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How You Can Live Well on a Single Income

Cachet Prescott
tagged: money
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When I was hired for my current full-time job, I was elated. I looked forward to the job itself, but I was also excited about the idea of more money. Oh, the possibilities! Please understand, I’m realistic about money: I have a standing appointment with the Suze Orman Show every Saturday night. But even with some knowledge about finances, I immediately amended our existing household budget to reflect our increased joint earnings. Despite Suze’s good advice, I started spending that new money.

As you well know, life can change in an instant. Just a few months ago, I unexpectedly received a phone call informing me that my office would be closing and I’d be out of a job in six months. Even with advanced notice, I couldn’t help but worry. The “plan” had always been to use only my husband’s salary to support us. But for us, like so many other military families, that “plan” never came to fruition. As we face this transition, I’ve realized that learning about my impending unemployment is a blessing in disguise: We’re forced to do what we’d always “planned” to do, and we’ve got just a few months to prepare.



I’m not the first spouse who needs to prepare for famine. And I certainly won’t be the last. Thousands of military families, for one reason or another, make it work on one salary. Maybe it’s by choice: They’re preparing for an upcoming PCS move, and the spouse needs time to plan and pack. Or maybe the spouse decides to attend school full-time, or chooses to stay home with children. Sometimes the decision is made for you: Maybe you receive unexpected orders for a PCS move and can’t find a job in your new location. Maybe you’re laid off without immediate prospects for a new job. Or a new baby is on the way.

Whatever the reason, I set out to discover how military spouses make the most of living on a single income. 


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