The end of a chapter doesn’t always have to be a bad thing — it can be an opportunity to start over and write an even better story than the last. This can even be applied in the case of a divorce, which is often a painful event. Some people struggle when it comes to starting over and don’t know where to start. When they’re used to certain routines and ways of living, trying new ways of doing things can be uncomfortable. It can also lead to periods of instability, uncertainty and imbalance, but it can get better.
Creating a solid foundation financially is a good starting point for rebuilding your life. Using finances to rebuild the new you doesn’t have to be hard! Here are some tips.
Here’s How to Use Finances to Rebuild the New You After Divorce
If you’re ready to rebuild your life but don’t know where to start, begin by redefining yourself. Be clear about who you want to be in his new chapter of your life and how you can heal from your past and create a brighter future. This requires identifying things that are core parts of who you are and deciding to bring them into the new phase of your life. Likewise, identify negative aspects that may need positive changes. For instance, you may decide being generous is a positive part of who you are that you don’t want to change, but you’d also like to work on being more frugal.
You should also envision the type of life that you want to live. Think about the location you want to live in, the types of activities you want to do, and how much you want to make. To guide you along this process, consider adopting minimalism as it allows you to start from a blank slate. Seeing as the most important elements of minimalism are living intentionally, changing your mindset, and living honestly, it could help you on your path to redefining yourself.
Create a New Budget
Once you’ve decided what you want your new life to be like and how you want to live, it’s time to create a budget. This requires a great deal of honesty, as you’ve got to assess your financial situation. To see exactly what you’re spending, create a budget. This will help you examine your income and expenses so you know how much you can afford to live on every month.
When trying to figure out your expenses, use a bank statement or credit card statement to observe your spending habits. You should be able to identify areas where you may be overspending as well as expenses that can be eliminated altogether. Categorize your expenses and decide how much you’re going to spend on bills, paying off debt, adding money into savings, living expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses. Remember the goal of a budget should be to make sure you’re not spending more than you make, not to put you in a financial prison.
During this process of taking hold of your finances, make sure you aren’t missing out on any money you’re entitled to from the divorce. For instance, you could be awarded alimony or state benefits depending on your circumstances. This extra money could go a long way in helping you start afresh.
Make Smart Financial Decisions
A budget is only the foundation for building healthy finances — the real work begins when you have to start making financial decisions. This can be hard as the decisions you have to make now may differ from the ones you made when you were married. Now, you have to put yourself first and create financial stability, especially if you have no financial support.
You will have small financial decisions to make such as whether to save by cooking at home, or saving time by ordering out. However, you’ll also have to make larger decisions that could make or break your finances. An example of a larger financial decision you’ll have to make is whether or not to start afresh by purchasing a new home. It’s sometimes best to plan towards such long-term financial commitments. In the case of buying a home, find out what the requirements and hidden costs are before moving ahead.
A key tip for making good financial decisions is weighing out the pros and cons. You should also have a good reason regarding why you want it, especially if it’s not in your budget for the month. Lastly, when making financial decisions, leave emotion out of it and be logical instead.
Redefine Your Priorities
Getting a divorce gives you a chance to take control of life and focus on yourself. As a result, your priorities will change, especially when it comes to money. Think about your goals and make sure you choose to spend your money in ways that thrust you closer to them.
Don’t forget to include self-care in your priorities and budget for it too. This is necessary as you have to be in a good space mentally and emotionally to prepare for a better future. For instance, you may decide to put some money aside to take a trip. This would give you the space to clear your head and reconnect. If that’s too expensive, paying for a massage or relaxing activity should do.
Although money isn’t everything, when your finances are in order it creates a stable base for you to rebuild your life from. When money worries are eliminated, you have the time to focus on recreating your life.