There are so many things in life that we simply cannot be prepared for – getting divorced is one of them.
Getting divorced is a HUGE life change. The financial aspect of it has the potential to be devastating. If you can work yourself through the initial whirlwind of emotions, you have every chance of making it financially.
Here’s how to survive a divorce financially.
Take a Step into Reality
The first (and the most important) thing for you to do is realize that your standard of living is going to be downgraded. You likely just went from two incomes to one. Making a huge house payment on your own and paying all of the insurance and utilities that come along with it simply isn’t feasible.
Take me for example, pre divorce I lived in a very comfortable home. We had a decent sized house, 2 acres of land for the kids to run around, and had put in a lot of sweat equity. After the divorce the first thing I did was go looking to buy a similar home. Luckily for me my offers fell through or I would have been financially devastated.
Make the Necessary Sacrifices
Your lifestyle is being downgraded. You are rebuilding your life and you have to start over. Revamping your budget is a must. You may have to look for cheaper housing, skip unnecessary shopping, and buy used items instead of new. However bad it feels at the time, remember sacrifices are temporary.
When my reality check finally sank in, I knew there were a lot of sacrifices that I would have to make. The biggest sacrifice I have made so far has been housing. I opted out of buying a home and instead I purchased a trailer and put it on a spare lot my family had. This will provide me with a place to live for as long as I need it. I will have plenty of money leftover at the end of each month to save. Altogether this place is costing me less than 10k total and I have the option of selling it when I move onto something better.
Sacrifices are temporary and for the greater good.
Will you be Able to Pay for Basic Needs?
If you can’t cover your basic needs such as food and housing and you have children you may qualify for financial assistance. If you are considered low income, or do not have any income I encourage to go to your local job and family service branch and apply. Financial assistance is there to help people who truly need it. Don’t feel like you are getting a hand out, because you are not. Your tax dollars have paid for this program and when you get back on your feet you can always pay it forward.
If you don’t have children or do not qualify for financial assistance then you may have to consider getting a second job. I currently work two jobs to support myself and my children. Luckily I can do a lot of the work from home for one of these jobs. If you don’t like the idea of getting a second job then consider finding a work at home gig. If you have an internet connection then you can find a way to make money online.
There are a lot of emotions to sort through when you are going through a divorce. The good part is you’re no longer in a bad relationship. The bad part is trying to financially adjust. Once you realize and accept that there are major sacrifices you will have to make, you are one step closer to being financially stable on your own.