Doing a practice run for a dramatic income drop can be a helpful way to test out a worse-case scenario or to see what the adjustment might be like for major changes in your life.
You might want to do this if you’re considering having one parent stay at home with a child, striking out on your own to join the ranks of the self-employed, or just if you’re very concerned with what things might be like if you lost your job.
Instead of living off what you normally do, practice living off just one person’s salary for a month and see how it goes.
Of course, practicing is not quite the same as actually having the drop in income. The practice period doesn’t have the same emotional impact as reality would, and emotions are a big deal. This is especially true if you’re uncertain about when (or if) your income might increase again.
But practicing can at least let you test out the technical details. You can learn what it’s like to say no to a lot of stuff that you used to say yes to. You can kind of ease into things.
Most importantly, you can see if your expected new income is even feasible, or whether there are other things you might need to change first before making a big leap.
Another benefit to practicing is that it can let you build up a larger cushion. After all, if you’re not doing whatever you used to do with the money, you can now use it to build up savings.
Have any of you ever tried this? How did it go?