If you’re like most women who are about to become newly divorced, you’re probably experiencing a combination of relief, hope for the future, and fear. After all, you’re about to embark on a new life on your own, and managing finances after divorce can be a struggle for many women, particularly if children are a part of the picture. If you’re going from a two-income household to a one-income household, you’re probably facing some tough adjustments. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to help those in your position gain financial stability as quickly as possible. Following are four things that you should start doing right now in order to craft a secure financial future.
1.Create a Budget That Works for You
Arguments over money are one of the primary reasons for divorce. Once you’re completely in charge of your own household finances, however, you’ll be free to set your own priorities without having to fight for them with another person. Budgeting is actually easier when there’s only one person calling the shots. Also, if excess spending by either party was a part of the picture during the marriage, the months after the divorce are the perfect time to break out of that pattern. You may end up quite surprised at how well your household finances function when marital conflict over money has been eliminated.
2. Cultivate a Career Plan
Post-divorce can be the perfect time to begin to put serious effort into cultivating a career. Thanks to online schooling, divorced parents who are caring for minor children have far more flexibility when it comes to gaining further education than their counterparts of the past. You may be eligible for financial aid to take classes for the purpose of refining and updating your skillset, and your current job may have a tuition reimbursement program. Also, keep in mind that if you’ve got minor children who are approaching college age, they may be eligible for financial aid due to your reduced circumstances.
3. Explore DIY Options
You don’t have to become an expert on HVAC or car repair, but you’d be surprised at how much you can save by handling minor household maintenance issues yourself. For instance, changing furnace filters yourself can save the cost of a regular maintenance visit as well as help keep your furnace running at peak efficiency. You can also learn to change the oil in your vehicle, shampoo your carpet, mow your lawn, and other routine tasks.
4. Explore Assistance Options
You also may be eligible for a variety of assistance options, such as childcare assistance, reduced medical insurance costs, and food benefits. Don’t be afraid to find out what you’re qualified for and to use these benefits — they can make a real difference when you’re struggling to make ends meet.
It’s also important to negotiate favorable child support terms with the other party if you have minor children together. Keep in mind that financial responsibility for children doesn’t stop when the divorce papers are signed — child support often makes a crucial difference in the quality of life of the children during the aftermath of divorce.