Confessions from a Single-Income Family

There is no right or wrong way to manage your money, just so long as you manage it, but these days it seems like you either have to struggle to keep up with the Joneses or compete to see who can live in the tiniest house. I’m not sure when it became taboo to eat out once in a while or have satellite TV with NFL Game Day, but sometimes it feels like if I don’t use 20 coupons at the grocery store, I’m failing at managing our money.


PHOTO: Rafael J M Souza

I have to remind myself that budgeting isn’t a competition and life isn’t a game to be won or lost. Who cares how much money I’ve saved if I’m not living a life I love and am proud of? There was a time when I tried to save more money and control all of our spending to the point where my husband and I had unnecessary arguments about beer. It’s taken a while, but after years of living on a single income, we’ve found a way to make financial decisions without fighting and without guilt: we align our decisions with our values.

Warning: this technique only works if you are in agreement about your values. But, the real benefit to this approach is once those values are established, you never have to feel guilty about what you spend your money. You don’t believe in having cable television because it rots our brains and drives consumerism? I agree completely. You binge watch Netflix shows while drinking wine from a box? Awesome, me too! My main point is it doesn’t matter what I do personally because I’m not you, you’re not me, and quite frankly, your finances are none of my beeswax business. But if you’re curious how this values thing plays out in real life, I’ll use our values and budget as an example…

read more here: Don’t Feel Guilty About Eating Out…




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