Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey

Single Income Families: 10 Principles for Success


I originally wrote this as part of the “frugal living” series a long time ago. However, I believe the principles apply whether you’re a stay at home mom or not!


There are a few principles necessary for most of us to make it on one income. Here are some that come to mind.


Yes, you read that right. You can’t out-give God. We shouldn’t give so He’ll bless us, but the bottom line is that when we give, He gives back–abundantly. I’ve seen Him do it! Start with a tithe (10% of your income) given to your local church. Beyond that, look for ways to give money, time, possessions, talents, and resources to others. Even if you don’t receive a tangible blessing as a result, know that you’re laying up treasures in Heaven where it really counts.


Obviously our culture is designed for the lifestyles of two-income families. For those of us who have made the choice to be homemakers, it takes a good dose of thriftiness to manage our families with today’s cost of living. We have to learn to be frugal mamas!


In our materialistic culture it’s difficult to differentiate between wants vs. needs. If we are going to successfully live on one income, we must learn to be content with what we have. The Apostle Paul learned this lesson. In Philippians 4:11 he said,…I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.” We don’t truly need as much as we often think we do.


Thankfulness goes hand-in-hand with contentment. When we are grateful for what God has given us, we don’t always feel compelled to have more. Let’s remember that if we own a home and a car we’re richer than 95% of the world. That helps put it in perspective!


Patience saves a lot of money. It’s hard to get past our culture’s must-have-now mentality, but when we do, it’s worth it.


We have to let go of feeling entitled to certain possessions, luxuries, opportunities, and even our own time. We must put the wants and even sometimes the needs of others before our own.


When we are unselfish, sacrifice isn’t so hard, and in this wealthy nation I remind myself that my “sacrifices” aren’t that significant anyway. Try to keep the big picture in mind.


Frugality doesn’t have to mean spartan living. Be creative! Don’t settle for the bare minimum. Find simple ways to make your life beautiful.

Joy and Laughter

Your family will love having you at home when you are full of joy and make home a fun place to be.


If you make the choice to stay home, the only way you’ll succeed is to be absolutely committed to it. Stay the course, even when it’s hard!


Remember, even if these are qualities you don’t have, God can help you develop them…And the discipline of becoming a homemaker may be the catalyst He wants to use!


Here’s a little rhyme that was popular during the Great Depression. It’s a good reminder of how to make a little go a long way.

Use it up, wear it out,
Make it do, or do without.

2 thoughts on “Single Income Families: 10 Principles for Success

  1. On a regular basis I try to de-clutter something
    in my house, be it a cabinet, a box, or a room. There are a few categories to which the new found clutter can end up- a trash pile, a clean up and give pile, and a garage sale pile.

    Stained up and useless things are normally trashed. I try to think if I were walking into Goodwill would I like this item and buy it. If not… TRASH IT!!

    The clean up and give pile is normally separated and given to someone I know will like it (always call and see if interested before you unload it on someone) or I will give to Goodwill (be considerate to the workers and imagine the annoyance of unloading complete junk from those who donate).

    Now if I am feeling truly spunky and thrifty AND I HAVE PLENTY TO SELL, I will have a garage sale. We just recently had one. It took us a while but we decided to invite our neighbors to join in it (relationship building) and of course a lot of items means avid garage salers will come!!! We made enough money to get season passes to Blue Bayou Water Park for the family!! Creativity in being frugal does pay off.

  2. I completely agree about generosity. Recently I have been struck all over again with the benefits of investing in relationships too, even the benefits of cold, hard cash! For example, some friends from our church were also neighbors and they just moved. After all was said and done, and my hero and I had both worked a couple of full days helping with the move, I ended up today taking random leftovers here and there and truly ended up pocketing cash for some of it.

    Of course, they came out on the plus side too, as I sent a restaurant gift card that I wasn’t using along with them for the move! 🙂

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