Many aspects of life often change after a divorce. In the months after your marriage ends, though, you are apt to face a different financial outlook. While you may have more financial resources than you did during your marriage, you may also have significantly less. Either way, establishing a budget and sticking to it may become increasingly important.
To create a budget, you must know how much you make and how much you spend. The first part of the equation is probably easier to determine, as you may only have one source of income. Calculating the second, though, may require averaging monthly bills. Still, with a realistic picture of your income and expenses, you can plan to spend less than you earn. Here are four other post-divorce budgeting tips that may help you secure your financial future.
1. Track expenditures
You probably spend more than you realize. When trying to secure financial freedom, you may want to draw inspiration from the dieting crowd. That is, just as many dieters regularly record caloric intakes, you may think about keeping a diary of your expenditures. Then, at the end of each week, you can add up your expenses to see if you are staying on track.
2. Put a few bucks into savings
Saving money can be difficult, especially after a divorce. Nevertheless, you do not want to be one of the 60% of Americans who cannot afford a $1,000 emergency expenditure. Therefore, try to put some money every month into a savings account. Even depositing a few bucks out of each paycheck may make a difference.
3. Display your budget
“Out of sight, out of mind” is a relevant notion when it comes to financial planning. While you need not broadcast your budget to the entire world, you should post it in a place where you regularly see it. Sticking a printed version to your refrigerator, for example, may give you the visual reminder that you need to maintain healthy spending habits.
4. Make revisions
Even with your best efforts, you likely cannot create the perfect budget on your first try. On the contrary, you may need to revise your plan when you notice it is not working. Therefore, give yourself both the flexibility and freedom to make commonsense revisions when necessary.
You may feel a bit lost after your marriage ends. Fortunately, you can regain some control over your life by focusing on your own financial future. With some budgetary planning and a bit of grit, you can likely improve your post-divorce finances.