My wife and I just had our first child 2 months ago, a healthy little baby boy named Carter. Becoming a parent has been a life changing experience, and one I recommend to anyone, but it isn't without it's challenges.
While we were preparing to have our son, we realized that we were going to have a lot of added baby expenses in our monthly budget. Diapers, formula and other baby essentials add up extremely fast! Add to that the fact that we were going to have to start living on one income, and we knew we were going to have to get our financial house in order.
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Moving To Living On One Income
Since we had nine months to prepare for the loss of my wife's income, we had plenty of time to look at our family budget, look at places to cut back, save up an extra cushion and plan ahead for hospital bills. In fact, in order to make sure we were ready for the loss of her income, we started living on only one income before the baby came.
Some of the things we did to prepare:
- Prepared a budget
- Saved up a 12 month emergency fund.
- Paid off all debts except our mortgage.
- Saved up extra cash for irregular expected expenses (hospital bills, car maintenance, taxes)
Since were were living on one income, we were able to save quite a bit more of my wife's income, and our cash reserves built up rather quick. We knew we could do this, but we still knew it would be easier if we had more income coming in.
While we planned ahead for when we would have to start living with less family income, I also knew that I didn't want to have to accept less money coming in as a fact of life. I figured I should be able to create some additional income on the side for our family by doing things that I was already doing.
Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. Ecclesiastes 11:2
I'm a big proponent of diversifying your income sources, insuring yourself against a job loss and making sure that if one of your income sources dries up, you won't be in the poorhouse. It just makes sense to me.
So what are some ways I created income?
- I started a money making blog : I found out by reading other personal finance blogs that there was good money to be made in blogging. So I started my own! I was able to take the blog to the point where it is now making more than my wife did at her day job. Read how I did it, and how you can too in my e-book, “Blueprint For How To Make Money With A Blog“.
- I leveraged my skills from my day job: Part of my day job involves doing graphic design at the company I work for. I took those skills I already had and started another site called LogosForWebsites.com where I design logos for other bloggers, and other entrepreneurs online. I also do some design work, and sell the designs on t-shirts, mugs and other things through sites like Cafepress.com.
- I sell things online: When our house starts getting a bit cluttered, I find things we no longer need and sell them online via Craigslist or Ebay. Other times if I find something popular on clearance at a local store, I'll buy it and sell it online for a profit.
- Computer consulting: I do computer consulting for family, friends and others who aren't as good with computers as I am. It isn't a lot of work, but ends up being a few hundred dollars a year.
Of these diversified sources of income, the blog has by far brought in the most money – replacing my wife's day job income. My graphic design site comes in a close second. All in all I'll come close to matching my own day job income this year from my online income sources.
The result? We aren't very worried about losing my wife's income now that she has become a stay at home mom. We'll still be able to make our mortgage payment without any problem, and save quite a bit of money every month towards retirement.
Other Ways You Can Create Income
While my story may sound like one in a million, anyone can create side income. It just comes down to having the motivation, and the will to succeed. Find something that works for you, and start it today. For some inspiration on other ways to create income, here is a series we ran last year called “Ways To Create Extra Income”.
Ways To Make Extra Money Series: Guide To Diversifying Your Sources Of Income
- 50 Ways To Make Money: Maximizing, Creating And Increasing Your Income
- Ways To Make Extra Money Series: 11 Ways To Make Extra Money
- Ways To Make Extra Money Series: 20 More Income Generating Ideas From Our Readers
- Ways To Make Extra Money Series: 5 More Ideas To Create Extra Income
- Ways To Make Extra Money Series: 5 Simple Ways to Create Income
And once you start making that side income, don't forget to pay taxes on it! Track your blog income and expenses!
Do you have your own story of making side income to help pad your bottom line as a one income family? Have suggestions or tips for how to make side income? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!