Making the transition from being married to being a single person is a challenge for many reasons. You have to figure out what works for you, but you also have to consider what is best for the children. One area that might be especially difficult to work through is the budget. There are a lot of factors that will impact what your finances look like after the divorce.
Some people don’t factor in the costs of divorce. This includes various expenses such as lawyer fees and court costs. The uptick in initial expenses is shocking to some, but your goal should be making it through that period as best as you can so you can settle in with a new financial future when the divorce is over.
Track your expenses
You can’t take control of your finances until you know what is coming in and going out. Write down everything you spend, including things like your morning cup of coffee and household supplies. Most people will need to track their expenses for at least a month so they can have an accurate account of what is going out.
Set a budget and stick to it
When you set a budget, you know that you will be able to pay for the expenses you have. If you have more going out than coming in, you will need to either cut back on some expense or add more income. Remember that it is usually better to figure in a higher cost for expenses and a lower income if you aren’t certain about either of these so that you aren’t struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month.
Keep track of shared costs
The children you have with your ex will likely have some expenses that will be shared between both parents. Keep track of these so that you know what your ex should repay you. In some parts of the year, such as back-to-school season, this might be a considerable sum. Stash the receipts somewhere so you can provide copies if necessary.
Think about property division
Taking care of this prior to the property division process can help you to determine what assets you can afford, so you know which ones to fight for. If the costs of the asset or the upkeep on it are more than what you can afford with your budget, you shouldn’t try to keep the asset since it will only cause you financial stress. Your goal is to begin to create a peaceful life after the divorce.