The end of one chapter in your life isn’t necessarily a bad thing–it can also present you the opportunity to start again and have an even better story. This even applies to divorce, although it can be a challenging and emotional process that leaves some people unsure about what to do next, especially when it comes to the financial aspect.
When you create a solid foundation for your post-divorce life, you’ll be well on your way to rebuilding. Keep the financial tips below in mind so you can have a stable financial building block for your new life.
Set a New Budget
Once you have decided how you want your new life to be, you can start making a budget. Your old budget represented your married life, so you will need to start over.
You must be honest with yourself when you are assessing your finances as they stand now. Make sure your new budget includes all of your bills, your typical expenses, and your normal spending habits. Use bank and credit card statements to help guide you if you’re not entirely sure what your typical spending habits are.
After you’ve got it all down on paper in black and white, you will be able to see where you should cut back in order to achieve your new financial goals. Don’t forget, as you consider your income, to include money you may start to receive because of your divorce, such as child or spousal support.
Make Wise Financial Decisions
While a budget is the foundation for healthy finances, your financial decisions have a big impact on your financial health overall. This might be difficult as the choices you are now making might be different from the ones you made in your married life. Now, you will need to put yourself first, particularly if you are not going to receive any financial support.
The financial choices you will need to make will run the gambit from small ones–such as deciding whether to cook at home to save money or order out to save time–to major decisions that could break or make your finances, such as whether to rent or buy a new home.
To help yourself make sound financial decisions, weigh the upsides and downsides of all your options first. Remember to always leave your emotions at the door. When it comes to money, logic and reason need to take the lead.
Reset Your Priorities
When you are getting a divorce, you have the chance to focus on yourself and take control of your life. Because of this, it’s very likely your priorities will also change, particularly when it comes to money. Consider your goals and make sure you’re spending money in ways that will move you closer to the finish line.
Of course, you should make some self-care part of your priorities and budget a bit for that, too. This is important; you must be in a good mental space to emotionally and mentally prepare for your new future. For example, you might put some money aside to take a small trip so you can clear your mind and reconnect. If that’s too much money, paying for something like a relaxing activity or massage could work, too.
While money isn’t all there is, when you have your finances in order post-divorce, it will give you a solid base you can build your new life on. When you are able to gain control over your finances and eliminate many of your money worries, you’ll be able to focus more on your post-divorce life and all that it entails.