After you’ve divorced, being solely responsible for financial matters can be a bit intimidating. Resist the urge to put off financial decisions, and instead place this list of financial tips someplace where you’ll see them every day. With consistent and persistent effort, your post-divorce life will become filled with financial freedom and stability.
Our Financial Tips for After a Divorce
Don’t delay – get started today!
Make up your financial freedom “to do” list and assign yourself at least one new task each week. Need to ask your co-worker about their financial advisor? Put it on the list. Need an updated will? Put it on the list. See an interesting budgeting workshop at your church, community center or local college? Put the registration deadline on the list. When you take action, you take advantage of time and compound returns — and this is the secret to paying off debt and building wealth. Just do it!
Write down your goals and make a plan.
Do you want to save for retirement, pay off your mortgage, and put money aside for a vacation? Write your goals on your financial freedom list. When you identify what you want, you can then determine the individual steps you need to take to get there and chart your progress. Remember, a goal without a plan is nothing more than a wish. Take action to make them a reality!
Update your will and beneficiary designations.
One of the first things you need to do after your divorce is to update the beneficiary on your life insurance and retirement accounts. Otherwise, they will be paid to whoever is listed at the time of your death. While you’re updating these beneficiary designations, it’s also a good time to revise your will, power of attorney and any advanced or medical directives you may want to establish.
Pay yourself first.
Automated savings programs will help you to save money for your goals through good times and bad. In most checking accounts, you can set up automatic withdrawals to go directly into investment or savings accounts immediately following paydays.
Focus on what can be controlled.
It’s easy to find yourself anxious about the future after watching the news or spending time on social media. Instead of worrying about events outside of your control, focus on your goals and the steps you can control to help you make progress.
Invest in YOU!
Life after divorce is a very good time to invest in yourself. Whether it’s going back to school to finish a college degree, obtaining advanced education, or learning new skills to become more marketable in the workforce, when you invest in YOU, you’re also increasing your earnings potential and future savings.
Live Within Your Means.
Making lifestyle adjustments after a divorce is often necessary, and with that comes developing new spending habits and learning how to live within your current financial means. If you want financial freedom, it’s essential that you know where your money is being spent and that you avoid the temptation to spend money you don’t have.
Establish an emergency fund.
Now that you’re single, if something unexpected happens such as a serious illness or losing your job, having an emergency fund of cash can help to provide peace of mind and ensure necessary bills get paid until you’re back on your feet again. It’s ideal to have cash reserves sufficient to carry you through three to six months of necessary expenses.
Find trusted professionals.
Finding a certified divorce financial planner can help you navigate the financial complexities of your divorce and make sure you’re on the right path for an independent future. In addition, tax advisors and CPAs can help you make smart tax decisions when it comes to asset transfers, retirement, and spousal and child support.
Don’t Hesitate to Contact an Expert
By seeking financial advice from professional experts, balancing your budget and establishing your goals, you’ll learn a great deal about personal finance and the steps you need to take to become financially independent. It’s not always easy to start, but once you do you’ll realize that rebuilding your life after divorce will be easier than you imagined.