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Transitioning from Double Incomes to a Single Income Couple


Sometimes life calls for a change. Whether planned or unplanned, going from two incomes to one can be tough so leverage your DINK-vantage to ensure you’re ready to handle any financial speed bumps in stride.

Transitioning from Double Incomes to a Single Income Couple
Couple wrestling over one income

Sometimes life calls for a change. Whether planned or unplanned, going from two incomes to one can be tough so leverage your DINK-vantage to ensure you’re ready to handle any financial speed bumps in stride.As DINKs, we have a unique income advantage, which provides us the financial freedom to build our savings or the flexibility to make significant life changes whenever we want. Consider these tips to better prepare for a smooth transition should your double income diminish to one either unexpectedly or by choice.

Planning for the dark abyss:

Unless you have a crystal ball, you probably don’t know what the future holds; however, there are a few things we can do to ensure that we’re financially prepared for whatever might come our way.

Savings stash: Fact is we can never predict a loss of income due to a job loss, which is why we have to be smart and take advantage of abundance now to be as financially prepared as possible. We should save 3 to 6 months of personal expenses in our short term emergency fund. Personal expenses include rent or our mortgage payment, utilities, and weekly groceries.

Investments on hand: Our short term emergency fund should be easily accessible at all times. We can invest in liquid assets such as High Interest Savings Accounts or Money Market Mutual Funds. These types of Investments allow us to have access to our money at any time and earn interest on the money if we don’t end up using it. Both Ally Bank and ING offer great rates on High Interest Savings Accounts. Some top mutual funds include the Schwab Tax Free Bond Fund (SWNTX) and the Morgan Stanley Inst Equity Growth H (MEGHX).

Maintain strong networks: Personal and professional connections can be our golden ticket if ever we find ourselves unemployed. People are busy and lives get hectic but maintaining centers of influence, joining committees, becoming a member of associations, and building personal relationships are a great way to market yourself and advance your career. Take advantage of effective networking tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and staying up-to-date on your latest industry publications.

Adjust emotionally: Should circumstances leave us to a single income, then we will need to adjust emotionally for the sake of our relationship. DINKs should remain optimistic since we have fared better in the down economy than any other demographic on account of our dual income support. So, while the situation may seem grim in such a moment, we can be thankful that we are fortunate enough to have another sustainable income in the household, a comfortable savings account, and the knowledge that the setback may only be a temporary situation. Maintain a spirit of positivity and confidence that the two of you will successfully see this through.

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COMMENTS:

Even if a couple does not have any kids it is also helpful that both of them are working, it helps them develop their individuality. - Lindsay Rosenwald

I've been there this past year. By choice. 20 years of cubicles and commuting, I had DH's full support to leave and plunge into my own business. It had been fine, but honestly, emotionally wrenching. I have always been a bread winner, & it is still hard a year later to adjust.

I've been there. During the economic downturn I was laid-off and experienced unemployment for about a 4 month period. I was extremely grateful for my wife's job and our careful planning to help get us through the challenge.

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