How to Make a 50% Pay Cut Work


When Aprille Donaldson learned that her husband's income would be cut in half, she was proactive in creating her family's new financial reality. She also learned to trust God in an entirely new way.

My husband recently changed careers, taking approximately a 50% reduction in his take-home pay. It’s been a difficult adjustment for our family, but we are making it work, one day at a time.

Here Are 6 Tips For Making a 50% Pay Cut Work For You:

1. Plan ahead

I recognize that not everyone has this luxury, but we were expecting the reduction. We knew that we were losing our military benefits and that the chances of maintaining his current pay were slim. In the year before our transition, we reduced our spending, paid off existing debt, and built our savings as much as possible.

I set my grocery budget far lower than what we could afford and tried to stay within it. We downgraded to non-smart phones. I spent more than I usually would at a children’s consignment sale to invest in clothes for the next two or three years while we could afford it, instead of just buying for the current season.

Most times a job loss or a pay cut comes unexpectedly, taking the family by surprise. But if you are sensing that your financial or occupational future is uncertain, then now is the time to plan.

It never hurts to live more modestly.

2. Downsize

Generally, a smaller living space costs less. We moved from a three-bedroom house into a two-bedroom apartment. But we also had to purge a lot of our possessions to make this possible. If you haven’t used or worn something within the last year, you probably won’t use it going forward and it can be sold or donated.

3. Spend according to your true needs instead of your wants

It’s cliché, but it really is that simple. Cut every possible area of your budget and then cut some more. Say no to eating out, overpriced lattes, smart phones, and media packages. They aren’t necessary and you will need that money to pay your bills.

4. Be honest with your friends and family

People with greater means most likely would love to help and bless you. I’ve had friends buy me coffee, lunch, and pay for me to go with them to a girls’ night out. I was also invited to join a group of moms who eat out after weekly Bible study. I let them know honestly that I couldn’t afford to participate. In response, they moved their outing to a nearby park so I could attend. They still used the drive-thru but made sure I was included – sack lunch and all!

I could easily have made up excuses and thereby not disclose our financial situation to my new friends, but I would have missed out on the opportunity to make connections.

People can’t bless you until they know your needs.

5. Be willing to accept help, gifts, and even government assistance if it is available

It can be humbling to let friends buy your coffee or to apply for WIC, food stamps, and Medicaid. But sometimes, even honest hardworking people need help to get by. Let God meet your needs through the people and opportunities around you.

6. Be creative about ways to increase your household income

Do you make a product? Sell it! Have a skill? Offer to teach it. Have things lying around your house collecting dust? Sell them on eBay, Craigslist, or host a garage sale. Every dollar counts.

Above all, trust that God is the ultimate Provider – that He cares for His children and promises to provide ALL of your needs.

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Written by Aprille Donaldson

This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).

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