Going through a divorce takes a toll on your finances. Not only do you have the filing fees and attorney costs to deal with, you also need to think about the drop in income. Many household budgets are based on two incomes. When you divorce, you rely on your income alone.
Finding ways to make your money fit your needs is imperative. Even if you live comfortably on your own paycheck at the end of your marriage, planning for the adjustments can ensure you are able to make ends meet. Here are some tips:
Set your budget and stick to it
You need to look at your expenses and income to determine if any cuts in spending should be made. Keep track of everything you pay and categorize everything so you know where your money is going. Some bills, including the mortgage payment and car payment, can’t be changed and must be paid so these are priorities in your budget. Once you have the plan set, stick to it. Of course, you should tweak it as necessary.
Track expenses for the divorce and children
Some expenses that occur during the divorce and after aren’t yours to cover alone. You should track any expenses that need to be divided with your ex. Keep copies of the receipts and make sure you notate whether you are reimbursed for it. Even when the divorce is finalized, there will likely be some shared expenses related to the children. Find a suitable way to track them that you can continue for the long term.
Plan for savings
Establishing a rainy day fund is a good idea. You never know when something is going to happen that requires an immediate or substantial payment. Even if you are only saving a small amount each month, it will add up as long as you don’t have to use it. Your goal should be to save up six months’ worth of income.
Protect your credit
You might need to rely on credit to purchase a new vehicle or home. Divorce can have an impact on your overall credit score, so be sure to check on this periodically. If you and your ex had shared debts that your ex is supposed to pay, pay close attention. As long as your name is on the account, your credit will have a negative mark if your ex is late paying these bills.