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Divorce is never easy, whether you have children or not. There seem to be a million and one things to do, all of them important. Financial planning after divorce is one such aspect, and perhaps the most crucial. Learn how to get started and give yourself some peace of mind.
Divorce can be painful, not just emotionally but financially too. From the small aspects to the large, it can end up costing a huge bit and leave you feeling like things aren’t quite put together anymore. Learning how to reassess and reprogram your finances can give some respite during this ordeal.
How to Financially Survive a Divorce
1. Review your finances
In the midst of the turmoil of divorce, it’s only natural that your energies are focused on things other than money. Once it’s over, however, it’s important to start reviewing your finances. Calculating lawyer fees and other legal costs that were incurred during divorce will give you an idea of what you’re left with. Knowing your cost of living prior to the divorce will also help you determine how to manage expenses. You also want to assess aspects like mortgage, taxes, children’s education and insurance.
2. Cancel any joint accounts
If you and your ex-husband have joint accounts, close them. You don’t want issues to crop up if either of you racks up big credit card bills or decides to withdraw large sums of money. Once you’ve cancelled the accounts, open a new one and change your beneficiaries. It doesn’t take long to do and will keep trouble away.
3. Consider downsizing
It can be jarring to realise just how many corners you need to cut as part of financial planning after divorce. Even with alimony, downsizing is a very real step you may need to take. If you’re living in a large house, consider moving to a smaller one if possible. Of course, if the house belongs to you and your ex-husband and makes up a chunk of your wealth, you’ll both need to carefully decide what to do.
4. Get back to work if you haven’t
It’s normal to feel daunted getting back to work after a break. But once the divorce is finalised, having extra income will help. To get you into the groove once again, consider sprucing up your job skills and learning new ones. If this is your first time looking for a job, play on your strengths and work towards getting qualified. It may seem like plenty of effort, but the results will be worth it.
5. Budget, budget, budget!
If you aren’t in the habit of budgeting, you don’t quite know how much you spend every month. Once you start, however, you’ll be amazed by how it helps. You could realise you eat out too much or that the kids don’t need yet another new toy. Once you budget, you’ll see which corners to cut and where to focus on.
How to get through a divorce financially depends on altering your lifestyle and learning to take control of your life once again. As daunting as it may seem, it’s completely doable. You just need to have faith in yourself and make you and the kids priorities. Prepare yourself for change and know that you can do it!