My family has lived off my one salary for 13 years now and it has ranged between $18,000 the first year to $60,000 the last few years. We have always paid all our bills on time, had healthcare, life insurance, 2 cars, paid into retirement accounts, and took vacations. We always lived below our means and never had debt of any kind besides a car for about one year then it was paid off. My wife raised the kids and I worked as a coach and a teacher in Texas and life was great on a teacher salary.
Then one day it all changed and my wife decided she wanted to get out of the house more and get a small job. We decided on teaching some aerobics classes at the local gym for $25-$50 a class or $25-$50 an hour. She taught about 2-3 classes a week and we made an extra $400-$600 a month, which was huge for our small budget. We saw the awesome power of a double income immediately as we were able to max out one of our Roth IRA’s, and have some extra eating out money for the family to have fun with.
Life was good until one day I hatched up a plan to get rid of our mortgage and be officially 100% debt free and move in the realm of financial independence. My plan was simple; get a job teaching with me and double our salaries. Go from $70,000 a year as a couple to $110,000 or more a year as two teachers. So, after putting our plan into place, spending about $3,000 on getting my wife teacher certified in Texas, taking a year’s worth of classes, and then finding a job, we were able to double our salary and begin to put $4,000 a month into our house while still paying all our bills, having all insurances, maxing out retirement accounts, vacationing (travel hacking), and raising three kids witht heir growing expenses.
The power of the double income only works if you keep your lifestyle down and don’t spend all your money on crazy stuff. We do splurge a month or two a year and go to Europe, or make a large purchase such as a couch or bed, but for the most part the double income is all put into our financial independence drive by getting rid of the mortgage. The most powerful thing of all is that after 3-4 years we should be able to have no mortgage and our family would require $25,000 $27,000 a year to live and one salary should be more than enough. We would have enough in retirement to retire early in another 7-8 years and have no salary and a good life.
I know Texas is cheaper than most places, but that is why we picked it to live. I would rather live in the mountains, but we can’t live this way in most mountain states, but we do get our holidays off to visit whenever we want and our entire summers too. The mountains in the summer are the awesome season for us anyways and we can spend months there. The power of two salaries, with a plan, has helped our family get the monkey off our back and lead us into a great situation. What’s your plan to live off one salary and use the other to free yourself from unnecessary stresses? Get rid of debt, keep the bills low, and plan to use the extra money to plan for a future.
If you don’t have the luxury of two salaries you can get multiple streams of income going and especially passive income. More on that in a future post.