We completed our debt free journey about 6 months before our first child was born. This was a huge blessing. In the beginning of our 6 year journey I thought, “”man I can’t wait to be done with this so I can go back to no budget and spending without thinking”. But then we got pregnant and my priorities shifted dramatically. To my surprise, I didn’t go on a spending spree for my new baby girl. After our last payment had been made we sat down and talked about if we wanted to make any changes to our budget now that we are debt free. My husband and I had worked so hard the last few years that I didn’t want to change our budget. We had gotten used to the budget friendly lifestyle and chose to keep on with this plan even though we are debt free.
It became our new normal to set a budget and stick to it, so why change what isn’t broken? It’s true, we had a few splurge moments to commemorate this awesome milestone we had worked so hard for, but after that we fell back into our regular budget and have kept that going the last 3 years. Some tweaks have been made now that we are a family of 4. We both drive reliable but less than pretty used cars. My pretty little Buick Century finally showed us that we needed a new car this past year and we were able to pay cash for a new (to us) van. No lease. No loan. We shopped around and I found the vehicle I wanted. My husband called me one day and said “Let’s go get a van” He was so excited. I was not. But we had an envelope filled with cash and paid for it. That’s crazy‼!
My answer to how to do this on one income is realizing the sacrifices that will need to be made. I know my husband really wants to have a Jeep Wrangler like he drove when he was younger. But he doesn’t have one, because we don’t NEED one. I would really like a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house on a nice big plot of land. But we don’t have one, because we don’t NEED one. (And I really do love my tiny condo, it’s perfect for us right now.) There will be “things” you’ll want and it’s okay to dream but right now, a single income is our priority. This is where our WANT VS. NEED truly comes into play.