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How to manage: From Double Income to Single

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Aditi and Ashok got married in 2013, both were managing their personal and professional lives really well until they became parents in 2015. Initially everything was under control during Aditi’s 6 months maternity leave, after that Aditi had to join back. Their parents also failed to support them for long as they were staying in other city and were not willing to relocate.  Aditi tried everything from a day-care to full-time nanny, but nothing worked as per her expectations. She was always worried about her little one. It began impacting her health also. It was then that the couple decided it is time for one of them to call quits. Now, the next question was how will they survive on a single income with the same lifestyle?
There are many couples who face the same problem, and the answer is – yes, it is possible to survive on single income, if you set your priorities right.

1.       Check if you are ready:  Make a note of your monthly inflows and outflows. Now may be the time to know how much do you actually spend monthly. How much comes under fixed expense category and how much are variable expenses. And out of those variable expenses, where all can you make deductions in case you go beyond your inflow which will be coming from a single source.
2.        Set a Budget: Once you have analysed the income/expense numbers, it is very important for a family to set budget for them. It is more important as there will be lesser scope of money coming from somewhere else once the house is running on single income. When the budget is set, you should try to manage the household with the same amount without quitting the job. You should do it for at least 2-3 months, for you to know if you can manage within the set budget.
3.       Alter your Lifestyle: Double income does come with extra money which can be spent on things other than required i.e. one tends to spend money on wants rather than needs. Once you as a family unit have decided to manage on single income, you should start altering your lifestyle to accommodate within that income.  
4.       Avoid Debt Trap: Don’t be too dependent on any kind of credit. Credit enables you to own goods/services before the actual payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future. And if those payments are not done in the stipulated time period the interest charged on the amount will be too high. Such kind of debt traps should be totally avoided when living on single income. You should even try to finish off your loans like personal loan, car loan, etc. before you switch to one income.
5.       Try freelancing or part-time opportunities: It will be difficult for anyone to sit at home after working for many years. Over all these working years, one acquires lots of knowledge. You should not waste your skill-set. You should look out for part-time working opportunities or freelancing which provides flexibility in managing both home and work. You can also take onto blogging to share all the good things which you have learnt out of your experience. The key point is that you should stay connected to the things you love.
There is no single perfect fit solution for all families; it involves countless iteration in schedules and multiple efforts from all family members to achieve the balance. At the end it is a team work involving both husband and wife.


Charu Hastir, CFPCM is founder of www.theriteplan.com. Rite plan is an online financial planning portal created to achieve a single objective of providing easy and Do It Yourself Financial Planning to netizens. Rite Plan is wholly owned by Tikkun Olam Financial Planning Services LLP. Please visit: https://theriteplan.com/index.php?route=common/home/

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