After a divorce, you may end up falling into the trap of money problems. So, for 15 budgeting methods to help you avoid this pitfall, read on…
After a divorce, there’ll be a lot for you to tackle. The emotional side of it all is, of course, the first step to overcome. That said, a close second is your financial responsibilities.
Whether you’re looking into freezing orders due to hidden money in the settlement, or are just struggling on living on one salary, budgeting after a divorce is tough. Not only will the divorce itself cost you, but having to live off one salary will certainly be a change.
There are a number of ways you can budget to keep your finances on track. So, for some budgeting tips to avoid money problems after your divorce or separation, read on…
Start a Budgeting Planner
Step number one: the second you get paid, set up a monthly budget plan. There are a huge number of online budgeting tools and budgeting apps to help you with this, but the simplest method is to prioritise your necessary outgoings.
So, write down everything that has to leave your account, including bills, rent, and food. Then, if you plan on saving anything, add this to the budgeting plan too. Once you know what you’re left with, you can make a more informed decision about when you spend on luxuries and wants.
Make Use of Divorce Settlements
Depending on the situation, your divorce settlement might entitle you to a certain amount of money from your ex. If this is the case, it’s important you keep this in mind whilst you’re arranging your settlement.
Apply for Child Maintenance Costs
If you have children who will be affected by this divorce, it’s unlikely that your single salary will be able to afford their care. In most divorce cases, there’ll be an agreement of how much money goes towards the children each week. So, be sure to keep this in mind when you’re organising your divorce settlement.
Ask for a Loan from Loved Ones
There’s absolutely no shame in going to your loved ones for help. This will be a tough time for the whole family, and they’ll be there to support you. So, if you’re really struggling to make ends meet, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Although you might be used to buying organic food, and the most high-end toiletries and makeup, these can all be replaced with budget alternatives. Canned goods, vegetables, and cheap meats are the way to go whilst you’re working everything out.
A good way to budget with food is through coming up with weekly meal plans. Then, when you go to the store, you’ll have an in-depth list of what to buy, and will be less tempted by the expensive snacks and drinks. By thinking more about the ways in which you spend your hard-earned cash, your mentality may change.
It’s no lie that providing for a family, or even just for yourself, on one salary can be difficult. After all, renting somewhere, grocery shopping, and paying off your mortgage as an individual is always going to cost you more than for two.
To add to this burden, after your divorce, it’s likely that you’ll want to treat yourself; I’m sure you deserve it. Unfortunately, now is really not the time.
So, exhibiting self-control, and being wise with your money by not spending on luxury wants, is super important. Be sure to only spend money you have. Then, if you end up with a little extra cash at the end of the month, you can look forward to splashing out then.
Reduce Your Bills
Your bills and rent are likely the most stressful element of your monthly expenditure. No doubt this is where the largest chunk of your money goes, right? Well, you may be surprised to learn that there are some ways you can actually reduce these bills, including:
- Contact your bills provider and simply ask for a lower rate;
- Wear layers in your home, so you don’t have to have the heating on all the time;
- Install a water meter, and take short showers rather than baths;
- Find a better deal using comparison sites;
- Look into installing more efficient showerheads;
- Or, if your phone contact doesn’t conform to your means, purchase a different one.
Make it Harder to Spend
In a society where we can access everything online, having the self-control to stop spending is tricky. What’s more, if you’re used to sharing the financial burdens with someone, and now have to take the reins, you may be concerned.
There are a number of ways you can make this easier on yourself. Most notably is just making it more difficult for you to spend, which can be achieved in a number of ways, including:
Placing your cards somewhere safe, where they can’t be quickly used. This could be in a safe, or even in a box with a timer on, which doesn’t open until the timer stops. If you wanted to go really extreme, you could even place your cards in a bowl of water and freeze them!
Freeze your card accounts so you actually won’t be able to buy a thing unless you unfreeze them.
- Deleting your mobile banking apps could help. This is the easiest way to transfer money from place to place, so by making it as difficult as possible to do this, your savings will remain in place.
- Even better than this could be transferring spare money into an ISA. ISAs have restrictions placed on how much money you can transfer in each month. With these restrictions, there may be less inclination to transfer money into your spending account.
Revaluate Your Travel Expenditure
One great way to budget is through rethinking how much you spend on travelling each month. Perhaps you could try walking or cycling to work instead? This way, you can not only get some exercise, which can help to boost your mood, but you can save money along the way.
Now that you’re not living together, you and you partner will have to decide who, if anyone, keeps the house. If you’ve got a mortgage, it’ll be pretty difficult for one person to keep up. So, by moving somewhere cheaper, you can both start afresh, in a new place that doesn’t take up all your money.
Think of Ways to Boost Your Income
Okay, so this will mainly be for those who have minimal responsibilities, apart from a career to follow. After all, if you have to think about your kids during your divorce, you’re unlikely to have much more time on your hands.
That said, if you do, why not try boosting your income through other means? Some great ways you could do this could include:
- Part-Time Job: if you have extra time at the weekends, why not get a job at a local pub or supermarket?
- Side Hustle: perhaps there’s something you’re really good at, or enjoy? You could always start selling your homemade goods or services as a little piece of side income.
- Work Overtime: alternatively, you could offer your services in greater quantities at your current workplace.
Sub-Let Your Home
The likelihood is, if you’ve kept your home after your divorce, you’ll have a number of spare rooms which go unused. If this is the case, then perhaps you could consider sub-letting a room?
This is where you rent out a room in your house for someone who needs a place to stay. Whether it be on a temporary or more permanent basis, you could earn thousands more pounds every year. Just be sure to check with your landlord first!
Not only is this a great way to make money, but it could also be a fun way to inject some more personalities and people into your life. This could be your next big adventure.
Get Excited About Saving
If you’ve ever gotten into the habit of saving, you’ll know how addictive it can be. So, how about you put aside a specific amount of your salary every month into a savings account once you’ve been paid? Then, you can budget according to how much you have leftover.
Or, alternatively, you could wait until the end of the month, and put aside any spare earnings from every month. This way, you can guarantee at least a small amount of money is saved, ready for any unexpected events or treats.
One of the biggest expenditures for most people is eating out. Whether it be with their partner, with friends, or with colleagues, this can cost a small fortune here and there. So, learning to cook, and eating in more, is a really simple way to spend less.
Treat Yourself if You Can
Last, but certainly not least, is to treat yourself when you can. If it comes to the end of the month, and you’ve got a little money left over, don’t be afraid to buy something you really want.
This should not only keep your mentality behind spending healthy, but it’ll give you something to look forward to at the end of each month. After all, money and mental illness are intrinsically tied together.
Ready to Avoid Those Money Problems?
Feeling more confident in tackling your money problems after your divorce or separation? I hope these tips will guide you through these tricky times.
If you’ve found any of these budgeting tips helpful, then do leave a comment down below. Also, if you’re going through a divorce or separation, or have done in the past, let us know how you cope during this life change. All advice is welcome!