Step 5 in Preparing for Divorce: Back to the Financial Assessment

By: Adrienne Rothstein Grace
Last Update: October 26, 2016

When I got divorced, all I wanted to do was spend my mental energy on healing and becoming whole again. However, I knew it was important to think about my finances. What I eventually realized was that becoming self-empowered over my finances was part of the healing process. I decided to take a step back and pull out the original financial assessment I did at the beginning of the divorce process. I began reviewing it and asking myself some questions:

  • Is my assessment realistic about how much I will earn and how much I spend on a monthly basis?
  • Does my financial plan provide for unexpected expenses (e.g. a leaky roof)?
  • What about the necessities outside of traditional bill-paying – like an annual vacation or a new TV?
  • Have I calculated my taxes correctly so that I don’t get caught short next April?
  • Will my financial picture change drastically in the next few years (expected change in employment, child starting or finishing school, long-term debt payoffs, etc.)

A difficult part of divorce is accepting that your financial picture will change, and it will likely not be as robust as it was when you were married. This is why it's important to align yourself with a financial planner who is experienced in divorce settlements. Adjustments are often necessary, and yet very difficult. Start considering what changes you can make to your income and expenses. Also, don’t forget that, at some point, child and/or spousal support will end, so you must prepare for that. 

Should you start looking for a different job? Can you work more hours? Should you hold off on getting a new car? Are some of your discretionary expenses adjustable?

Here are some money-saving tips from The America Saves Coalition that don’t put a big damper in your social life. These tips offer examples of how making some small changes can save you up to $150 a month.


Monthly Saving

Save $.50 in loose change


Cut soda consumption by one liter a week


Bring lunch to work


Send one free e-card per month instead of buying a card


Buy grocery store brands


Use fewer phone features


Eliminate premium cable channels


Borrow, rather than buy, one book per month


Hand wash, rather than dry clean, one shirt per month


Comparison shop for gas (saving an estimated $.25/gallon)


Of course you can realize even bigger savings by simply employing a few of these tips more than once a month – or by adding your own tips to the equation. Whether you save $150, $300, or $450 a month by making small, smarter decisions – you are headed in the right direction for your future. 

The key to appropriate financial management is realizing that you are in control. Complete control. Enabling yourself with the right supports will allow you to best plan your financial future. No longer will anyone else's decisions impact your finances in a negative way; it's all about how you, and you alone, prepare yourself for your financial today – and tomorrow. 

So take control, make your own tip list for saving money, and then decide what you will do with those savings. Make your plan wisely and with your future in mind. 

Securities offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co. Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Davis Financial and Cadaret, Grant are separate entities.

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