ANIMALS
FUNNY
INSPIRING
LIFESTYLE
NEWS
PARENTING
RELATIONSHIPS
SCIENCE AND NATURE
WHOLESOME
WORK
Contact Us Privacy Policy Cookie Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

10 people explain how single-income households are struggling to make ends meet in today's economy

Ten individuals candidly recount their stories of navigating the hurdles of single-income households in today's challenging economy.

10 people explain how single-income households are struggling to make ends meet in today's economy
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska

Economies across the world are struggling with higher living costs and poor wages. Unemployment has become a significant problem in many countries, which has added fuel to the fire. In such a situation, many single-income households in the US often grapple with financial survival. Families with a single earner will find it increasingly difficult to cope with paying bills and living decently. This necessitates individuals to be more conscious of what they spend their money on and avoid unnecessary expenses. Reddit user, u/Stepahknee1985 asked individuals on the platform who were from single-income households how they made ends meet. Here are 10 of the best answers they had to offer:

1. Living in a bachelor apartment

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Rahubovskiy
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Rahubovskiy

Well. It's just me and I live in a bachelor. Not even a full-sized apartment. I have a mini fridge and I had to buy a deep freezer in order to properly buy groceries. At least I have my own bathroom and no roommates I guess. No stove or oven either, so I had to buy a single burner from Canadian Tire. The quality of living has gone down tremendously. I don't feel like I live in Canada anymore. The price I'm paying for my bachelor's is a little more expensive than what I was paying for a 2-bedroom apartment pre-pandemic. u/Noeggplant6322

2. Investing in a house at the right time

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kindel Media
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kindel Media

Was fortunate enough in my timing to buy a house right before the pandemic, while I was still a double-income couple, and we made the extremely smart choice of setting our budget at something we could afford on a single income rather than maxing out what the bank was willing to loan us. u/Hrekires. I made this same decision in 2021 and don't regret it for one second. My dad was saying "You guys can afford a way bigger house!" But now the $1200 mortgage seems like a literal miracle. u/Xerxes004

3. Being frugal 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov

I have what used to be a "good government job." Pension, health care, lots of vacation. My take-home pay is about $27k a year. I lucked out in my apartment, been here 10 years and rent is now $820. I take the bus everywhere and have no hope of getting my own car. Going out of town is a luxury. Vacations are in US cities with bunk bed hostels, which, to be honest, is pretty cool. I shop at Aldi's and farmer's market for food and a by-the-pound thrift store for clothes and household. No kids, no Boomer parents. But it's not awful. I have enough money to buy (used) books and pay for art. The library is free, the local university has free lectures. But I am sharply, painfully aware that I am one argument, one bad performance review, from losing everything. u/Turnips4evr

4. Stopped eating meat and dairy

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ella Olsson
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ella Olsson

Single parent here. We quit eating meat and most dairy. I buy a big jug of concentrate Castile soap and make my own hand soap, cleaning products, etc fast food is less frequent, and often just small snacks instead of meals. I buy as much as I can at the dollar store/ Facebook marketplace/ liquidation store. We also do a lot of free activities around town. u/GordEisengrim. It’s honestly so healthy. I don’t have money issues but choose to eat this way—beans, rice, lentils and oatmeal being constant, daily staples. It’s cheap and I feel amazing. u/JoyfulExmo

5. Taking up side jobs

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Norma Mortenson
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Norma Mortenson

I am a single mom of two living in MA. I do not get child support and I cover 100% of the health insurance. I pay $2500 in mortgage and that’s one of my biweekly checks. The rest is paid with the other check and I do Uber and Doordash on the weekends I don’t have my kids. I am blessed to have a $92K salary working in the medical device industry but even at that, it’s not enough. I don’t know how other people do it. u/jensen0173

6. Moving to rural areas

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Eberhard Grossgasteiger
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Eberhard Grossgasteiger

Living in rural areas helps a lot. I know several single-income households with the one working who doesn't even make 75k and they own their house, 2 cars, etc. u/Hay_Blinken. Bingo In my area the average income is like 35k, it’s very rural and housing prices are cheap. Get used to older vehicles, repairing instead of buying new ones and reusing everything. More often than not we raise our own meat (lamb, chicken, turkey and pork) and trade for beef. We also process it which saves a bundle on butchers. I’m extremely lucky that I have a mortgage under 1000/month. u/Delustz

7. Living alone with a decent job

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

For me personally? It's just me, I live in a house I bought before the housing boom of the early 2000s, and after a few lean years around the pandemic, I have a job that pays decent money and has good benefits like paying 100 percent of my health insurance premiums. If I didn't have these things, I'd be f*****. According to Zillow's estimate, if I rented this house right now it would cost well over half my monthly income...not counting utilities and upkeep. I literally can't afford to live in my neighborhood anymore. u/gogojack

8. Using coupons for purchases

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Negative Space
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Negative Space

Mid west, lower cost of living. Purchased our house at the right time and sold my fixer-upper at the right time. Mortgage is under 4%, payments are about 1100 with insurance. In my career, I have a company vehicle and company gas. My wife has her own vehicle, 0% interest, low monthly still in NVLW coverage. We have 0 kids. We have cats. I have health insurance on our cats that pays out 80% of the fix, so that covers a lot. My wife is a coupon queen. She makes a $300 grocery run $97. u/reselath

9. Not having kids 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Cottonbro studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Cottonbro studio

Recently single income as my partner had an unexpected major medical situation come up and has been out of work. Living in an HCOL area. It’s been rough. I’m covering everything including the insurance and medical costs. Thankful I make a lot, and we don’t have kids. Thankful it won’t be forever, as the 2nd income is returning. But yeah, basically went into credit card debt and had to draw down on savings we’d built up over the last decade to dig ourselves out. It puts homeownership even further out of reach as if it wasn’t far enough out already. I never thought I’d earn this much in my career, yet I feel more broker than I was 4 years ago. u/wilcocola

10. Avoiding credit cards

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

My kids are grown, and I'm single. I bought my first house 30 years ago, so I've rolled the equity forward all these years. I own a nice little house in a nice area. I make mid $80s and don't use credit cards or go on big vacations because I'm too afraid to waste money like that. I have 3 months of emergency savings that I'm trying to build to 6, but shit always goes sideways, I swear. Smh I do have a decent 401k and live a comfortable life, but damn I can see how young people would struggle. I went to the grocery the other day and spent $200. u/PuppyPavilion

More Stories on Upworthy