Note: The following post, Living On One Salary, was written a few years ago by my contributor, Keira. This post, along many others, had been accidentally deleted from the site. I’ve gained accessed to them all and will be posting each one throughout the next few months.
I often hear people say that it is impossible in this economy to live on one small salary.
So, how can our family of five live on a single salary of about $42,000 with a take home of $2,525 each month?
On paper I know it simply does not add up. No matter how we tweak our budget, on paper, it just doesn’t.
And yet, God has provided a way for our family to do just that for this past year, and I know He will continue.
Some may view our decision to bring me home, eliminating half our income, as reckless, but my husband and I realized that, for our children and the eternal focus we had, it would be reckless to continue on the same path. It was time to make some drastic changes, no matter how hard.
- Sold our home (it ended up being a short sale despite having lived there over 9 years).
- Found a rental home for half of what our mortgage had been (and was 1,000 sqft smaller)
- Eliminated cable TV (now all we use is Netflix)
- Rarely, if ever, go out to eat.
- Bake all of our own bread, crackers, and treats.
- Buy what we can in bulk.
- Have a vegetable garden (this is my oldest son’s passion).
- Get eggs from my aunt (we plan to get our own hens soon as a sweet friend at church gave us their old coop).
- Rarely go to the doctor’s office (we use a naturopath when needed).
- Use hand-me-downs, or shop at thrift shops for clothes (we buy new when needed).
- Never use the dryer (I have truly found a love for hanging clothes out on the line—and my boys are super helpful).
- Never go to movies, but instead have a FMN (family movie night) each weekend complete with homemade popcorn, soda, and a treat.
Why make all these changes? For us, we knew that in order to live according to God’s commands, we had to let go of our worldly ways and completely trust in God’s promises to provide.
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-27
Each time we thought there was NO way to pay the upcoming bills, somehow it all worked out and God provided.
Ways He provided in this past year that we did not anticipate:
- I got a direct deposit in October for work I had done the previous school year (I did not realize I would get paid for it).
- My husband was awarded “Teacher of the Year” and got a check for it.
- My husband got a weeklong job doing some Advanced Placement grading.
- A few weeks ago, my husband got paid for work he had done last year even though he was told there were no funds to pay him.
- My mom sent a generous check to pay for some of this year’s curriculum.
As I am writing this post, I have no clue how ends will meet this month. But, I will not worry because God has shown me month after month that even when it looks like things cannot possibly work out, they do. I am in awe of God’s provision and complete sovereignty. All the glory goes to Him!
Through these changes, our family has grown closer, our faith has grown stronger, and our children see daily what it means to completely surrender and walk in faith.
I pray that our story and faith will encourage those of you who strongly desire to come home full time. It is possible—even in this economy.
Soli Deo Gloria,