Divorce is never easy, and often the hardest part is picking up the pieces once everything is finalized. Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. With the right financial tips and tricks, you can start to move forward and create a new life for you and your kids.
Make a List of Financial Goals
Finances can be hard after a divorce, but you’re not alone. In fact, there is a divorce approximately every 36 seconds in the United States, and thousands of moms are in the same boat as you. The first thing you’ll want to work out is a list of financial goals for weekly, monthly, and yearly plans. This can be a great way to visualize where you are and where you want to be in the future. These goals will be the baseline that will help you create your budget going forward.
Create a Realistic Budget
Once you have your goals worked out, you can begin to work on how you’ll achieve them and work towards building your savings. Take the amount that you make each month and then add up how much will go towards bills and other essentials. If you’re cutting things a bit too close, take a look at how you could save. This can include changing up shopping habits, speaking with utility companies about payment assistance programs, or removing other costs that we’ll touch on below. Once you have a conclusive budget worked out, you’ll be better set to manage your finances going forward.
Find Where Luxuries Can Be Cut
If your budget is cut a bit close and you’re having trouble saving enough, it’s time to consider what luxuries to bid farewell. For instance, if you have cable, you could consider getting rid of it in favor of a more cost-effective streaming alternative. Meal planning can also help you save money and cut the costs of ordering out. You may also want to take a look at your monthly phone bill and see if a cheaper alternative would be better, especially if you’re paying for more than you need. Outside memberships, such as those to the gym, should also be considered if they’re taking up too much of your budget.
Prioritize Your Children’s Health
When it comes to money-saving tips, there’s no way to cut out quality healthcare for your kids. This is something that you’ll need to plan for, especially if your kids are getting older. Every year, more than 3.5 million kids and teens begin wearing braces, and your own kids may need them as well. If possible, consider investing in a good insurance provider to help take the burden off of these costs. You may even want to consider seeing if your children qualify for any of your state’s health programs. This can help ensure that they have medical coverage for any doctor’s visits or medications.
Find an Affordable Home or Apartment
Another thing to look at is the cost of your home and whether it’s within your budget. This is something that you may even want to look at during the waiting period if your divorce isn’t finalized yet. For instance, in Kansas, there is a 60 day mandatory waiting period upon filing. During this time, it may be worth looking at other housing options if your current living situation is going to be too costly.
Build a Support System
Lastly, it’s important to surround yourself with a steady support system to make sure that you have people to lean on as you move forward. Just as you’re always there for your kids, you need to ensure that you have friends and family there for you as well.
Moving on from divorce is always going to be difficult. However, you don’t have to do it alone, and with some clever financial planning, you can start to rebuild a better life for you and your kids.