On a recent Reddit thread, a commenter illuminated the power of dual-income couples living on one income, writing: “My fiancé just got unexpectedly fired today … It was a huge shock. We don’t practice every best habit … but we’re grateful we picked up doing our best to live off one income. The writer details how they did it: “We just bought our house in August and insisted on going through the preapproval process off my income alone. Our lights will stay on because our bills are also effectively scaled to one income. We held off on car payments and continued to drive our beaters because the numbers for new, used cars didn’t make sense with one income.
While we often hear financial experts don’t as often tout advice like saving at least six months of income in an emergency fund to help you weather something like job loss, this simple advice — live on one income even when you have two –.
But the experts we spoke to say it’s powerful.
This is an excellent method of budget hacking,” says Mitchell Hockenbury, a certified financial planner at 1440 Financial Partners in Kansas City, MO. “Wow, talk about becoming financially independent quickly. He sets up this scenario: “Imagine you and your spouse have full-time jobs with equitable pay, and together you decide to live off only one person’s income while saving/investing the other’s,” he says.
First, you are living on half your take-home pay. Second, you are saving more into each person’s work retirement account. Third, you are saving/investing the amount you live off (the other person’s take-home pay). Essentially, you aren’t just saving 50% of your take-home pay. You are saving 60-70%, accounting for pre-paying savings.