Divorce can be so hard! There’s so much paperwork, so many emotional issues to contend with, and if you have kids it’s even more difficult! And that’s not even the financial issues, which are a whole different ball game! But that’s what we’d like to talk to you about today – the financial issues. In particular, the challenges faced by people who are accustomed to living with two incomes, and now they only have one at their disposal.
For homemakers, who are usually women, this issue can be very frightening. However frightening doesn’t mean impossible! Believe it or not, there are several things you can do that’ll make this transition easier. We know that many people rely on alimony and child support, if they have children, to help ease the strain of their financial situation. But those rarely cover all the basics. So you’re going to have to find ways to scale back on spending, and consider ways to increase your income. At least until you’re back on your feet. Think it’s impossible? Not at ll – it just requires a few changes…
Figure out your unavoidable expenses!
In other words, come up with a budget that works for you, and then stick to it! Make yourself a cup of tea, grab a pen and paper, and spend a little time making a list. Not a grocery list – a fixed expenses list! Make a list of your monthly and weekly expenses, but make sure that you include all of those other things that people so often forget… Putting rent and bills on the list is a great start, but your family needs to eat and your car won’t run on wishes. So make sure you include every single thing you need to survive, and then tally it up.
Be sure to include:
- Your rent (or mortgage) payment
- Your monthly water, electric and gas bills
- Your trash removal
- Your phone bill
- An estimate for monthly groceries
- An estimate for monthly gas needs
You’ve got to pinch those pennies!
You know, the things you have to pay for every month. Things that aren’t optional, like rent, water and electricity and trash removal. And then consider whether or not there’s anything on your list that isn’t critical to your family’s survival. Consider everything you pay for, and then prioritize it based on how badly you need it to survive. Anything that isn’t vital should go. If you have a cell phone, consider getting rid of your land line. If you have newspaper delivery service, look into what it will cost to replace it with an online news service (it’s usually a lot cheaper!)
Every dollar you save by removing unnecessary items from your list, is a dollar you can spend on something more important. For example, choosing to shut off the satellite TV for a while until your income stabilizes might upset your kids, but it may also save you a lot of money! (If you can’t stand the idea of losing your TV options, consider switching to something cheaper, like Netflix or Hulu.)
Consider continuing your education!
Divorce can be very scary for those of us who’ve been stay-at-home spouses for many years. Reentering the workforce after a long time can be a daunting prospect, especially when the only skills you’ve relied on for ages don’t tend to feature on many job descriptions these days. Add to that the struggling job market, and this can be a very scary thought!
But don’t stress out just yet! You’re not alone. Many women reenter the workforce later in life, after their children have grown, and find that their skills and talents are in great demand. Additionally, there are lots of grants and Displaced Homemaker scholarships available to women seeking new skill sets. And if acquiring student status is too hard with little ones underfoot, consider alternative income sources while at home. Getting licensed to start an in-home daycare is a viable way to make money, and still lets you be available for your own kids!
Join us next time as we wrap this up with the last few items on our list. Until then, if you or a loved one are considering divorce and need help preparing for your future, call us. The skilled family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 866 766 5245. We can help you end an unfulfilling marriage, and prepare for a better and brighter future.