Transitioning To A One-Income Household
Living on one income -- whether by choice or by chance -- presents unique challenges. Whether it means dire straits is somewhat up to you.
First, Don’t Panic
Living on one income when you’ve been used to two can be a shock. But panicking can lead to poor choices, like invading retirement accounts, dropping health insurance, or selling real estate in a depressed market.
Befriend Your Budget
♦ Assess reserves, severance packages, government assistance, and any other sources of income to determine how much money is coming in and for how long.
♦ Assess monthly expenditures to determine how much money is going out and to look for opportunities to trim spending.
♦ Look at cable and phone packages, vacations, and entertainment for savings.
Even some fixed expenses can be changed or deferred. Look for opportunities to reduce credit card payments, refinance mortgages, or suspend payments for a period of time. Call your Coosa Pines loan officer to ask about refinancing high-interest loans
or credit cards
to low-cost credit union loans.
Prepare for the Worst
You don’t have to wait until you lose a job, or choose to downshift, to start planning for and saving for emergencies. Experts agree that a few strategies will put you in good financial stead even if one breadwinner stops bringing home the dough:
♦ Build up a rainy-day fund. Experts suggest having a three- to a nine-month expense reserve.
♦ Save automatically. Start small -- say $50 a month -- and build up as it becomes easier. Try to save at least half of any bonuses and raises. Ask us about automatic transfer, which makes saving easier.
♦ Avoid credit-card debt. Credit cards can be useful for taking advantage of deals and building a credit history, but only if you pay them off every
♦ Live below your means.
No matter what life brings you, the professionals at Coosa Pines FCU are here for you. We can help you get on the right track to building an emergency fund and saving for the future. Stop by or call your local branch
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