Divorce can be complicated, frustrating, painful and wreak havoc on your finances. As the transition from two incomes to one or one income to none, in the case of stay at home parents, money becomes a beast of its own during a very trying time.
Money may seen unimportant during the split of the marriage as couples worry more about children and assets and attorneys. But when the dust starts to settle it is time to start living a new life. The life includes a realistic budget and trying to rebuild a savings account.
While staring blankly at your budget wondering how to make an apple feed a stadium of people, it is important to stay calm. Losing sleep and adding the stress of not being able to pay some bills can lead to a lack of sleep which can lead to health issues and more bills. So be realistic, understand this is a lifestyle change and be honest with yourself about your expenses.
Create a budget and stick to it. Hard, I know, as things pop up all the time, especially if children are involved. But sitting down and really looking at where your money goes will make you more conscious of what you are spending and on what. Plus it will lay out where you can trim and cut and make your money go even further.
When money comes in – your paycheck, child support, etc – pay your bills first. Even if they are not due yet. Paying them immediately can keep you from splurging and give you that comfort in knowing that the basics are taken care of. In addition, you will know what you have left in real dollars and that money can be used to take the kids to dinner or put into a savings account.
If you are the stay at home parent and you have the kids and the house, the looming bills may be overwhelming. So when learning to live this new lifestyle, tackle one large thing at a time. The easiest bill to cut is the grocery bill. Coupons, sales, in store specials and more can cut your bill considerably. And if one adult is out of the house, you need less. So by taking a little time to make that $100 grocery bill turn into a $50 grocery bill, you can have unexpected disposable income to save, use for emergencies or pay down a debt.
Saving money after a divorce can seem impossible. But if you plan, pay attention to your money and cut corners where you can, you can find a little each month to put away and help you out of the hole of divorce. If you are headed that way, but not quite there…read 10 Ways Budgeting saved my marriage.