Divorce can end up being costly and, in this article, we’ll discuss 8 financial cutbacks to help a divorcee with their money management.
It’s no secret that divorce can be costly; legal fees for specialist divorce solicitors and new living adjustments can soon add up. As such, you may be feeling a little lost in the after math of a separation.
Regaining financial independence and stability will not only give you confidence that you can manage alone but will also help build healthy habits, so that you continue to save money where possible as you go forward in life.
With this in mind, it can be difficult to know where to start with cutbacks. Here are seven things you can make financial cutbacks on to take steps towards financial stability…
What To Do Before You Start Making Financial Cutbacks
Before you begin making cuts, you need to assess your monthly spending. The best way to do this is to create a spending budget in excel and list every outgoing, including bills, entertainment outgoings, food shops, and any other regular spends you make.
When doing your budget, try to be as realistic as possible. Remember, this is a starting point to work from so it’s okay if it seems a lot. Once you’ve put down all your spending, you can work out how much money you have left over.
8 Financial Cutbacks During Divorce
If you wish to increase the amount of money you have left over, then it’s time to consider your cutbacks. Here are seven things you could consider cutting back on:
1. Downsize your housing
If your mortgage or rent payments seem high, it might be time to consider downsizing your home or relocating to a more affordable area. If you’re considering relocating, then make sure the area has everything you need, such as food markets, schools, and a place with good transport links.
Reducing the size of the home you live in will also help cut back on utility usage, especially in winter periods where the heating tends to be on more.
You may find that a surprising amount goes on subscriptions. Whether it’s for TV, makeup, food or whatever else, cutting back on monthly spends soon save you a lot of money.
You don’t necessarily have to cut back on every single one, but consider whether you really need Prime, Spotify, Disney+ and Netflix.
3. Phone contracts
It’s very normalised to spend a great deal every month on a phone contract in order to have a ‘good phone’. If you’re able to, or you’re coming to the end of the contract, it is worth considering switching to a cheaper phone tariff, which can save you hundreds of pounds a year.
4. Food Shops
The average cost of a single-person household is £40.70 per week, which quickly escalates to £107 a week for a family of four. Most people will spend over this a week but often unnecessarily.
As such, it’s a good idea to consider how to make cheaper meals. This can be done through meal planning, batch cooking, and making use of your freezer more to reduce food waste.
The cost of your food shop is of course mostly affected by where you shop. So, you could consider changing supermarkets if you’re looking to make cutbacks, and make use of store apps where you may be able to build points and save in small areas of your food shop.
It can be surprising how quickly transport costs can add up. A lot of workplaces now encourage cycling to work and will often be willing to buy a bike on your behalf and spread the costs.
Depending on where you live, walking or cycling to work may be worth the effort if you’re looking to cut back on spending. Petrol costs, along with parking, can take a chunk out of your monthly spend, so consider walking or a cheaper mode of transport.
It’s also an excellent way to get your daily exercise in, so you’ll be feeling better and spending less!
6. Reduce utility usage
As mentioned, living in larger houses can mean you use more energy, especially in winter. However, there are many ways in which you can reduce your energy usage all year round, including:
- Heating the person not the room
- Switching to energy saving lightbulbs
- Drying washing naturally instead of a tumble dryer
- Turning switches off at the plug when not in use
7. Cut back on impulsive spends
Perhaps the most difficult thing to do when it comes to making cutbacks is to reduce the impulsive spending, often referred to as a ‘treat’. During your divorce or after, you may see impulsive spends as a way to make yourself feel good – it’s perfectly normal for it to have that affect.
The best way to combat your impulsive buying is to make a plan that you feel is a treat, but budget for it and control the amount you want to spend in advance. You can even put this in your monthly budget, so you have allocated money to spend on yourself to curb the impulsiveness.
It’s important when you’re making cutbacks to consider self-care spends in order to maintain good mental health. Whether you use the money to buy yourself something, or to socialise with friends, it should be considered a necessary spend.
Regaining control on money management post-divorce…
This article only lists seven things you could cut back on, but there may be many other areas you can see in your life that’s zapping your money away. Make your spreadsheet and stay strict, but also remember to be kind to yourself and consider self-care costs, for divorce can be an especially taxing and overwhelming experience.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained financial professional. Be sure to consult a financial professional if you’re seeking advice about your finances. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.