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Tips for setting a budget during a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Divorce |

Many changes are inspired by going through a divorce. One of the major challenges for some individuals involves having to figure out how to make ends meet on their income alone. If you’re in this position, there are several things that you might be able to do to improve your quality of life in this regard.

As soon as possible, you should set up a budget. This effort can allow you to outline your income and expenses so you know exactly where you stand financially. Consider these tips to set a budget that accurately reflects your new financial profile.

Assess your new income and expenses

Start by thoroughly evaluating your post-divorce income, including alimony or child support if applicable. Then, list all monthly expenses to understand your financial landscape. This initial step is crucial for setting a realistic budget that reflects your current financial situation.

Prioritize essential expenses

Identify and prioritize essential expenses such as housing costs and utilities. Be sure to add in grocery and transportation expenses. Ensuring these necessities are covered before allocating funds to less critical expenses is critical.

Adjust your lifestyle

Divorce may require lifestyle adjustments to align with your new financial reality. Review discretionary spending on dining out, entertainment and non-essential shopping. Cutting out some of these may help to improve your finances. The goal, at last in the beginning, is to have a bit of wiggle room with money.

Plan for savings and emergencies

Incorporate savings into your budget, aiming to build an emergency fund that covers three to six months of living expenses. This fund can provide financial security in case of unexpected expenses or income changes.

Manage debt strategically

If you have debt, develop a strategy to manage it effectively. Prioritize high-interest debts for repayment and consider consolidating or refinancing to lower interest rates if possible.

Include child-related expenses

For co-parents, it’s important to budget for child-related expenses accurately. Include childcare, education costs, medical expenses and any extracurricular activities in your budget planning.

While you may not have the terms of your property division settlement right away, it can play a primary role in your long-term budget. Be sure you consider how various options may impact your finances so you can work toward the settlement that’s in your best interest. Working with a legal representative who understands your circumstances may provide you with a more informed voice as your case evolves.

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