Sunday, April 16, 2017

How To Budget On One Income

In this blog post, I will share with you how we budget with one income only and still managed to save up.
A little disclaimer-You may think that this is such a random post since I started with beauty reviews. But as I have mentioned in my intro, My blog is going to be all about beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. So I think this is still appropriate.

We live in the Philippines and a family who lives with only one income is very common here. Now I know how hard it is to make ends meet when only the husband or the wife is earning money for the whole family. Trust me, I've been there and it's not fun when you have no clue what you're doing. We started a family at the age of 18. We're not ready and we don't have a clue about parenting and earning money. We've been so broke and we had to rely on our parents for money and food and even for our son's school fees. It's not easy and it's embarrassing to have to ask for money from our parent's when we are already adults and are capable of making money for ourselves. Even more so, asking for their help to provide for our child. I know a lot of people can relate to this.

My husband and I struggled at first when it comes to stretching every single penny he earned. Since we did not take any course in parenting at a young age, nor earning money and budgeting(as if they exists), We often just buy the stuff we thought we needed not thinking of the future whatsoever. "One-day millionaires" is what we're called. We spend out all his salary in less than a week and then the rest of the month, we're literally broke. Thanks to our parents, we can still eat. Until we grew tired of that kind of lifestyle and realized that it's not a good habit and our son won't have a good future if we keep doing that. We matured basically.

So I started watching videos and reading blog posts about budgeting and saving money. I learned a lot of stuff from different people and suggested to my husband that we try them out. Now, we have created our own style of managing my husband's income and it's been working for us for almost 2 years now. So, I decided to share it with you.

TIP #1 - The first and most important thing to remember is to make sure you know the difference between Wants and Needs. Think carefully if something is really a necessity or not. Make a list with two columns. Needs and Wants. List everything your family absolutely needs such as food, electricity, shelter, daily expenses and savings. Categorize them. Here's an example of a categorized list that a family needs.

TIP #2 - Assign an envelope for each category. This will organize all your money to where they need to go and can avoid you from spending them somewhere else.
*Grocery (Food and water, etc.)
*Bills(electricity bill, phone bill, cable and internet bill, etc.)
*Budget(Daily expenses such as Husbands transportation to work, husbands lunch and snack at work, etc.)
*Savings(Whatever is left from the salary after)

Grocery. List down all the essentials. From food, toiletries, and important stuff. Make sure this list has just the bare essentials in it. It's very important that you list down their corresponding prices as well. This way, you already know exactly how much you need to bring to the grocery store and avoid buying any unnecessary things and overspending.

Bills. List down the bills you need to pay for the month. Assign an envelope for each bill and put the exact amount inside each envelope. (I use an accordion type organizer for this. But an envelope would be fine.)

Budget. Calculate the daily expenses of each family member and multiply it by how many days are left until the next payday. This will ensure that your daily expenses will be covered 'till the next paycheck comes. Provided that you stick to your daily budget religiously. Self-discipline is key.

Savings. This doesn't really need an explanation. But whatever is left from your money after all the expenses are covered. You keep it in the "Savings" envelope and deposit it in your bank account once it has accumulated. What I do is, categorize my savings as well. Because, We're saving up for a lot of things, right? For school, for the things we want to buy, for vacations and for fast food, really. So I list down the things I'm saving up for and divide the extra money into each one of them. Making sure that I dedicate the most amount of savings into the most important thing.

 TIP #3 - Stick to your budget. When you're going grocery shopping, just bring the exact amount with you, Again, to avoid overspending.

TIP #4 - Here's where we're going to talk about the "Wants". You may be thinking, "How will my family enjoy going to the mall, watching movies, shopping and going on trips?" Well, That my friend is why we are saving our extra money. Also, if we have leftover money from our daily budget. We save those for the things we want to buy. It is very important that you learn to save every last extra money you can. You will thank yourself in the future.

I think that basically covers everything I have to share with you. I'm not saying that these tips are the best out there. I'm just sharing them with you for the reason that it has been working for us for quite a while now and it might work for you as well.

I made this printable that I used for budgeting our money and I will share it with you for free.

Let me know in the comments section below if you have any other tips that you can share with us. And also let me know if you've tried my budgeting tips and how it worked out for you.

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this.
God bless
- Ciel


  1. Budgeting on one income is basically the same as with two, you usually just have one income instead of two. My family is a one-income family.

  2. This is a GREAT strategy for stretching money! In America, we have a Christian finance guru called Dave Ramsey, and he's created a spectacular envelope-based budgeting system that makes all the difference for me and my family. I'm a single mom living on a VERY tight, VERY VERY small budget, and keeping envelopes for everything has changed my life.

  3. These are some great budgeting tips! I like the envelope method - it keeps everything organized.

  4. It is so important to learn how to budget. I like to write everything down and plan out my budget on paper first.

  5. Great article. These are some great tips saving money is always a concern of mine.

  6. We too are on single income and trust me spending in a right way with savings is the key to survive.

  7. These are all great tips. I love your template as well. Savings first before paying bills and expenses are what works well for us.

  8. Fabulous tips. I always budget and it makes life so much simpler!

  9. I'm literally printing this off so I can discuss it with my fiance. Thank you

  10. Tip #1 is such an important rule of thumb! I tried tip #3 last year for a few months. It kept me super strict and in line!

  11. This is so timely! At the end of July we will be down to one income because I will be finally getting to stay home with my babies :)

  12. Budgeting is always something very important to know how to do. Your tips are very helpful! I loved the cute lists and the envelope idea so that you don't physically see the money that you are putting away or setting aside for something you need rather than want. Thanks for all of the great tips!