Divorce is probably affecting your finances significantly. Separating from your spouse means you get less monthly income and double the expenses. Going through a divorce requires you to re-evaluate your spending and stay on top of your financial situation.
If you are not careful, you may end up digging yourself deeper into debt. Keeping track of your money is essential to surviving this financial storm. Here are some essential post-divorce budgeting tips.
1. List all your income
The first step is taking a look at all your sources of income. Do not forget to include any money from a second job or consulting work. Make sure you factor in any child support or alimony payments you will make or receive.
2. Examine your set expenses
Next, you need to make a list of the expenses you have every month, including:
- Mortgage payments
- Car payments
- Insurance payments
Then, determine whether you can cut back or eliminate any of these expenses. For example, you may move into a more affordable place, downsize to a smaller car or go without television service for a little bit.
3. Analyze your extra expenses
You may need to go without some of your little luxuries until you get back on your feet. Maybe you should dine out less, forego morning coffee trips or work out at home instead of keeping your gym membership. According to post-divorce finance tips from Dave Ramsey, you should only focus on the necessities of shelter, food, transportation and clothing. Be open to cutting out expenses that are not necessary.
4. Avoid new debt
Although you may want to cover things with your credit card instead of cutting them out, avoid this trap. Additionally, do not let the emotional whirlwind of your divorce cause you to spend unnecessarily in an attempt to soothe yourself. Taking on new debt will only make your financial future look worse.