Life is difficult and so more couples now make a choice of both earning a living rather than having one spouse staying at home to take care of children. Two salaries have become necessary compared to ensuring that one parent will stay at home with the children so that they will be well taken care of. Economically, though, having two salaries is more practical than having one, even if emotionally, the other option is better.

Still, there are those who prefer to make an emotional choice rather than a practical one. Some parents prefer to have one spouse—using a generic term here since the new world doesn’t limit stay-at-home parents to just the women or wives or mothers; this is why the term houseband was coined—become a homemaker while one toils. There is some practicality involved here, too. This way, you don’t need to leave your children with strangers or you won’t need to bother other family members with the task. The stay-at-home spouse will also ensure that the home will be tidy and in order.

But there is still that difficult question: How do you manage the financial aspect with only one spouse earning an income? Here are some suggestions.

1. Part-time online job

It’s difficult to manage with just one income. However, the stay-at-home spouse doesn’t really have to work eight hours a day—or as much as the working spouse does. Perhaps the stay-at-home spouse could spend between two and four hours working on an online job. There are a number of online possibilities: blogging, online marketing, graphics designing, and many others. Some people actually earn a lot from online jobs. But you don’t need a lot, sometimes you just need additional income.

2. Extra income from present resources

Another way to earn extra is to make use with what you have. Airbnb has become more and more popular over the years because it is among the cheapest accommodation services in any city in the world. You could apply to have your house—or just a room or two—listed as among the accommodations for Airbnb. If one spouse stays at home then the place will become a perfect place for an Airbnb accommodation.

Another way to earn extra income is through Uber. The stay-at-home spouse can have his or her own vehicle, which can be enlisted in the Uber application. Or you can use this vehicle for carpooling. Busy neighbors will surely welcome a school service for their children or even a vehicle that can ferry people to and from their offices.

In the US, a house and a vehicle are important in every family. If you have these necessities then you might as well earn extra from them.

3. Start an emergency fund

Since there is only one income in the family, it is important that you set aside some money every pay day as emergency fund. It’s going to be very difficult for you to financially manage emergency situations with just one income. Among the more common emergency cases are health or medical problems, accidents, car troubles and other untoward incidents. You need to have savings in order to cope with these emergency situations considering that your means of livelihood are already budgeted among the regular daily, weekly and monthly expenses.

4. Set a budget

Budgeting actually works—especially if you put the budget on paper. Documentation will give your budget some credence and it will make it more real. There is always a big possibility that the budget will not be followed, but at least, if you have it on paper, you will not stray away from it. Always include savings and emergency fund in your budgeting. There is a difference between the two. The emergency fund is expendable when emergency arises. Savings, on the other hand, is something for the future, something in the long run.

5. Cost-cutting measures

When you write down all you daily expenses in specific details, you will soon figure out that a lot of your expenses are not necessary. You will realize that there are many things you don’t actually need but end up buying anyway. In some instances, you buy things in small packages but with more frequency. Perhaps you don’t really need to buy this item with the same kind of frequency. Things like this will be noted when you record all your expenses. Only buy what’s really necessary in order to keep things within budget.

One important way to cut cost is by shopping only with a list. Shopping with a grocery list will help you stay within budget and not overspend. Of course, this takes a lot of discipline. There are so many things in the grocery store that you would want to purchase, so many temptations. But if you strictly adhere to a list, this means that you will only be buying what you need.

In the house, there are also so many ways to cut cost. One simple measure is to turn off the lights that you are not using. Sometimes we just think that one light is so inconsequential that we don’t turn it off. But then, one light turns to two and even more. Now this will add up and it’s a waste of money. Another common malpractice at home is firing up all electronics at once: You watch television while at the same time working on your laptop and twiddling with your phone in between. Not only will you lose your focus this way, you are also utilizing electricity that you don’t need.

6. Pay your debt

The worst thing about debts is the interest rates. And if you don’t pay on time, you get penalty. So it is essential that you pay your debt as soon as you can. When you get extra money, put a lot more on debt payment. The goal is to pay your debts as soon as you can and escape interest rates.

7. Spend time, not money

In many cases, things that need payment are things you can do yourself. For example, you want to eat at a restaurant—instead of spending money on gourmet food, you can actually spend time making restaurant food. If you want to spend money on housecleaning, spend time cleaning instead.

Having just one income in the house is going to be difficult, but it is by no means impossible. But determination is needed in order for things to work out.

Author's Bio: 

James Harnsberger is an Enrolled Agent and NTPI fellow. Also known as the Wealth and Tax Guru, James and his team are offering IRS tax services to help those Americans who are struggling with their back taxes