Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our History of Living (Happily) On One Income

When I first met my husband I was a broke college student.  I mean broke.  To the point that I had no food in my fridge & when I got a $30 parking ticket I came completely unglued because I couldn't pay it.  From very early on in our relationship my husband, then boyfriend, & I worked as a financial team.  When I had money I put it in the communal pot, likewise, he did the same for me.  It's how we've always worked as a couple.

When I finally graduated college I subbed for a semester until I got a permanent position.  In the fall when I got a permanent teaching job we became engaged.  The majority of my first year's teaching salary went to paying my rent & paying cash for my portion of our wedding.  Once we got married we used my teaching salary to pay all of the bills, while we used my husband's graduate school stipend to finish paying off the remainder of our wedding.

Once my husband became a professor & I entered into my third year of teaching we didn't know what to do.  We had virtually been living on the same amount of money for the entirety of our relationship.  We'd never had the true luxury of two full time incomes.  At the time I was planning on entering graduate school, so we saved the entirety of my salary in the case I couldn't get a graduate stipend & we needed to pay tution.  And then my little stick said pregnant...

For those of you who only know me from this little blog, you might not know that I never intended to be a stay at home mom.  Truth be told, I never WANTED to be one.  When I was pregnant & people would tell me I would want to stay home, I would scoff & think about how wonderful it would be to accept my Ph.D. some day.  The week I was scheduled to take the GRE I prayed for a crystal clear direction of what God wanted me to do the following year.  The next day I  got diagnosed with pre-eclampsia & was put on hospitalized bed rest.  My lovely Emerson was born a week later & the rest is history. 

I say all of this because we had never planned on indefinitely living on one income, yet we made it work.  In the end, once I decided to stay home with my little lovey, we took all of the money I had saved from teaching my 3rd year & used it to pay off my college loans, our car, &  my medical bills from my hospital stay & having Emerson. 

The funny thing is once we lost my income we didn't really adjust the way we lived.  We've always tried to live modestly.  We don't have new cars, the majority of our furniture is hand-me-down or from the clearance shelves.  Our birthday & Christmas money is really the only money we spend on WANTS rather than NEEDS (aside from our ridiculous addiction to eating out, which we are trying very hard to curtail). 

We still save, we give charitably, we travel frequently, & we live a very full & comfortable life. For us, living on one income, at times a very modest income, has been made entirely possible by choosing to live a simple, frugal life.


  1. Ashley directed me here and I'm so glad she did. I ended up being a SAHM because I got unemployed, at times it has been difficult, but the more we talk about it the more we agree that I should stay home. I find the most difficult part when other women look down on me like I'm waisting my life, my degree, etc. Thanks so much for putting this out there.

  2. Thank you ladies for all the sweet words!

    @ Ashley--Isn't it funny how your heart can totally change? I know that I've never been happier & it appears that you enjoy the home life as well. I have to say it has been a huge blessing to our family, as I'm sure it is to yours. P.S. I'm excited to be a part of BlogHer! It's new, so I'm still figuring it out, but I'm really excited!!

    @ Christina--Thanks & Welcome! :)

    @ Nina Patricia--I know what you mean about feeling that others look down on you particularly when it comes to your education. I have to just always remind myself that there is no where that I would rather be & no one else I would rather be with. That usually helps me forget completely about the nay-sayers & realize what a huge blessing it is to be at home. I'm glad you were able to make being a SAHM work for you. You ARE NOT wasting your life! :)

  3. Mrs. Price your blog for living on one income is lovely! Thank you for your insight on finances, and most importantly, how to work as a team in marriage. I hope that women everywhere will respect each other's choice to work or to choose to stay at home. Both decisions are valuable to the family and it's a personal journey of satisfaction for every mother and wife.