Divorce could be a big payday for some but most of us will be on a budget after the papers are signed and we part ways with our ex forever. Let’s face it, usually, money is going to be pretty tight after divorce.
It’s difficult transitioning from living off of two incomes to living off of one income while also facing the expenses that come with divorce. So it begs the question when it’s all over, what should you spend your money on?
Things You Should Definitely Spend Money On After Divorce
Where someone lives after a divorce is always different depending on their circumstances. If you keep the house in your divorce, you should consider the expenses it takes to keep it and decide whether or not you can afford it on one income.
It’s not just the mortgage and the taxes you should consider either. Think about what it’s going to cost for landscaping in the summer, snow removal in the winter, repairs to the house and appliances which may break and need replacing. It’s always a good idea to save 2% of your home’s value for repairs and general upkeep every year.
If this isn’t something you feel like you can afford on one paycheck, consider downsizing and moving into a smaller home or apartment. Once you move, you’ll also have to think about getting new furniture, dishware, and maybe a new bed to help make your new space a home.
Usually, couples figure out living arrangements during the divorce but since it is such a stressful time, you may feel like you didn’t choose the best long term living arrangements for you. When everything is over, thinking about where you want to live and putting some money towards that is an important thing to consider to set yourself up for success moving forward.
It’s okay to take a little time to yourself after the divorce. It’s a stressful time and there’s nothing wrong with putting a little money aside for self-care.
How can you best position yourself for success if you haven’t started moving on? Take a day, unwind, and maybe try something new.
Go to the salon and get that new hairstyle you’ve been wanting to try. Or maybe you finally take that yoga class you’ve been thinking about. Whatever you need, you should take time and treat yourself so you are mentally prepared for whatever comes next in your life. Remember to put yourself first during this stressful time. If you’re not in a good headspace, you won’t be able to positively affect those around you.
Celebrating a divorce coming to a close with your most supportive friends is a fun and stress relieving event which can help put a positive close to such a hard time in your life.
Divorce parties are becoming more popular and for good reason. It’s nice to know that when your life changes completely, you still have a great support structure around you to help you move forward.
Think About New Ways to Manage Your Money
I see a lot of people trying to pay off debts right after a divorce but it’s not always a good idea to have zero dollars in your bank account so you have zero debt.
Some debt is healthy and you can use it to your advantage.
For example, it might be a better idea to put your money into a retirement account with 9% interest than to completely pay off a car payment with 3% interest. If you decide to pay off the car loan, you are missing out on the 6% interest you could have made in the long run from investing in your retirement while also continuing to pay off your car month by month.
As long as you have a healthy amount of debt with good interest rates, you can invest your money elsewhere and win out long term. This is something I help women with every day as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.
What Do You Need?
These are all examples of things you could potentially use your money for after divorce but we’re all different. Think about what YOU need.
Just because the morning news or your neighbors tell you it’s good to pay off debts immediately after a divorce doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.
Maybe you want to start an online business, maybe you want to take a road trip and travel the country, or maybe you want to move to a different country altogether! All of these things are possible and each one of them has different financial considerations.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a financial professional so they can help you figure out the best place for your money no matter what you are trying to do with your life.
What else should someone consider spending money on after a divorce? Let me know in the comments!