How To Live On Half Your Income

January 25, 2016

Have you tried budgeting, cutting back, coupons, and all the like! Well have you ever tried to live on half your income? As crazy as it sounds it can be done and can help to build savings and wealth in your twenties. Let me show you how and give you a free workbook to start!

I’ve talked before about living within your means as much as you can in order to build savings, wealth, and to just cut down on spending unnecessary money. I’ve showed you how to build that savings, why it’s important, and how to budget accordingly. But today I wanted to talk about one part of those three things, how to live on half of your income.

For some you might right away be thinking that for you this is impossible. And while for some that might be true, (after all not all twenty somethings are newly into a corporate high paying job) for others, you just haven’t tried it yet.

If your income is too low to go all the way to living on half of it, I still think that taking these tactics and trying them out on your finances will cut your living expenses down immensely and help you to build savings.

Now let’s get to it shall we?


How To Live On Half Your Income


How, you might ask do you “act like it”? Well you tell yourself that “half” is all you have. You sit down and you write out a budget for half of your income. When you trick your mind into thinking that’s all you have to spend, that’s all you will spend. Don’t just start saying that you should spend “less”. Less is a broad term with no concrete meaning to go back to.

Write down half of your income, budget for that, and then only spend what you budgeted. That’s how you act like it!



The newest iPhone, the biggest TV, the new movie out, (does anyone even buy movies right out anymore) anything that costs more because it’s new is not worth you buying it right now.

Even if you think you have the money for it.

So be okay with not having the newest item or all of the things you want right away. Learning patience in buying will literally save you thousands over your lifespan if you learn it here and now in your twenties.

Remember, you alone are great. You do not need the newest phone, or perfect outfit to make you great, you’ve already made it. Take money and things out of your happiness or self worth equation, and you will be golden!


I pay $100 for my husband and I’s iPhones with 2GB of data that we never go over. You don’t need the newest phone with the highest plan and data.

We don’t have cable, and watch anything via Netflix or Hulu. You don’t need cable to watch you favorite TV shows. If you only have cable for the sports just go to a friends house to watch the game, half the time thats what you do anyways! Or, there are certain sports websites that you can buy streaming from for games that is cheaper than cable!

Greg and I moved from a two bedroom to a one bedroom apartment to save $125 a month. It’s smaller and we have to share listening space (he is a guitar player) but and it’s made a huge difference in our finances!

We also have a small electric heater we use in said apartment in order to heat which room we are in instead of the whole house, which brings our electric bill way down.

My point? There are places to cut back on all your bills you just have to find them and be willing to do it!


There are usually automated systems you can set up with your employer and direct deposit to put half of your check in one account and the other half in another.

Do this.

Set up for each check to be divded in half and half put into checking and the other in savings. This way you never even see or feel like you have the money that is going into your savings account, yet it’s building every month.

If you have a really hard time not spending money then I suggest not looking at that savings account! Put it away and don’t worry about it unless an actual emergency happens and you need to get into it. Otherwise just let it sit and accumulate while you live off the other money!


Don’t just try to stop all your habits of spending and expect for that to last. If you stop all of your spending, which most likely correlates with things you do for fun, you won’t last long. You will probably get bitter, annoyed, or discouraged and give up.

Instead of just stoping those things, replace them. Replace what you do for fun (if it involves money) with something that you like and that doesn’t cost money. If when you are feeling down you usually would go out to eat, find something to replace that instead of just saying, “well I can’t go out to eat” and staying sad. That will only lead you to give up sooner. Instead find something else that fills that spot, like maybe baking at home.

If you like to go shopping every Sunday instead of just stopping cold turkey and being bored on Sundays, ahead of time try and fill it with something else you enjoy. Maybe Sundays will start to be the days you sit and catch up on your favorite shows or read that book you’ve been meaning to. That way, come that Sunday afternoon you are not sitting around thinking, “Well usually I’d go shopping but now I can’t.” Instead you have already filled that spot with something to do.

Getting rid of the “bad” is great but if you don’t fill it with “good” you haven’t set yourself up for success. If you start building these habits your brain will follow suit. Soon you will be filling your time with things that you love but don’t cost you later, and you will be filling your bank at the same time.

Good luck friends! And as always, if you have any questions or need help reach out! :)



7 thoughts on “How To Live On Half Your Income

  1. Emily

    I didn’t quit my job. Maybe one day! I am a speech therapist in a small charter school in the mountains of NC, so we were out almost all week last week and the beginning of this week. Talk about a financial hit! Ugh, I’m contracted so I don’t get paid when I’m not seeing my kiddos. Luckily I have some side hustles to keep me afloat :).

    1. Lydia Lois Post author

      Gotcha! That is a financial hit, but good for you for being prepared! If you don’t mind me asking what kind of side hustles do you do? Do you like those more than your day job? Or just something for a little extra cash?

      Also, I’ve always wanted to go to North Carolina and almost honeymooned there, although I’m pretty sure it’s just because I read all of Nicholas Sparks books growing up so he has romanticized it for me! haha

  2. Haley

    These are super helpful tips! Even though I don’t HAVE income right now, learning to live with less is still a great skill to start developing. Especially the last tip – “Don’t just stop it, replace it” – this is great advice for anyone trying to make a healthy change, whether it’s in your finances, health, mentality, or whatever!
    Thanks for the positive reminder!
    xo, Haley

  3. Emily

    I swear we are friend soul mates, or you are my west coast doppelganger. My boyfriend and I moved from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom literally across the street to a different building in our apartment complex to save about 200 dollars in rent and cut the cable (I haven’t missed it for a second). We still have netflix, but not having cable tv is really refreshing. It’s amazing what not being bombarded with YOU NEED THIS NOW IT WILL MAKE YOU SKINNY HAPPY AND PRETTY ads does to your mentality. We ALSO invested in a little Lasko heater from amazon, so we cuddle on the couch in front of it and move it into our room at night. We haven’t had it long enough to tell if it has had an impact on our electric bill, but I’m hoping it does. Luckily the apartment is small enough and we live in NC so it doesn’t get super cold for too long. We lost about 350-400 sq feet, but we both love the functionality and coziness of our new place, not to mention I can plug in the vacuum one time and hit the whole apartment!

    I find it funny when I tell friends this who have just moved into or are renting 4 bedroom homes for 2 people and a dog and they think we are NUTS for living in a one bedroom apartment. All I say is..”But how long does it take you to clean those 4 bedrooms and bathrooms ;)”. Lol.

    Again, so glad I found your blog! I will let you know when I get mine up and running. I’ve been off work for almost a week, so I’m hustling through some side jobs to make some extra cash!

    1. Lydia Lois Post author

      haha, hey, it’s possible! Twins! I love the coziness of our apartment too! We are saving and dreaming for a house, but this apartment helps us do that! I too find it funny when people live with things they don’t need (like you were saying about a big house for two) and then complain or feel stressed about money! I just want to help them and explain why they don’t need such and such thing, and how they can actually make their money stretch! So awesome that you already have that down ;) but what is more awesome is that your boyfriend agrees with you. Your finances are only as good as far as two people agree!

      Yes, let me know! Also a week off of your work or did you quit your job? I’m asking cause I quit mine so if you did then we are actual twins. haha

  4. Sandy

    I did this in college as it was too hard to do well when I had to work so many hrs. 1/2 budget allowed me to cut hrs and pull grades and yrs later I did this to pay off my house in 18 yrs. It sounds impossible, but think outside the box. A book at a park is great entertainment, a coffee watching people makes for fun.


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