How to Live Off One Pay a Month When You’re a Family of Five

by Crystal Carder
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Michael has always been the bread-winner in our family. So, a few years ago when he got hurt at work, things really changed. We went from a family of five living off paychecks every two weeks to living off one paycheck a month. It definitely took some time to get used to, but after a few months, we finally got used to it – but it still was a BIG adjustment.

Whether you’re looking to save some money and cut-down to living off just one paycheck a month, or you have suddenly found yourself into a new lifestyle, living off one paycheck a month as a family doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do to make that one paycheck stretch the whole month. While these tips may not be suitable for some people, I really hope they can help your family live a better, more comfortable life with just one pay a month – no matter what the reason.

How to Successfully Live Off One Paycheck a Month

How to Live off One Paycheck a Month

Pay ALL of the Bills at the Beginning of the Month

When we started living off of just one paycheck a month, we found that for our family, it worked better if we would pay all of the bills at the beginning of the month when Michael got his paycheck. This way, the bills were always paid and any other money we had would just be for things like food, gas, and other necessities throughout the month. If we accidentally overspent, we wouldn’t have to worry about how to make the car/house payment because they would already be paid.  

Set a Budget

While we’re on that subject of overspending, Michael and I found it really necessary to create a strict budget for the month. Since it is really easy to overspend when you’re used to more than one paycheck a month, an envelope budget worked really well for our family. Using the envelope budget method allowed us to see where the majority of our money was going and where we were overspending our money at. Being able to look at our spending habits really helped us to create a budget that worked for our family.

Without setting a budget, living on one paycheck a month as a family can be almost impossible to get used to.

Save Money on Bills

Unfortunately, the cold truth is – if you’re living on one paycheck a month, you’re probably making less money a month than you used to. That’s why it’s so important you cut back and try to save money on bills. If you have bills that are more than what you are making a month, it will be impossible for your family to live on just one paycheck a month.

Fortunately, I detail some of the expenses you can save money on in this post, but unfortunately, some of those options are only good for saving money one month. Some other ideas to save money on bills when you’re living on one paycheck a month is to refinance loans or sell things that you are paying on, but no longer need. Or just sell things to pay off loans you already have.

Start a Side-Hustle

Living off of one income a month as a family, may not be suitable for your family and you may need some extra cash. That’s why you can become like millions of other Americans and start your own side-hustle. Some great side-hustle ideas to make extra cash are:

Living off one paycheck can will take time, but I really hope these tips help make the adjustment easier for you and your family. For more tips on saving money visit my Financial Tips section.

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How to Live off One Paycheck a Month

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