As you go through the divorce process, you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself. However, this doesn’t mean you should let the future sneak up on you. It’s critical to prepare your finances for post-divorce life, as the sooner you do so the better off you’ll be when your marriage is finally a thing of the past.
One of the best things you can do is create a post-divorce budget. Here are some tips for doing so:
- List your expenses and income: Even if you don’t like what you see, it’s a time to be honest with yourself. With a list of expenses and income, you can see what type of shape your budget is in and where you need to make changes.
- Cut expenses, as necessary: For example, now that you only have one income, you may need to adjust how much you spend on housing and transportation. This could lead you to make a variety of decisions, such as moving into a cheaper apartment and/or trading in your car for something more affordable.
- Track everything: Your post-divorce budget should be more than a bunch of numbers. It’s a place to track your day-to-day and month-to-month spending, which helps you understand what will work best for you in the future.
- Revisit and revise: At the end of each month, revisit your budget to see how you did. If everything checks out, you’re good to move on to the next month in the same manner. But if you find something that raises a red flag, adjust your approach moving forward. The more you revise your budget to suit your situation, the easier it is to eventually find something that will work for you.
You’ll have a lot on your mind as you work through your divorce, but don’t let that stop you from thinking about the future. Once you create a post-divorce budget, you’ll feel better about your ability to stabilize your situation.
As you get used to your new life, continue to keep a close eye on your finances. For instance, if your ex owes you alimony, make sure you receive payments in full and on time each month. It’s things like this that will help you stay the course.