A few months ago, we wrote a blog post that shared a few ways to avoid financial stress in your marriage. But what about your money situation after a divorce? It is usually after a divorce when things get really tight, as you have suddenly gone from two incomes to one — or NONE. That last part is especially stressful for spouses who did not have to worry about working while they were married or were not used to worrying about money, budgets, bank accounts, etc.
Going through a divorce is difficult enough without also having to worry about money. But it is a harsh reality for many people. If you are struggling to figure out which end is up, here are 7 ways to make and save money after a divorce.
Get a job or find a new one
If your spouse was the breadwinner during your marriage, transitioning back to the workforce or finding a new job that offers a better income can be scary — especially when it is all on you. The key is to be open to new ideas and new roles. Tell everyone you know that you are going back to work and are considering options, then update your resume and get your name out there. Once you find the right job and consistently make good money, you will find that the rest of the items on this list are easier to manage.
Be willing to accept help
Many times, the financial stress that a newly divorced person faces can be too overwhelming. They need guidance, and there are plenty of resources out there. This includes family members, financial advisors, counselors, career coaches, clergy, and even friends. Do not be too proud to ask for guidance. Be open to any advice you can get.
Create a budget
Perhaps the biggest piece of advice anyone will give you (besides getting a job) is to create a budget and stick to it. Look at how much income you are bringing in per month, then determine how much of that money goes toward fixed expenses (house, car, essentials) and savings (save money after a divorce). From there, you will see how much discretionary income you have left. By consistently working through this exercise, you gain a firm grasp of your financial situation. If you are unsure of how to make a budget, Financial Peace University is a really good source. Also, mint.com is a great free tool to use.
Open a savings account
This seems like a no-brainer, but too many people these days only use one checking account for the money coming in and out. The problem with this is you will never be able to save as much money as you could. Having a separate savings account allows you to sock away a little bit of money each month. The idea is that you do not ever touch this money other than adding to it. As your financial situation improves, you will find that saving money becomes easier and easier.
Take a hard look at your existing bills
There is a myriad of ways to save money after a divorce, and one of the best ways is to look at your existing expenses and find areas to cut. This includes cell phone plans, credit cards, your internet package, cable or satellite services, any membership or subscription costs that may have slipped through the cracks after your divorce, etc. It is equally important is to examine your spending habits on things like eating out versus cooking at home. Depending on the types of loans you have, including student loans, there may be consolidation programs out there, too.
If you were used to going to the salon three times a week or having a gym membership that you never use, you might want to consider trimming or eliminating these perks. This also includes a housekeeper, if you were using one while you were married. Have your kids pitch in with chores instead. Maybe someday you will be able to add these perks back into your routine, but wait until you are on more stable ground.
Sell what you do not need anymore
Can you say garage sale? Whether you just got divorced last month or have been separated for a few years, the odds are that you still have “stuff” around the house that you do not need anymore. If you are not using those things, sell them with an in-person garage sale or even go high-tech on eBay or Craig’s List. This is a great way to make and save money after a divorce. And it is super easy, too.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
I hope you found this blog post beneficial and that you can use some of these tips to help you make and save money after a divorce. It may feel overwhelming right now, but see it through. Financial stress is just like anything else in your life, and as crazy as this may sound, you cannot experience the joy in life without the pain.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A Nelson, click here.