your household without taking away too much time. Check your local retailers (especially the grocery store or other places you already shop that might give regular employee discounts!) to find some part-time hours, whether at night or even just to help with seasonal needs.

If you’re itching to use a specific skill-set without needing to work a full-time job, freelance sites let you work from the comfort of your own home while spending more time with your family and loved ones. Sites like Guru, Upwork, and Fiverr offer freelance jobs in industries such as software development & IT, engineering & architecture, admin support, sales & marketing, and even creative projects like writing and design.


Raise your retirement contributions

It’s not the most glamorous of the tips, but it’s a smart financial move that will pay off in the long run. Why? If only one of you is making retirement contributions, you’ll have to make up for the loss of that second savings. If possible, try to double (or come as close to it as possible) to what you’re already contributing, in order to match what your partner would’ve brought to the table.


Make coupon sites your best friend

Coupon websites are a game-changer when it comes to your regular purchases for necessities like food, toiletries, and other home items. Make a habit of checking check Krazy Coupon Lady and RetailMeNot before you do your weekly shopping.

Mambo Sprouts is a must for helping you save on green and healthy products, and Groupon offers serious savings (often up to 80%!) on exercise, fun, and entertainment, from gym and health memberships to art classes and even dining out. You’ll never have to feel guilty about spending a little for some family fun again.

Free Software/Apps to Monitor Finances

The smartest way to manage your finances is to plan a budget and stick to it, tracking all of your expenses along the way. And even if you’re not good with numbers, accounting software programs like Wave Accounting, Buddi, or Ace Money Lite are easy to use and, best of all, free.

Living on one income doesn’t mean that your family had to live without fun outings and occasional indulgences. More than anything, it’s about cutting wasteful spending, finding creative alternatives, and being smarter with your savings and spending overall.


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