Asides from the emotional stress, divorce is also a financial adjustment. This article will discuss some tips on how to adjust to a single income after a divorce.
Divorce can be a tricky time in someone’s life; figuring out and adjusting to single life is never easy. Depending on the circumstances, you may find yourself living in a new home in unfamiliar territory that can take time to get used to.
As you adjust to a single lifestyle, you also have to get used to potentially having a solo income. Whilst you may get support for ongoing family law issues, such as divorce spousal agreements, it’s a good idea to sit down and work out your new financial situation.
Mortgage payments, rent, food shops – all these bills that were once split now come down to just you paying. But it’s not all as gloomy as it sounds! Here are eight tips for those adjusting to a single income post-divorce…
1. Determine a New Budget
Determining a new budget will allow you to see exactly how much you have against what is going out, with your single income. Some important factors to consider in your budget plans could include:
- Bills – Gas/Electric/Water/Council Tax
- Food Shops
- Commute Expenses
- Child Care Costs
- Loan Repayments
- Car Expenses
- Phone Bill
Microsoft excel is a great tool you could use to help you plan out your new budget. You can start by creating a table of wants and needs. Anything that has to go out every month should be on the list.
You could create a separate column for any subscriptions you have set up, but could potentially be cut if necessary.
2. Cut Expenses
Once you’ve determined your new budget and have all your outgoings on screen Infront of you, you can see exactly what is going out unnecessarily. An easy way to cut expenses is to be brutal with yourself between what you need and what is a want.
For example, do you need Disney+, Netflix and Prime? Small monthly direct debits can eat away at budgets without you really noticing.
3. Increase Cash Flow
This may seem easier said than done, especially if you have a family which takes up a lot of your time. But, there are plenty of flexible part time jobs that could help you increase your cash flow and allow you to relax on spending.
You could also consider benefits and, if you’re a single parent, you may be entitled to tax reductions. What’s more, if you’re a single tenant, you’re also entitled to 25% off council tax. Checking these changes won’t increase your cash flow, but will certainly reduce the amount going out
4. Manage Debt
Managing debt when you’re on your own is really important for the sake of future lending. There is plenty of help online and support from free services to help you manage debt. Don’t bury your head in the sand about these problems as they only tend to get worse if left over time.
5. Have an Emergency Fund
It’s a good idea, if you’re living alone, to start putting some money aside for an emergency fund. If something goes wrong with your house or car, for example, you don’t want to be left penniless after any unexpected pay outs.
You don’t have to put loads aside a month, but any spare savings you can squirrel away will help in time of need.
6. Spend Time Not Money
An easy way to cut down on money is to spend time, not money. This means making the most of what’s free to do instead of feeling pressured to go out and spend. Some examples could include taking the children to an outdoor park instead of a cinema, or inviting friends over for a glass of wine instead of going out for cocktails.
It may not sound as fun, but it will help you adjust to a single income and spend less over time, whilst also being with people you want to be with.
7. Cut Costs Early
Don’t wait to be in trouble with money to start saving. As soon as you’re living alone and no longer have the support of your ex-spouse, you need to prepare to face finances alone. Cutting costs early will help you adjust quicker to your new lifestyle.
8. Become More Frugal as You Adjust
Becoming more frugal may sound a like you’re becoming ‘cheap’, but it’s far from the case. It’s more than just using coupons or vouchers, it’s about cutting expenses in every area of your life, even if it’s just temporary. Some ways you can become more frugal include:
- Shopping in cheaper supermarkets
- Meal planning
- Getting a smart meter
- Using online banking
- Sharing lifts/journeys to work
- Exercising at home
Stay positive as you adjust to your single income…
As you can see from this article, there are plenty of ways to tighten your purse strings. Make sure you plan out your finances so that nothing catches up to you. If you’re a single parent, there may be benefits available to you that you are entitled to.
Don’t forget to speak to family and friends about any finance concerns you’re having. Even though talking about money is difficult, it’s good to get concerns off your chest. They might even have some tips not mentioned here.
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 divorce professional. Be sure to consult a financial professional if you’re seeking advice about going through divorce. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.