How to Take Control of Your Expenses After a Divorce
Divorce rate statistics continue to sky rocket for first and second marriages and for many divorcees that means upcoming expenses and financial issues.
You may be in a position where your partner has been in control of your finances for your entire marriage – how will you get on top of it before falling into debt? Divorce is not an easy thing to go through. Remember you are not alone. Numerous people, myself included, have gone through the same process. There are many resources out there to help you get back on track financially and emotionally! Here are some steps to help you rebuild your finances.
Take control and reevaluate your budget
Take time to review your due dates for monthly bills as well as progress on savings accounts such as your retirement or emergency fund. Organization is the first step to maintaining financial stability. Transitioning from two incomes to one may have a dramatic effect on your future spending and expenses.
Before your divorce is finalized, consider taking the time to reevaluate your budget by sorting through your expenses and comparing it to your take-home pay. You may have to trim down some of your expenses to stay within your new budget. If you see yourself still struggling to stay on budget, then you may have to take a break on contributing to a 401 k or monthly fund. Divorce in itself is very overwhelming, you don’t want to be overwhelmed from debt too.
Lose the joint accounts
If you are someone that had a joint account with your partner – whether it was a bank account, credit card, or investment fund – then you will want to drop those immediately. This will protect you from any destructive actions your ex may perform as well as allow you to have a better understanding of your new income to expense ratio. You want to make sure everything is taken care of before your divorce is finalized.
Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.
Whether you think you need help or not, it can’t hurt to get a second opinion. Seek out a financial advisor or debt counselor to help you better manage your expenses. If this is out of your budget, you can always contact your local church or non-profit to help you. Divorce is rarely an easy thing to go through. You will have a lot on your plate during this process and sometimes having a financial advisor manage your finances for you is a better choice.
The cost of divorce can be a huge financial strain. To ensure you are making the right decisions, make sure you make them with the right mind-set. If you aren’t careful about how you reconcile with your partner, you may find yourself in deep debt. As you go through your divorce, consider asking yourself, are you making this decision out of anger or is it really the best option for you? Focus on what is most important for you and your personal finance, don’t make irrational demands based on emotion. What financial steps have you taken after your divorce? Are you aware of your income to expense ratio? Tell us your comments below.