Whether you ask a neighbor who is divorced or a financial expert who specializes in this area, they will tell you one thing for certain: Nothing turns your financial life upside down quite like a divorce. Even those who live very modestly, with little to no sizable assets, can expect some level of financial upheaval. You may be searching for a new place to call home, or struggling to find a way to afford the home you currently live in, all while doing so without your ex’s financial help. All too often, divorcees see a major portion of their savings and income go right out the door once the divorce is underway, as settlements take root and assets are divided.
Add any debts that you have accumulated during – or since the end of – the marriage, and suddenly your financial life might appear to be in shambles. As grim as this can seem, there is always hope for a better, brighter financial future, especially when we educate ourselves and are open and willing to make changes moving forward.
Keeping Yourself Out of the Red
Whatever your financial circumstances are as you divorce, there are many practical ways to remain living within your means and to place yourself in a position where you can save and reshape your economic life. Financial experts and divorce survivors alike emphasize that the key is to be patient with yourself. Allow for the emotional setbacks that come with divorce — rebuilding your financial standing will take time and you may make some mistakes along the way. Try the following tips to help cut back on your post-divorce expenses and make saving a priority:
- Clean up remaining joint accounts – One of the first tasks you can tackle to avoid racking up extra expenses is to remove your name – or your spouse’s name – from any joint accounts you still share. Make sure you open your own bank accounts and try to establish a line of credit independently, in your own name, as soon as possible. The sooner you separate your accounts, the sooner you can begin rebuilding your financial health. If your divorce is contentious or you have concerns about the proper way to go about handling your joint accounts, consult with your attorney before making any big decisions.
- Create a new budget – Budgeting is the most critical tool you can utilize to keep your spending on track as you end your marriage and embark on a new chapter of your life. Even if you do not know how much spousal support you will receive or which assets you will be granted, it does not hurt to get a head start on creating a static budget. Take an estimated snapshot of what your monthly expenses will look like based on your income alone to see how much you must set aside for purchases and how much you can save.
- Come to terms with downsizing – Along with budgeting, one of the best ways to reduce your expenses, so you can save and get ahead, is to downsize. This can be an emotionally painful part of any divorce, as many people are attached to their homes, cars, and other belongings. You may be accustomed to your previous lifestyle, but downsizing can be incredibly liberating. It can also be financially beneficial in the short and long term and can help minimize your stress levels as you navigate what it means to be on your own again.
- Document your progress – Tracking and giving yourself credit for the progress you make is just as important mentally as it is financially. Each time you take a step forward, even if it is a small one, be sure to write it down. Start a financial diary to journal your progress and look back as time passes to remind yourself how far you have come. This can serve as a great mental motivator but it can also show you where and how you need to make adjustments in the coming weeks and months to spend and save more efficiently.
Contact a Bloomingdale Divorce Attorney
Whether you seek a higher paying position to increase your income, downsize to a studio apartment, or a combination of both, making changes with your money is an essential and inevitable part of bouncing back financially after divorce. Speak with a knowledgeable Lombard, IL asset division lawyer today to ensure your financial well-being is protected throughout the divorce process. Speak with our dedicated team at Mevorah Law Offices LLC by calling us at 630-755-6426 today.