Living on one income no easy task these days, especially when that single income happens to be a teacher’s salary. We’ve been doing it for exactly 8 months now and while it’s been nerve-wracking, scary, and extremely frustrating at times, I can honestly say that the Lord is blessing our decision for me to be a stay-at-home mommy. We knew it was what He wanted for our family, so it’s been nice to see how He’s chosen to provide for that to happen so far.
Kevin and I felt like this was God’s plan for our family from the beginning, so we did our best to plan ahead for it. And while I certainly wanted to get pregnant and bring a living baby home sooner than we did, I will say that God used those years to help prepare us financially for living on Kevin’s salary alone.
Once we were somewhat financially stable, we did our best to eliminate any debt we had. We were blessed to have very little in the scheme of life, so we started off on the right foot. I won’t sit here and take too much credit for that because a lot of that was due to my parents funding my college education and Kevin going into the military, which helped fund the vast majority of his college education. All that to say, we have been blessed and were given a good foundation.
But, within a couple years of our marriage, Kevin’s father spoke to us about this person named Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover using the 7 baby steps. I’ve always been interested in finances, so this was right up my alley. After sharing what I had read in Dave’s book with Kevin, he was on board and off we went! Fortunately, we were able to pay off the debt that we did have within 2 years or so. And for those Dave Ramsey junkies out there, we are working on baby step 4. We’ve been stuck on it for a little while as we try to find a way to increase our retirement savings, all while living on 1 income. It’s been tough to say the least when you already feel like your budget is stretched to the max.
It’s been amazing to see how the Lord has been providing for us. As extra “things” have come up, the Lord has provided the funds at just the right time. Just when we needed to purchase a few unbudgeted items for Savannah, Kevin landed some yard cutting jobs. When I found out I needed a root canal and crown, a job doing some interior painting popped up to help cover some of the costs (it still sickens me to think how much this stupid tooth is costing us!).
While the Lord has definitely been doing His part to provide for our needs, we’ve been learning some things ourselves on how to live on less and be better stewards of the money we do have. I’ll share some of them next time. This post is getting too long!