Post Divorce: How To Create An Effective Budget
If you are going through a separation or divorce, you know that legal bills can get expensive. In combination with cutting back to a single income, it can be extremely stressful to stay on your feet financially. Our skilled team of Calgary based lawyers share their tips on how to create, and stick, to a budget. If done correctly, your lifestyle shouldn’t have to change.
Write. Everything. Down.
And yes, we mean everything. This includes purchases such as a bottle of water on your commute home from work, to the car payments you make on a monthly basis. This will help you keep track of exactly where your money is going. At the end of the month, sort your expenses into categories:
- Set expenses: rent / mortgage, insurance, car loans, etc..;
- Travel / commuting;
- Personal hygiene; and
- Extracurricular activities such as gym memberships, and eating out.
This list may vary, and feel free to personalize it to work for you. Then, try to find areas where you can cut back, even the little things like buying a $4.00 cup of coffee add up. Holding yourself accountable to your budget by writing down every purchase will also make you stop and think before buying. Do you really want to write down that you bought fast food for lunch 3 times this week? Remember that this wont last forever. You will get back on your feet and learn to manage your spending in proportion to your income. In the mean time, be realistic – but also be kind to yourself.
Consider Your Options For New Sources of Income
Think about your skill set and determine if you can use any training to increase your income. Think of your strengths – if you are good with computers, offer to help your network of friends and colleagues who might not be as literate with technology. Consulting is also a good way to earn some extra money on a flexible schedule. If you have been involved with volunteering, let these organizations know that your situation has changed and are looking for paid work. Don’t be afraid to use your resources to help with networking.
Meet With A Professional To Discuss Your Budget
You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s a good idea to meet with a financial adviser and find out as much as you can regarding your finances. If you aren’t used to being responsible for paying the bills or contributing to savings it’s a good idea to talk to someone training to help with these situations. Look for an adviser or accountant trained in post-divorce matters.
Downsizing Doesn’t Have To Be Scary
Use this as an opportunity to start fresh. While change is always difficult at first, try to see the positivity of downsizing to a new home that fits your new lifestyle. You now have the freedom to pick any location or design that suits you.
If you are thinking about divorce and need legal advice, connect with us to set up an initial consultation today.