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A divorce is hard on your finances. It’s even harder moving from two incomes to one. You can improve your finances after divorce, and here are my steps to manage it. I’ve already done it!
Divorces take a lot out of us. They’re full of emotion, especially if the divorce has come from infidelity or some sort of betrayal. Something else that’s a problem is the cost. Divorces are expensive. They tend to end up more expensive than the wedding itself.
You need the lawyer fees, then there’s the division of assets, and you may end up having to pay child support and spousal support. It doesn’t matter if one is at fault or not. Divorces end up being expensive for everyone involved.
Then there’s the fact that you’re splitting the two incomes into one. You now have to afford the life you’re used to on just your income, and that can make rebuilding after a divorce all that more harder.
Trust me when I say that it is possible to rebuild after a divorce. You can improve your finances after divorce, and you can keep them there in the future.
Start with a budget
As soon as you go down to one income, you need to budget. It’s time to look at what you can take out of your outgoings. What was for your spouse, and what was for you? I found that some of the subscriptions we had were really just for him, so they were removed immediately. Then there were others that were nice, but they were more because he wanted them than me, so I took them out.
Food costs went down, and I was able to take action to reduce the food costs elsewhere. There was no longer the need to have meat in every single dish, and I didn’t need to worry about all the lunches he would buy (with his affair partner!) or the coffees that he would get on the way to work. My one McDonald’s a fortnight really wasn’t as bad as he kept telling me it was—projection!
There are going to be things that you can’t cut out or cut down. You may need to move if you want to reduce your rent or your mortgage, but that isn’t always possible. You will likely find that your electricity bills remain the same, and your internet costs aren’t really going to change. Your car insurance will likely remain as it is, and if you’re like me, you may find that your tenant insurance goes up because you’re considered a “higher risk” as a single woman—I very quickly switched to someone who was much cheaper.
You need to create a budget and see where your money is going and look at how much you have coming in. If you can rely on the child support, include that. I can’t rely on my ex for anything so I just could anything he sends as bonus money that helps for the kids’ other needs.
Consider a side hustle to improve finances after divorce
You will likely want to replace the income that you lost from your spouse leaving. That was the first thing I thought of: how could I replace his monthly income? After all, even though I realized that I didn’t need it thanks to good budgeting, it would have been nice to have that money to put into savings.
So, a side hustle it was. It was how I ended up in investments. Yes, I liked the idea of being a financial advisor but couldn’t find the time to do the licensing stage of it all. With the ex gone, I had more time. I used it to my advantage to get my insurance and investment licenses so I could start this side hustle. It’s growing well, although not quite where I’d like it to be just yet.
There are so many things that you can do as a side hustle. Find something that you enjoy and look at monetizing it.
Some people turn to writing, some turn to photography, and there are even some who turn to OnlyFans. No judgment here at what you decide to do. All work is work, and I fully support women doing what they want and need to bring in some extra money—just please do it safely!
You don’t need to do the side hustle with the intention of making it a full-time job. It’s to replace the income that disappeared to help make life easier. If you then realize that it’s something you want to do all the time and quit your day job, then that’s something to look into.
MORE: Why you shouldn’t combine finances with a new partner
Get in touch with a professional
I highly recommend talking to someone about your financial situation, and I don’t say that just because it’s help that I offer.
By the way, if you do want me to help you with budgeting, I can. To become a client, you do need to be in Ontario as that’s the only place I’m licensed, and my help is free. I get paid through the investment accounts you sign up with, but there’s no obligation to do that.
It is worth getting in touch with a professional, though. They can look at your finances without emotion. They’ll see what you’re spending on and whether it’s something you could cut back on. They may even spot payments that you overlook, and they can help make sure you only end up spending your budgeting money each month—that part takes practice and willpower.
Then there’s the help for the future. Hiring Wealth Advisory Services will help to ensure you have the right investments. If you need life insurance, that can be set up. They can even get you in touch with an accountant to make sure you have your taxes lined up in a way that works for you. Tax returns and getting the right benefits will go a long way to improving your finances after divorce.
Focus on things that are in your control
It’s going to be tempting to look at what your ex-spouse has. It can seem like they’re living the life of luxury while you’re struggling. You have no idea what they’re actually facing. Then you’ll look at potential situations in the future, and that can lead to the fear of losing it all.
Stop worrying about things that haven’t happened yet or things that you can’t control. The only way to improve finances after divorce is to deal with the things that are in your control.
You can control if Netflix puts the price up again, but you can control if you spend money on that service or not. You can’t control the amount of taxes the government takes, but you can control the promotional work you do for your side hustle to bring in some extra cash.
Negative views are only going to make financial problems seem worse. I know it sounds like toxic positivity, but you need to focus on the things that you can control and put everything else out of your mind. You really are only doing harm to yourself. This isn’t to say your thoughts aren’t valid, but they’re not helpful.
MORE: Why you should combine finances with a new partner
What are you struggling with after a divorce? What do you need help with when it comes to finances? Share in the comments below.
Get in touch to see how I can help you improve your finances after divorce.