There are many factors you will need to deal with when undergoing a divorce, but something that should always be your top priority is ensuring that your post-divorce life should be as comfortable as it possibly can.
And that means if you haven’t started budgeting for a post-divorce life yet, you really need to.
Chances are very heavy that your financial life is going to change after a divorce, and now that you’re on your own, you’re probably going to be bringing in less income (unless if you’re going to be living with or marrying someone else).
With that in mind, it’s even more crucial that you properly budget yourself and your finances for a post-divorce life. Here are the 4 things that you need to do:
1) Determine Your Essential Expenses
Your essential expenses are the expenses that you must absolutely make without question. In other words, these are expenses that you cannot eliminate no matter how much you want to limit how much you spend each month.
Here are some examples of essential expenses:
- Car Payment
- Credit Card Payments (minimum amounts)
- Loan Payments
- Setting Aside Money For Taxes
- Child Support (if applicable)
Yes, you can reduce some of these expenses. You can negotiate lower credit card debt, or you can seek out a cheaper house or apartment, for example. But still, essential expenses need to be paid on time.
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2) Determine Your Non-Essential Expenses
These are expenses that you make but don’t necessarily need. For example:
- Eating Out
- Gym Memberships
- Netflix or Cable TV
- Hobbies That Cost Money
These are the kinds of expenses where you can make cuts. Yes, it will be a sacrifice, but if you need to save your money each month then they are sacrifices that you will need to make.
Ultimately, you’re going to really have to weigh want vs. need.
Related: How To Adjust To Life After Divorce
3) Make More Money
If finances are quite tight, the obvious solution to this problem, besides eliminating some of your unnecessary expenses, will be to simply make more money and bring in extra cash. The good news is that there are more ways than ever to make extra money in today’s world. Just go to freelancing websites, for instance, and you should easily be able to find extra side hustles that you can do.
4) Avoid New Debt
Bringing in new debt is the very last thing that you will want or need to do after a divorce. Sure, it may be very tempting to take a credit card and go on a massive spending spree or take a vacation.
But it’s almost always a bad idea to spend money you don’t have, and after a divorce especially, it’s simply going to be a terrible idea.
Don’t give into the temptation of spending money you don’t have following a divorce. If you really want to take a badly needed vacation but can’t afford it, take a few months to save up. It may not be the most fun or appealing thing to do upfront, but it will be worth it over the long run.