Trim big-ticket items first
Forgoing a few lattes probably won't make up for the loss of an entire paycheck.
Trimming costs on housing, cars and other major monthly expenses will free up the most room in your budget. But this is the tricky part, as costs of living for necessities have risen drastically in recent decades, says Lois Backon, senior vice president of the Families and Work Institute.
Still, it's not impossible. "There are lots of surprising ways to lower housing expenses," she says.
Because selling a house in a depressed market might not be feasible, Backon suggests exploring nontraditional living arrangements, such as renting out a room.
Cars are another major expense, and it might be worth selling a vehicle if one person won't be commuting, Backon says. And clear off any credit card debt or other monthly bills that might prove cumbersome later as a one-income family, she says.