Budgeting after Divorce

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Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Money management, lack of money, differing priorities about money, choosing to save or spend…  Money disputes can pave the path to divorce, and lack of money can be a huge challenge after divorce.  Regardless of how much you make, if you divide the total family income in half and double the financial obligations to support two separate households, there are going to be necessary and sometimes stressful, adjustments. 

In partnerships such as a marriage, there is usually one “finance and budget” person and one who relies upon the money management skills of the other.   When a split occurs, the learning curve for the non-money manager can be steep.  I remember asking a spouse in mediation years ago to prepare a budget to demonstrate financial need when calculating maintenance.  She was an educated professional woman, and excelled in her field of work.  However, she came back with a budget consisting not of utilities, mortgage, car payments, etc., but of facial peels, manicures, and hair tinting.  She had not been asked to pay the household expenses and had no knowledge of how to go about surviving financially.

In these situations, it is critical to get some assistance in preparing a budget and creating a workable system.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Find a trusted relative or friend in your social circle who is willing to mentor you. 
  2. Suze Orman is a financial genius offers numerous books and various resources containing practical advice for a disciplined reader who can put her material to use. 
  3. If you need a coach for personal financial training and are in the Denver Metro area, you may want to work with a local financial advisor.  Some advisors offer budgeting services to help people who are trying to manage their finances, which is especially helpful if you are budgeting for the first time.  After building a budget, learn to spend within the budget, find ways to save, and after the basics are addressed, begin to invest for the future.  
  4. If you have an unfavorable mortgage that you are not behind on and have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage.
  5. Continental Credit has a program to address negative items on your credit report to raise your credit score.   303-339-7056.

We are all creatures of habit.  Building new habits can be exciting as we see the results yield positive changes.  If you have been tied to a spouse who has negatively impacted your financial stability, get back on track after a divorce and start to build a brighter future for yourself.  It is never too late to start.