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10 Tips On How To Live Well Even With Only One Income

10 Tips On How To Live Well Even With Only One Income

In an age of so many dual-income families, is it really possible to live well on just one income?

Absolutely! Trust me, I know. We are a family of six, living on one income–a military income. After I enlisted in the military, we decided it would be best for my wife to stay home with the kids; that’s when we made the transition. Now we are happily a single-income family. I’m going to show you how we do it, and how you can too.

Why one income?

Families go to one income for all kinds of reasons. You may want one of you to stay home with the kids. You may have calculated the cost and realized it cost almost as much as one of your incomes in daycare and travel expenses for both of you to work. You may want to live a more minimalist lifestyle and focus less on earning more money. Or you may not be a single-income family by choice. One of you could have been laid off, but the good news is that you can live well on one income–it could have been a blessing in disguise.

No matter your reason, here’s how to make it work:

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1. Stick to the plan

Planning is everything. You can live on almost any income if you budget and make a plan for every dollar. And it can become fun to see how far you can stretch it. So what does this mean?

  • Set a budget. Yes, you need a budget. If you have one, stick to it. If you don’t have one, it starts simply by tracking your purchases for a month, then setting each category. See where you can cut back. If you’ve recently became a single-income household, you may notice that you’re spending much less.
  • Plan your meals. Meal planning is huge. You should know exactly what you’re going to buy when you walk into the grocery store, and you should know exactly what you’re going to make out of it. It’s surprising how much food we all have in our homes that we don’t eat because we don’t have a plan for it.
  • Plan your vacations. If you go on an annual vacation, you have an entire year to save for it. Figure out how much you’ll need ahead of time, and divide it by 12 months to get a monthly amount to save. Vacations don’t have to cost a lot; our family usually spends less than $500 on each vacation we take.

You’ve heard “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and this couldn’t be more true in your finances. You’ll be amazed at what you can afford if you plan. Joshua Becker says, when it comes to purchases, “ask when and why, not if”. Even on one income there doesn’t have to be trade-offs, but it is all about timing and planning.

2. Spend based on priorities

Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses? You shouldn’t be, because the Joneses are broke. Don’t make purchases to impress others, make purchases based on your priorities.

If you truly value family above materialism, do your purchases reflect that?

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This is an important question for all of us to ask occasionally. It’s easy to get caught up in the consumerist mindset of earning more and spending more to be happy, but that’s a lie. Rich people aren’t any happier than the rest of us. There’s nothing wrong with having more money, but make sure your spending is lining up with your priorities. Just spend an extra few seconds thinking about each purchase to decide if you really need it. You’ll be surprised how often you don’t.

3. Cut the cable

Speaking of priorities, where is TV on that list? We cut the cable over five years ago and haven’t looked back since. We spend more quality time together as a family. We spend more time reading, which has led to much financial success (finance books are my favorite). There are a thousand reasons to cut the cable, and I have yet to find one good reason to keep it. If you must watch TV, consider Netflix or keep some DVDs around.

4. Move…or don’t

If you’re new to the single-income life, you may be ready for a downsize. We usually don’t need as much house as we think we do; however, you’ll want to calculate the cost first.  Moving isn’t cheap, so it needs to be financially worth it to really make the leap. That being said, if you’re living above your means, consider moving into a more affordable house. It doesn’t have to be permanent.

5. Learn to barter

What are you good at? Landscaping? Cleaning? Home repairs? That’s as good as cash. Reach out to your friends and neighbors, and figure out where you can trade your services. Bartering is the ultimate win-win scenario. This works especially well for babysitting, whether you need a babysitter for a date night or for running errands–find someone to swap with. You both get free childcare, and you both get more done.

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6. Use your resources

There are resources in your city, you just have to find them. It could be a local food bank that is looking for volunteers, and, in exchange, you take some food home. Or you could be in a place where you just need to go to the food bank and get some food. There’s no shame in that; that’s what they’re for. From food banks to food co-ops to clipping coupons, know your resources and use them. The more resourceful you become, the more you will be able to live well on one income.

7. Dump your debt

If you’re new to the single-income lifestyle, you may be wondering how you can get debt-free on less money than you were making before. Dumping your debt doesn’t have to cost more money. That’s right, there are ways to make an impact without spending more. For starters, you can call and negotiate with your credit card companies to lower your interest rates and possibly even your balance.

If you’re serious about paying off your debt, and you don’t plan on going further into debt, consider a balance transfer to lower your interest rate. You must be serious about not incurring anymore debt or this just provides a way for you to go into more debt. But if you really are done with being in debt, a balance transfer can help. For example, if you can pay off your debt in 15 months, the Chase Slate offers 0% interest rate for balance transfers for the first 15 months, with no transfer fee. But you need to be sure you can pay it off in 15 months or the interest rate will go back up to the standard rate.

8. Prepare for emergencies

Emergency funds are a better option than a credit card when disaster strikes. Even if you can only save $50 each month, start putting something away in a savings or money-market account for unexpected expenses. Ideally you’ll want three to six months of living expenses, but $1,000 is a good starting place. Of course, $500 is better than nothing. The idea is to have some funds to dip into in the event of an emergency so that you don’t get into a worse financial spot by taking out a loan or using a card.

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9. Sell a car

Do you have more than one car? Do you need more than one car? Maybe you do, but maybe you haven’t really thought about it. You may have needed two vehicles when both of you worked, but it could make sense to sell one now, especially if you have a car payment. Dave Ramsey always jokes that his show should be called the “Sell the Car Show”, because of how often that’s the most appropriate solution.

10. Save for big purchases

If you have to finance it, you can’t afford it. Instead of taking out a loan for a car or other big purchase, why not make interest-free payments into a savings account right now? Think of it like a layaway plan; you’re saving until you have the full amount. Then you can make the debt-free purchase. If this doesn’t seem possible for some things, you may be living above your means. The bottom line is that credit card and loan interest will destroy your finances. Anything you can do to avoid interest will set you up for success.

Featured photo credit: Crowd of People Crossing an Old Prague Road/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Kalen Bruce

Military, Writer

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Last Updated on August 7, 2018

How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

Not too long ago, you believed that making money with a blog was impossible. But after seeing dozens of income reports from other bloggers, you became hooked. Now you’re left wondering if you could achieve similar results.

In this article, I’ll consolidate the lessons learned from some successful bloggers and get you the advice on how to make money with a blog.

How to monetize your blog the right way

A blog is more than a website with words, it’s a brand that solves a problem. When you’re first starting off it’s difficult to make any money. Why? Because no one trusts your brand.

The solution is simple, provide engaging content to build a large audience. Once your blog’s traffic and subscribers have grown, here are the most effective ways you can monetize your blog.

  1. Affiliate Marketing[1]
  2. Selling Courses[2]
  3. Coaching[3]

“Get rich quick” schemes rarely work

Some believe that bloggers had their success handed to them, but this is far from the truth. Their success required sacrifice, discipline and courage to work. And this is where most people run into trouble because they’re unwilling to put in the work.

Your first step to building income through your blog is to stop believing it will be easy to achieve. The trick is to only listen to a few bloggers who are at the position you’d like to be and take massive action.

It can take months or even years before you start earning income.

And when the going gets tough, keep going. Don’t stop. Learn to love the journey more than the outcome and you’ll build a profitable blog.

Executing the right advice leads to success

You need to learn from bloggers with diverse backgrounds.

What motivates someone to build an online business may not inspire you. But there’re strategies some bloggers will share that you’ll resonate with.

So what’s the next step? To start taking action.

How to make money with a blog: Lessons learned from 23 successful bloggers

Browse the list of some of the most influential and down to earth bloggers in today’s time. Chances are that you’ll resonate with a few of them. Take their practical lessons and apply them to your blog.

These bloggers may spark light bulb moments for you and change your life forever.

1. Gary Vaynerchuck – Down to earth entrepreneur who’ll transform your life

    Gary is a proud “D” student who helped his dad grow his wine liquor store into a 60 million business. He left the wine business to start his own digital agency, which now generates over $100 million.

    Today, he inspires entrepreneurs of all ages through his blog, vlog, and Podcast to take full control of their lives doing what they love.

    Lesson: Have the patience to build a successful business.

    2. Pat Flynn – Online Jedi who’s fearless to try new ideas

      Pat built several sites, is an author of many books and has launched many podcasts. His blog is one of the most popular sites on the web for beginner and experienced entrepreneurs. Despite Pat’s success, he’s still humble and willing to help others.

      Lesson: Don’t let fear stop you from stepping out of your comfort zone.

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      3. John Lee Dumas – Entrepreneur on fire, inspiring others through his voice

        John is the host of EOFire, an award-winning business podcast, interviewing top entrepreneurs. He’s interviewed successful entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins and many more. John is also the author of the #1 ranked book for Podcasting in Amazon. He’s an excellent example of what happens when you chase your dreams and remain committed.

        Lesson: Follow one course until success (FOCUS).

        4. J Money – Rockstar money expert who injects “cool” into finance

          J Money is an award-winning personal finance blogger, company advisor and money rockstar. He injects a “fun” personality in his blog, adding a sense of “coolness” to personal finance. He’s the founder of RockstarFinance, a personal finance directory filled with useful resources.

          The fresh perspectives J shares about money will leave you pondering for days.

          Lesson: Have fun with your blog to stand out and create engaging content.

          5. Mr. Money Mustache – Badass blogger who’ll transform your financial lifestyle

            Mr.MM’s goal is to help you live a “badass” life. He has unique money saving ideas up his sleeve, such as cutting your grocery bill in half, and DIY solar panels. There are no “generic” articles in his blog, only thorough and well-thought ideas.

            Mr.MM is financially independent and willing to share his secrets if you dare to listen.

            Lesson: Focus on your needs and wants to live your dream lifestyle.

            6. Sam – Thoughtful blogger sharing smart insights

              Sam is a blogger and a real estate investor. His blog has received millions of views and featured in Forbes, Lifehacker, CNBC, and many more. Sam dives deep into topics like real estate, retirement planning, and career strategies. Read his blog and discover why it’s “bookmark-worthy”.

              Lesson: Keep investing in yourself to be better prepared for the future.

              7. Joshua Dorkin – The persistent entrepreneur who never lost hope

                Joshua is a well-known entrepreneur and speaker who’s featured in major publications. He’s built the nation’s largest real estate investing blog and co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast.

                He’s the ultimate example of what’s attainable when you pursue your dreams. His blog is one of the only few you’ll need to reach financial independence with real estate.

                Lesson: Keep working towards your goal despite who tries to stop you.

                8. Ramit Sethi – That “cool” teacher who’ll help you reach your next level

                  Ramit is a New York Times Bestselling author. He prides himself on being different, which is why he loves giving away 98% of his material for free. His content is binge-worthy and will bring out the awesome out of you.

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                  If you’re ready to master your inner psychology or finance, then stop by Ramit’s blog.

                  Lesson: There’s always a way to get what you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

                  9. Paula Pant – The entrepreneur who took an enormous risk chasing freedom

                    Paula is a writer, speaker and freedom enthusiast. It didn’t take long after landing her “dream” job to know it wouldn’t offer the freedom she’d craved.

                    Today, Paula has reached financial independence by building many income streams. Her writing style is engaging will leave you questioning your limiting beliefs.

                    Lesson: It’s worth risking the odds to live your desired lifestyle.

                    10. Steve – Early retiree, fearless to take a stance

                      Steve reached financial independence 30 years earlier than the typical American. You can find his work in major sites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and many more.

                      Currently, Steve writes detailed content on his blog helping readers achieve financial independence. If you’re looking to save money, or retire early, you’ll love Steve’s blog.

                      Lesson: Plan ahead to reach your desired goals.

                      11. Robert Farrington – Millennial Sensei for college students

                        Robert is a consultant, and a writer dubbed as America’s Millennial money expert. His passion for managing money at a young age led him to create The College Investor. In his blog, you’ll find great resources to crush student loan debt and invest your money.

                        Lesson: Be open-minded with how you can express your passion.

                        12. Joe Udo – The writer who took the road less taken

                          Taking risks ain’t easy, but there are always a few people who take it anyways. Joe is a blogger, investor and a great example of what risk takers do. He retired before turning 40, after leaving a job he’d been working for over a decade.

                          Joe’s blog shares proven ways to building passive income, and managing your money.

                          Lesson: Taking risks becomes easier when you prepare daily.

                          13. Elle Martinez – The financial superwoman for struggling couples

                            Elle has a passion for money, so much that she’s been writing about personal finance for over a decade. She enjoys helping couples build their finances together, and live on one income.

                            Elle’s blog helps you avoid money fights, boosts your savings, and much more.

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                            Lesson: Find ways to solve the problems you’re obsessed about.

                            14. Len Penzo – Creative blogger who makes personal finance entertaining

                              Len’s blog has received over 9 million visitors. He’s featured in major publications such as the NY Times, Forbes, and many more.

                              Len transforms boring money subjects into engaging content that hook readers for more. If you want to make smarter financial decisions, his blog is a must-read.

                              Lesson: Create engaging content to build a large audience.

                              15. Farnoosh Torabi – Finance expert, inspiring women to unleash their full potential

                                Farnoosh used to borrow clothes and eat $5 Footlongs until she climbed out of debt. Today she’s a journalist, author, TV personality, and financial expert. Farnoosh is the host of SO Money, one of iTunes’s top financial Podcasts. She’s a leader and inspiration to other women.

                                Lesson: View your shortcomings as gifts and use them to stand out.

                                16. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Young entrepreneur achieving success on the road

                                  Michelle started blogging in 2011 with hopes of improving her finances. Today, her blog is one of the most popular personal finance blogs you’ll find. There’s a slim chance you might catch her on the road, as she’s touring around the US with her husband. Her blog contains advice for growing your income and living a better lifestyle.

                                  Lesson: Be transparent about your struggles to build a supportive audience.

                                  17. Phillip Talyor – Money expert who knows how to throw a finance party

                                    Phillip Taylor or “PT” is a blogger, CPA, and a finance enthusiast. At one point, he’d accumulated a ton of debt and was in need of financial wisdom. He created his blog to document his financial wins, and collaborate with others.

                                    Because of Phillip’s passion for finance, he created FinCon. Today, Fincon is the go-to conference where influencers and financial brands meet.

                                    Lesson: Hard work is more important than experience to achieve your goals.

                                    18. Stefanie O’Connell – The financial role model every woman needs

                                      Stefanie started blogging around 2008, at a time when most of America was in a financial crisis. Despite this, she went from living on less than $500 a week to dubbed as a Millennial money expert.

                                      Stefanie spends her time helping ambitious women adopt “rich” habits. Join Stefanie’s tribe and start feeling empowered with your finances.

                                      Lesson: You can be a role model for others if you’re brave enough to face your fears

                                      19. J.D. Roth – Finance enthusiast who’ll leave you thinking smarter

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                                        J.D. was a contributor of the “Your Money” column for Entrepreneur magazine. His blog is one of the best personal finance blogs on the web and has received millions of visitors. You’ll find in-depth articles that will leave you making smarter money decisions.

                                        Lesson: No matter how big your problems are, there’s always a solution.

                                        20. Catherine Alford – Entrepreneur mom, inspiring women to chase their dreams

                                          Catherine is a speaker, writer, and a proud mom of 2 twins. She’s an inspiration for women looking to spend more time with their families. Catherine became best Contributor/Freelancer for personal finance in 2014.

                                          Discover why you don’t need to choose between your career and family at Catherine’s blog.

                                          Lesson: Your story can become the inspiration many are searching for.

                                          21. Natalie Bacon – Life coach and entrepreneur inspiring women to design their dream lives

                                            Natalie is an inspiration for those looking to pursue their passion. She’s featured in major sites like The Huffington Post, Forbes, and many others. Natalie follows her dreams and isn’t afraid of hard work. Her blog contains quality content that will inspire you to take action.

                                            Lesson: Don’t be afraid to change course because you’ll be one step closer to finding your dream life.

                                            22. Crystal Paine – Inspirational entrepreneur who loves to give back

                                              Crystal is a personal finance blogger who’s been writing since 2006. Her site has creative ways to save money on groceries, clothes, toys, and much more. Crystal donates a percentage of her blog’s income towards life-impacting ministries.

                                              Her blog will not only teach you how to save money but also how to live an abundant lifestyle.

                                              Lesson: Focus on helping others first and you’ll build massive wealth.

                                              23. Liz – Frugal expert who’ll transform your bad spending habits

                                                Liz is an author, writer and a frugal expert who enjoys helping others save money. She’s featured in NPR, Forbes, Liz’s blog contains creative ways to save money and reach financial independence.

                                                Lesson: Be bold enough to prioritize your opinion above others’.

                                                Start your blog and achieve jaw-dropping results

                                                Imagine waking in your pajamas and opening your laptop. You notice a few hundred dollars were deposited to your Paypal account. This money didn’t fall from the sky, it came from your blog.

                                                Not too long ago you believed making money from a blog was impossible, but now you’ve finally achieved it. Amazing isn’t it?

                                                This can be your reality if you learn from these successful bloggers. Go through this list and pick your top three bloggers. Take a look at their content (Blog, Podcast, Video), and break your bad habits.

                                                The time has come to transform yourself into the blogger you’d like to become. You’re not someone who only wants to accumulate a ton of cash. You want to live your dream life and impact others doing what you love.

                                                What’s stopping you now?

                                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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