How We Drastically Reduced Expenses to Live on One Income


Hey there! I’m Amanda from Hello Brownlow and I am about to share with you how we went
from two solid incomes down to one. Sounds crazy, right?

I have always loved saving money but reducing expenses through life hacks, easy DIYs, and
inexpensive recipes. This lead us to save over 50% of our income! We put all of our money
saving knowledge to good use this year after our son was born. I left my full time employment
soon after he was born. I now blog full time while I stay home with our Little Guy.
So how did we do it? How did we drastically reduce our expenses as a family of three to live on
one income? Let’s ring up the savings!

Cut the Cable

We cut the cable cord before it was cool to only have Netflix. Our cable bill was well over $100 a
month. To have only internet and video streaming services means you’ll save about $80 on your
TV time every month. We factored in Netflix at $10.99 a month and Amazon Prime (streaming
included) at $120 a year. Savings: $80 monthly

Ditch That Expense Wireless Provider

Now everyone likes to have super coverage from just about anywhere they go. But do you have
to pay a premium for that? Nope! We previously had two lines with Verizon and paid $120 a
month for limited data. With switching to a carrier that doesn’t spend big bucks advertising, we
save $70 a month! Google Fi is an excellent carrier that allows you to go really anywhere in the
US or internationally and have great coverage! For us and our two lines, it runs about $50 total
each month. Use our Google FI code to save $20 off your first bill here! Savings: $70 monthly

Stop Eating Out

My husband and I used to eat out for lunch 2-3 times a week each ($50 approximately) and then
out eat out for dinner twice a week ($80 approximately). Monthly that put us at an expense of
$520! Yikes! We now only eat out once a month for lunch ($20 for two people) and twice a
month for dinner ($80). That took our eating out expenses from $520 down to $100. Savings:
$420 monthly.

Shop for Everything Secondhand

We shop for almost everything secondhand. Clothes, baby items, furniture, backpacking gear –
seriously everything minus underpants! Annually, we were spending $2500 on average. From
October 2017 through October 2018, we only spent $1500. Part of that is because we truly

shopped less and the other part is that we shopped secondhand and avoided buying too much
new. We also had our son in this time frame! Savings: $1000 annually

Cut Your Own/Spouse’s Hair and DIY Salon Services

Best purchase of the year? Wahl clippers for my husband. We spent $50 on a quality set of
clippers and I cut his hair every three to four weeks. Each hair cut costs $25 with a tip at
SuperCuts. Annually we would spend approximately $430 on haircuts just for my husband. That
$50 purchase has paid off! I no longer get my nails done and I trim my own hair with the
scissors that came in the Wahl kit. Nail polish costs maybe $10 a year as opposed to $40 each
time (3 times a year on special occasions). Haircuts costs $40 each that I got twice a year.
Savings: $570 annually

Meal Plan

The crowning glory on our money saving abilities is meal planning. Yeah, the money we saved
on salon services is pretty impressive but this is what I am most proud of. By careful meal
planning and truly utilizing everything in your pantry, you should be able to save some big bucks
in this department. I think I could write a whole book on how to meal planning, but you can visit
my meal planning posts at to learn more. We went from spending $400
monthly on groceries to $100 or less. And more recently, we have aimed for a $50 monthly budget for groceries. It sounds crazy, but it can be done! Savings: $300 monthly

Savings Grand Total: $12,010 Annually

When we asked ourselves if I could quit my day job and go down to one income as a family of
three, we had to seriously consider if we could keep saving money like we were. The answer is
yes! While we no longer can save 50%, we still save around 15% of my husbands income. It
takes a lot of diligent budgeting and purposeful spending to keep a budget low.

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