5 Ways to Get Back On Your Feet Financially After Your Breakup

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Piggybank Girl

The financial decisions you make when you split from your husband are crucial both during and after your divorce.  If you’re still in the divorce process, deciding how to divide assets and debts is important.  What’s also significant is choosing your battles during the divorce.  Far too many people spend way too much on fighting over things on principle, rather than looking at the over all financial picture and it really hurts them in the end, including the high attorney’s fees that they’ll pay over months and sometimes, years to come.

Here are 5 ways to regroup and get back up on financially solid ground after your breakup:

  1. Accept that your financial world has changed.  Over my career as a lawyer, I’ve seen so many people continue to spend as if they are still married and living on a combined income with their ex.  Often times they spend as a comfort measure or retail therapy.  It’s a means of coping with all of the emotions and transition that comes with ending a marriage. Some people also spend out of a sense of panic because they are afraid that they won’t be able to provide for their needs, so they’ll pack their pantries with food or fill their closets to overflowing with clothes that will still have the tags on them for years later.  The faster that you come to accept that your financial world will look different and a bit smaller in the days ahead, the better off you will be in adjusting to your new life.
  2. Set up a personal budget.  It is the only way that you will stay on track to getting your finances back in order.  Yes, it’s a pain in the butt to set up. But, usually you’ve started already if you had to make a list of all your assets and debts for your divorce.  So now, make good use of that information and plug it into an Excel spreadsheet you create on your own, a free online personal budget app or use template that came with your computer to help you set goals and stay on track every month.
  3. Get support from family and friends.  If you were use to always being generous and splurging on big gifts for birthday and anniversaries for family and friends, just be honest and tell them that you aren’t in a position anymore to spend like you use to.  Tell them your goals for paying off debt and moving forward with your life. Don’t allow feelings of shame and embarrassment stop you. Of course, use wisdom about who you share your personal information with, but you’d be surprised how they will rally around and support you because they now feel invested in helping you succeed.
  4. Learn to live on one income. Adjusting your lifestyle to fit what you have to work with now is not defeat!  It’s being smart.  Far too many people spend themselves into bankruptcy because they want to maintain the same standard of living as they had when they were married.  As Davy Ramsey says, “sometimes you have to live like no other (now), so you can live like no other (later).”  Just because you’re cutting back now doesn’t mean that it’s forever.
  5. Dream BIG.  I know that when things look bad and you feel like they’ll never change, it’s hard to dream about your future.  But I say that it’s the best time to reinvent yourself, set goals and dream about the desires on your heart.  Take inspiration from Marilyn Monroe, who said, “sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.”  Use your dreams and goals as you anchor when you feel like there’s nothing else to grasp a hold of.  Dream about starting your own business or being totally debt free in three years. Always choose hope over fear and unbelief.

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Putting your finances back together can be overwhelming.  But it’s always worth it.  Start off slow if you need to, but the important thing is to get started.



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