This isn’t exactly what any of us expect when we head down the aisle, but unfortunately for some, it does happen. Going from either a two income household down to one or worse going from being a homemaker to now being thrust back into the workforce, can be incredibly difficult, and quite frankly, traumatizing for some.
However, I want to reassure you, that whatever it is you are going through at this moment, please know that it is just for a season. You can’t take control of your life and live the way you want to live.
Taking control of your finances as a single income (or no income if you are still struggling to gain employment) can be very difficult. If you weren’t the one primarily handling finances it can be a bit overwhelming.
Here are a few steps that you can start with in order to regain your financial independence.
Check your credit score
I like to start with this one because it seems so often (even with the rise of identity thefts) that people still do not understand the importance of regularly checking their credit reports for inaccuracies. If this is you, then stop what you are doing right now, and head over to AnnualCreditReport.com and check your report. This will help you catch any problems in advance that may cause you a ton of grief later on.
Set long and short-term financial goals
If divorce has left you buried in a mountain of debt, then some great short-term goals may be to begin paying off credit cards. Long-term goals may include college savings for your children or buying a home.
This is another concept that seems foreign to a lot of people, however, if you are trying to get your head above water, budgeting is one of the only way to do it. Don’t try and keep up with the Joneses and Kardashians, instead learn to live within your means.
Cut discretionary spending
Let’s be real, if you can’t afford it, you don’t need it. Netflix, Hulu, cable tv, cell phone, gym memberships, Spotify or TIDAL, YMCA; if they are causing you more grief or sending your bank account negative every month, then it is time to drop them until you can afford it.
I know that it really sucks having to cut out the things you like. But you have to remember, they aren’t things that you NEED.
Be All About the Benjamins
If you aren’t making enough money now, then you need to find a way to earn more. Whether it’s returning to school for another degree, or specialized training in a trade, or working a part-time. There are work from home jobs you may be able to complete in your spare time. I know working two jobs isn’t always feasible but there are ways to work a second job and not completely lose your mind. You just have figure out what will work best for your situation.
Don’t forget to live
If you are not financially stable, finances can cause you a lot of anxiety and stress. While you are trying to dig yourself out the hole you are in, don’t forget to take time and just breathe. Yes, you will have to buckle down, and yes you may have to give up a few things that you love. But always remember to take time to enjoy as much of life as you can (on a budget of course).