I've heard it said more than once: "We could never live on one income!" I always sit there is a sort of shocked silence, because we live on a single military income, and it isn't much. And sometimes I seriously think I should teach a class on it. Is it always easy? It didn't used to be, but now, yes, usually. And honestly, neither one of us ever thinks, "I/Kate should go back to work so we would have more money." We have previously discussed me eventually going back to work for my own independence and as a way to add more money to a savings account. But we always decide against it. And I want to tell you that no matter your reasons, if you desire to be a one income family, most times you can make it work. I always hear protestations to this, but for most people it comes down to choices and to making tough decisions that our self-serving selves don't like to make.
We have chosen to have 1 car for now. Eventually (probably years down the road) we will end up with two: a small SUV for our family (SUV because it will have room in the back seat for kids and room in the hatchback for Sophie!), and a tiny gas-efficient car for G to drive to work. I would like to add a third, my dream car... but that's a ways off, and would have to be because the SUV is sitting in the garage for road trips, which seems silly. About the one car now... I actually do not want a second, and am trying to put that off as long as possible. Sure, it's a pain occasionally when I need the car for something, so I have to drive him to work... but for me it's less hassle than owning a second car in the city.
We have become more conscious about our driving. We do grocery shop more like a European (several times a week), but we try and make sure we're not driving about unnecessarily. And if something gets forgotten, we usually make do without.
I cook a lot at home. We do go out to eat more than the average couple on a budget, but that's because of our other choices, and it's something we plan to limit to continue to increase our savings. When we eat at home I don't do processed foods, I take the time to put my love for my family into our meals. Does it take longer than hamburger helper? Yes. But is it really all that difficult or time consuming? Not at all.
We buy sparkling wine for our Fridays and save a real champagne for special occasions. I love Veuve Clicquot. We've discussed how if we ever had a lot of money I would buy it by the case. But, honestly, for the every week treat, a good prosecco works for me. And it allows us the funds to splurge (like I did recently on a 98 V.C. for when G returns) when it's a celebration.
These really are only a few things off the top of my head. However, the key is that we've said no to the American style of overbuying and the need for more and bigger. I may purchase something that some would consider insanely expensive, but I own less and I take care to make things last.
Does this life sometimes get us funny looks? Sure. But I can tell you that living on a single military income I know that we're still able to live a chic and sometimes lavish life while putting away a pretty decent chunk into savings. It can work for almost anyone. The key is learning to say no to always saying yes to yourself.
*Oh, and completely unrelated, but for those who have been asking, you can see my first bump pics HERE on the baby blog!*