My husband and I aren’t rich by any means, however, we have always taken pride in being content financially. That is… until the day his mother fell ill and we had no other choice but to care for her. This essentially meant going out on family medical leave and living on one and a partial income for who knows how long. While we knew this was a move we had to make, we were a bit frightened and unsure of how we were going to survive.
Suffering a Financial Loss
You know, as much as you try to plan for life’s event’s sometimes they don’t go according to plan. Though my husband and I had a reasonable savings, the cost of uprooting our family, relocating to live with my mother in law (she needed to be near her doctors and specialists) and commuting back and forth to work (which was about a two hour ride both ways) cost us a lot more than we had planned.
There was also the fact that my husband’s medical leave would not kick in for another six weeks. This ultimately meant that we were living on one income for the time being trying to support a family of 5, including my mother in law. Though I was fearful in the beginning, in time I was able to successfully pull it together financially and we made it through the difficult time. Here’s how:
Rearranged the Budget
The first thing we decided to do was rearrange our budget. We realized that things were more expensive than we had projected so we needed to buckle down in some areas. We sat down, determined where the most spending was taking place and figured out a way to lower costs so that we could afford to live on the one income. Here are a few things we did to accomplish that:
- Refrained from eating out
- Took public transportation instead of paying gas and tolls
- Shopped for groceries using coupons and buying in bulk
Evaluate Credit Status
Though we didn’t want to have to take out a loan of any kind we also realized the possibility that this could occur. So before we could apply for any type of loan we needed to know exactly where we stood as it pertained to our credit history. We essentially checked our credit scores and found out that they weren’t necessarily in good standing. We made a plan on how to improve our scores in the meantime so that if we needed to borrow funds, we’d be able to. Some ways in which we improved our credit score was:
- Made timely payments
- Called our creditors to negotiate affordable arrangements
- Monitored our use of credit
Credit Improvement Tip: If you check your credit and don’t happen to have much debt, but still have a poor credit score it could be the result of outdated, inaccurate, or fraudulent information on your credit report. If this is the case, working with a credit repair company can help you improve your score with time. If you decide to utilize these services, make sure to research and check out their trustworthiness by looking at consumer reviews and searching social media for a recorded testimonial video to see what other customers have to say.
Found Ways to Earn a Living
Because my mother in law required round the clock care my husband was not able to work. To help out with the finances, we started looking for easy ways to make money online. Needless to say, in this digital world we live in, there are actually several ways you can earn a living without having to physically report to work. My husband was able to secure a job working as a part time customer service representative for a major company, and he also answered surveys. This was able to cover some of the expenses that my income could not cover.
Saved Extra Income
Since we had pretty much figured out how to live on my income and the extra money my husband made online, we figured it was a good idea to build a savings since we didn’t know how long we’d be taking care of my mother in law. So once the medical leave checks started rolling in, we simply put those away for a rainy day. We actually saved so much money that we were able to easily put a down payment on a new house once my mother in law was well.
I must say that getting through such a trying time financially was a bit of a challenge in the beginning. However, when we put our heads together, made some sacrifices, and came up with a sound plan, we were able to get things back on track in our lives. About a year later my mother in law was back to her old self again and we were able to move into a beautiful home that we have now come to love and enjoy. Not only do we have a new house to create new memories in, but we’re also more financially stable knowing how to save, budget, and survive on just one income.