Divorce can be a very hard time for families. However, while it’s already difficult from an emotional and mental standpoint, there are also financial ramifications to consider. As we mentioned in the previous article, going from a dual-income family to being a single earner can be very challenging. This is even harder for women who were homemakers before the divorce. Suddenly having to provide financially when you’ve been dependent on someone else for so long can be terrifying.
But scary as it may be, there are ways to handle this adjustment that won’t leave you broke. They will require some major life-changes though! Alimony and child support (if you have children) can certainly help to make ends meet after divorce. However, you’re going to have to make peace with changing financial circumstances, at least for the first few years. So we’ve put together a basic list of things to consider that may help you prepare for what lies ahead.
Figure out your future financial needs:
In other words, you need a budget. So make a list of things you’ll need to pay for every month. But remember to include more than just bills, like a grocery budget, and what you’ll need for gas and basic car maintenance. This process will require that you be ruthlessly specific about the difference between wants and needs as a single person, cutting out anything that is not truly needed. Doing this will help you to create a very clear picture of how much money you and your household will need to survive every month.
Now start slashing non-essentials:
You probably have things on your monthly bills list that feel like things you have to have, but the truth is, you can probably survive without them. Do you really need Netflix and Prime and Hulu? Real talk: probably not (even if being single means you have more TV watching time!). But maybe you can find a happy middle ground by keeping the one with your favorite shows and losing the others. If you pay for satellite TV, consider a cheaper streaming service like Netflix and scrap the satellite. Your kids may not be thrilled, but you can save up to $100 a month that way, and food is more important than Starz and HBO (we think…).
Do some serious thinking about your career path:
If you gave up your professional dreams so your ex could go to school, or because you had kids, now may be the time to reconsider those dreams. Going back to school can seem like a ridiculous fantasy when money is tight, but scholarships and school loans can help during the tight times until you get your future career on track. Stay-at-home parents in particular are encouraged to think about how they plan to earn an income in the future, and going back to school for a certification or degree can make a big difference to your future finances.
You have the power to make money, and make a difference
It’s a scary time, to be sure. Starting over on a new path in life can be very daunting, but you can do it. Thousands have done it before you, and have gone on to live happier, more fulfilled lives – you can do it too. So join us next time for a look at more ways to prepare for the coming budgetary changes, and ways you can make a difference in your own financial future. Until then, if you’re considering divorce and have questions, call 866 766 5245 and talk to our helpful and experienced family law attorneys. We can help with every aspect of this process.