Tip 10 on how to financially survive your divorce

Stop using your credit cards and start paying cash. It is said that you will save approximately 20% if you use cash and not debit or credit cards because you are more aware of what you are buying and how much you are spending. You don’t want to cancel your credit cards because this may affect your credit score, or in case of emergency they may not be available, instead freeze them in a block of ice. All you need to do is take a plastic soda or milk bottle cut three inches from the bottom, fill the bottom portion full of water, place your credit cards in the water and put it in the freezer.

Tip 9 on how to financially survive your divorce

Put yourself on a budget. When you set up a budget you should start out by categorizing your expenses and then listing all expenses, in that category, individually, don’t forget birthdays and holidays.

Tip 8 on how to financially survive your divorce

Prepare a Lifestyle Analysis to have a clear outlook on how funds have been spent or invested in the past. By knowing your spending habits and those of your spouse you will be in a better situation to determine areas that you can cut spending and safe money.

 Tip 7 on how to financially survive your divorce

Figure out what you really earn per hour. First, calculate how many hours you work in a year. If you work 8 to 5 with an hour off for lunch you will usually get paid for 40 hours a week which equates to 2,080 hours a year. Now add to that 2,080 the hour for lunch each day that you don’t get paid for unless you are actually able to accomplish personal chores during that time, and then add the hours spent driving to and from work, and the time spent working on stuff at home, entertaining and supporting coworkers or attending work related parties or outings, the time spent shopping for supplies and so on. If it takes you an hour to get to work in the morning and an hour to get home after work, plus the hour that you are not paid for while you are at lunch that is 3 hours per day, 15 hours per week or approximately 750 hours per year taking into consideration a two week vacation. Your hours attributed to you job is now a minimum of 2,830 per year.

Next calculate how much you earn in a year, including your benefits (you should be able to get this off of your pay stub). From that, subtract taxes, the cost of comminuting (gas and auto repair and maintenance), the cost of work clothes, the cost of daycare, the cost of other supplies you need to purchase, and so on. Anything that you buy for your job, subtract it here.

Then divide the amount you actually earn by the number of hours that you really work.

Tip 6 on how to financially survive your divorce

Review your finances. Figure out what assets are owned by the community and what debts the community has.

Tip 5 on how to financially survive your divorce

Start journaling – you don’t have to write a book but you may want to use your journal to make notes about what happened during the day or your feelings. If you have children and there are issues regarding custody use your journal to keep track of what is happening with your children, i.e. Dad didn’t pick up the children for his period of possession, Mom was late returning the children, kept little Sara home for school because she was running a temperature, spoke with little Johnnie at 7:45 and he said he got in trouble at school.

You can also use your journal to help keep track of your budget and spending habits. You may find that there are certain triggers where you go on a shopping spree. If you realize that you do most of your spending when you children are with your spouse or ex-spouse you may want to schedule free or in-expensive extra curricular activities for yourself on days that you children are not with you.

Also, use your journal to vent your frustrations you will then be less likely to verbalize those frustrations.

Tip 4 on how to financially survive your divorce

Look around your home and determine the difference between what you want and what you actually need. You may want the dining room furniture set that you paid $5,000 for but do you actually need the furniture if it is going to cost you $7,500 in legal fees.

Tip 3 on how to financially survive your divorce

Reassure your children that they are loved and that the divorce doesn’t have anything to do with them. Let them know that mommy and daddy don’t get along anymore but your love for them has not changed.

 Tip 2 on how to financially survive your divorce

Get organized: by organizing your life you will be better prepared to produce necessary documents and answer questions that your legal team may have. Start by organizing something small like a kitchen drawer or your purse. Organization helps to relieve to relieve some of the stress in one’s life.

 Tip 1 on how to financially survive your divorce

Every morning wake up and take a deep breath and remind yourself that this too shall pass. This is just a bump in the road and there is always darkness before the light.