Change is hard for most people to accept; anyone will tell you that. Sometimes, things we think will work out don’t always go the way we thought they were going to. Marriage is one of them. Divorcing your spouse is a hard and emotional process. It isn’t always a cut-and-dry experience. No one walks away a winner in a divorce, especially with joint finances. It isn’t as easy as splitting down the middle, 50-50. But there are ways to bounce back from a financial blow like that. Here are 5 tips to get back on your feet financially after a divorce.
1Put Your Life Into Perspective
First things first – you are no longer married. You need to begin adjusting to your new life. You should begin by giving yourself some time to think about what you want your future to be like. Envision it. What do you see? Where do you see yourself? Make a plan for yourself. Think hard about it.
It’s time to take all those joint accounts you held together—credit cards, bank accounts, insurance policies, and anything else—and separate them. You are both separate entities now. You do not want to get caught up in the debt of your ex-partner, but rather begin building your own credit up again. When it comes to joint accounts, you might need your partner’s signature to close it. If you can close it on your own, or your ex-partner is willing to close it with you, you are entitled to half of the funds, though it is possible your ex-partner may ask for reimbursement. If possible, do this with a lawyer present.
2Create A Budget
Budgeting is a huge deal when it comes to dealing with finances, especially after something so significant as a divorce. Make sure you know where you stand financially. The starting point is to figure out exactly how much money you have coming in, how much money you have going out, and where it’s going. You may have to factor in things like alimony or
child support payments as well, whether you are paying or receiving them.
Budgets can be created in a computer spreadsheet. There are also plenty of useful apps you can install on your phone that can not only help you log finances, but even help with useful budgeting tools. If you are having trouble trying to budget your money, perhaps a family member could help you with it. You could even consult a financial advisor, who will help you and put you on the right path to a budget that fits your financial situation.
3Build A Safety Net
This is like a nest egg, but for yourself. It is always crucial to have extra money should something unexpected arise. After your divorce is finalized, and you have your budget all sorted out, you can begin to build a safety net. If you have extra money coming in, put money towards building that net, so you have something to fall back on, should you ever need to use it for something unexpected. A common goal is to have a $1000 emergency fund for unexpected big surprises. Another common goal after that is to save up for three months of expenses.
If you don’t have enough money coming in to build a safety net, perhaps start thinking about working out of your home. There are plenty of jobs that can be done from the comfort of your own home. You can find plenty of them on the internet on virtual job boards.
Divorce is a hard thing to go through, especially if there are children involved. But even if there are not children involved, you need to have some fun from time to time. It can be easy to get emotional over the divorce sometimes. So, having fun is important. But you can’t be spontaneous about it. Schedule it in! It can be easy after something so emotional to make hasty choices that hurt in the long run. By taking the time to schedule and budget for fun, you’re giving yourself permission to relax while also being responsible about it.
5Investing In Your Future
A great way to build up financial security for your future is by investing some of your money, if you have the funds to do so. Make sure to do your research, and be certain that you are investing your money wisely. You can even seek out the advice of a good financial advisor to help you out. Divorce doesn’t have to mean the end of everything. With these 5 tips to get back on your feet financially after a divorce, you can and will be on the path to financial freedom.