Both parents hold full time jobs in 46% of households with 2 members, indicating a 15% growth compared to 1970. However, business analyst Tony Amaradio explains that people can also live on only one income. “Bringing in two paychecks and spending only one can be liberating,” he states. “That actually makes it easier to put one’s financial house in order.” Amaradio, founder of Select Portfolio Management, Inc. and Select Money Management, Inc., which design, implement, and monitor client portfolios, observes that the driving force for choosing to live on one person’s earnings varies from family to family. “Some people are determined to get out of debt, and use the second paycheck to pay creditors,” he notes. “Other folks are committed to catching up on retirement savings.” Amaradio adds that he’s counseled couples who donate their unused wages to charity, and others who wish to realign their spending in order to better stay within their means.
For those who might consider taking the leap to live on a single income, Tony Amaradio advises that discipline is key. He suggests that small changes in spending habits can reap tremendous savings. People may, for example, pay monthly fees for services they no longer use or that could be obtained free of charge. Because Americans spend as much money dining out as they do buying groceries, cooking meals at home instead of frequenting restaurants will slash food expenditures. Choosing different entertainment options, such as borrowing DVDs from the library rather than springing for movie tickets and popcorn, will also save money. Amaradio suggests that creativity can fuel other lifestyle adjustments and conserve cash. Virtually everyone has items stashed around the house that could be repurposed, bartered, or traded, he maintains, thus eliminating the need for additional purchases. Similarly, household expenses that seem set in stone may not be. Amaradio recommends that families review every expenditure and try to negotiate lower rates. Cable television fees and credit card interest rates can be lowered, while shopping for more reasonable auto insurance rates or a health plan that aligns costs with needed services can shave money off of fixed expenses.
When a family moves from dual incomes to a solo salary, Tony Amaradio states that communication must be a priority. Tackling a budget as a team and agreeing to make sacrifices in service of a larger goal can bring couples closer together and teach children crucial lessons about the value of money and the importance of cooperation. With proper planning and dedication, Amaradio says that living on a single income is within reach for many families. “It’s simply a matter of making series of choices that will lead to significant rewards,” he concludes.
In addition to being a wealth management innovator, Tony Amaradio is a sought-after presenter who travels the U.S. speaking about advanced market strategies. He and his wife, Carin, are philanthropists and co-authors of the inspirational book, “Faithful with Much: Breaking Down the Barriers to Generous Giving.” The couple assists nonprofit organizations in capacity building and in guiding major donors toward becoming more effective benefactors.
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