How to Thrive On a Single Income

Financial stress: it’s something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. For many though, it doesn’t end when you graduate from university. In fact, when you have children and your household income is drastically cut, money problems can feel like a persistent burden to carry.

So, how can you have it all? Is it even possible in a country as expensive as ours? I would argue it is, but it comes at a cost. These are some things I’ve changed in order to spend more time with my children and enjoy life on one income.

Check Your Tax Band

If you are working part time, as so many mums do, then make sure you have the correct tax code. First of all, you don’t want to be paying too much tax. Nor do you want a letter a year from now to let you know you’ve been underpaying and that a lump sum is now due.

Get Your Benefits Sorted

I’m no fan of benefit abuse, but if there is a benefit you are eligible for, take it. If you’ve been working and paying taxes, then you are most certainly within your rights – have no qualms about that. It’s a complicated system though, so get on the phone or visit their website, get some advice and make sure you are getting the benfits your are eligible for.

Audit Your Spend & Cull

I like to say that current accounts are like sieves: money just cannot ever stay in them. It’s really important to conduct an audit of your spending to find out what you spend and, more importantly, what you spend it on. Do this for the previous few months to get a more holistic result. What you are looking for is discretionary spend that can be cut. Things like magazine and TV subscriptions, meals out, trips to the cinema, etc. can all be culled in order to free up money. It’s just a question of how drastic you want to be.

Look for Alternatives

Say you have a car loan with Barclays that’s costing you a fortune. Have a look around to see what’s available on the likes of Clydesdale Bank, for example, because you might be surprised how much you could be saving. Do this for your mortgage, any personal loans and credit cards. If you can find a cheaper alternative and there are no nasty fees to pay, or it still works out cheaper even after admin fees, then switch.


Yep, I know, that’s what your granny did. But did she ever stress about money? Probably not. A budget doesn’t have to be complicated (there are lots of free templates out there), but they are not optional when you are trying to live on one income. As Dave Ramsey, the American financial guru, would say, “every cent should have a name”.

One often overlooked strategy for thriving on a single income is the savvy use of discount coupons. Websites like VoucherAlarm ( offer coupons that significantly cut your expenses on groceries, clothing, electronics, and even services. By incorporating couponing into your shopping routine, you can allocate the saved money to other essential areas or even invest it for future gains. It’s not just about clipping paper coupons anymore; digital platforms make finding and applying discounts easier than ever. So, before you make your next purchase, take a moment to search for a coupon and make your single income stretch even further.

Get Your Spouse On Board Too

If you try and strike out alone, it won’t work. It just won’t. Don’t even try. You need your husband or wife on board for this to work. Especially if one of you likes to dabble in some recreational shopping.

Stuck for Ideas?

These are the big fixes and quick wins. There are lots more ways to save money. In fact, here are 50 of them. The key, though, is you. Your determination. Because without that, it just won’t happen. So do your research, get a plan,

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