The Things That We Did to Cope with the Change into One Income Family

Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Posted by Pearl

In all honesty, it was a very difficult process.

The living expenses in my country are high and ideally, one family can survive better if both parents are working. But, it was a fact of life that we had to accept. Looking back, we are also grateful for what happened because we have learned a lot.

  • We became more conscious of our spending habits.
  • We had a great bonding as a family because of the trials that we had.
  • We had kids who are "really" members of the family because they are sensitive and aware of what's happening "in" the family.
We made a lot of changes. We suddenly realized that our disposable income is now cut in half, so, we had to make a lot adjustments. We had to slowly pay off the debts that we had accumulated over the years.

It was really hard. We had to cut out the unnecessary expenses.

The difficult part was identifying which are our needs and our wants, because through the years, we had learned to live with a lot of things that we thought they are all necessities. The best example here is the home Cable subscription. We discontinued this service and saved on the monthly charges.

These are the things that we did to face the challenge:

  • We stopped being in denial and accepted the situation that we are in, by facing the reality that this wouldn't be an easy task ahead of us, more so because we were used to receiving two paychecks for a long time.
  • We learned to identify what are the necessities and wants. This was very difficult at the start because we found it difficult to distinguish between the two. But, later, whenever we wanted to buy something, and we weren't sure about the decision that we were going to make, the question that we always ask ourselves is, "Can my family still survive even without this, or can it still wait for the time when we have saved enough money to buy it?". This becomes the deciding factor.
  • We learned to be very frugal in everything that we do. We have lowered our standards in terms of buying things for our kids. Just recently, we needed to buy them shoes for the opening of the school year, and because we are very much aware of our spending already, we were able to buy them shoes that were half the price of what we used to buy them, without sacrificing the quality of the shoes.
  • We talked to our kids about our financial situation so that they will be aware of the changes that were about to happen to our family, and believe me, when you do that, your kids will truly understand. This coming school year, i told my youngest daughter that i wouldn't be able to buy her a new bag, and instead she will use the bag of her sister. At first she resisted, but when i explained to her why she had to make do with the old bag, she understood.

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