Tips For The Newly Single: How to Live on One Income After Divorce (Pt 1)

As a newly-single person, you’re going to have to make financial sacrifices. Unnecessary purchases and life’s luxuries will have to take a backseat for a while.

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.


Stephanie just finished settling my divorce case. She did an excellent job handling every aspect of the case. When I came to her looking for an attorney, not knowing what was to come, angry and upset, she did excellent job reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. She explained the divorce process, what I could expect over the next few months and outlined the possible outcomes. She was well aware of my financial situation and very limited expendable income and did a great job doing whatever she could to keep my costs down. At times she would even remind me that she is happy to pursue any direction I wanted to go, but the cost involved may not outweigh the outcome. She did an excellent job letting me know where I could do things myself rather than paying the firm to do it as well as provided assistance to make sure I did it in the proper manner. And what was most impressive is a meeting with the ex and her lawyer. Stephanie actually had her phone out pulling up case law and verifying it to make sure the ex and her lawyer didn’t get something over on me. VERY IMPRESSIVE!. If you want an excellent attorney who isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear just to increase the cost for the firm’s benefit, call Stephanie Service.

Brian on Avvo, 2014

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