Budgeting after a Divorce


Divorce is actually one of the top four negative life experiences—it can be gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. Even in the friendliest divorces there are emotions involved which can sometimes make it difficult to ensure the financial settlement is truly fair. In some instances one spouse may simply walk away from the entire process, forfeiting his or her rights to half of the couple’s assets. While this tactic may seem appropriate at the time as a means of avoiding inevitable conflict, the person who says to their spouse “Just take everything,” could well regret that decision down the line. Others may leave it up to a judge to split the marital assets fairly and could come to regret that decision as well. Divorce will almost always have a negative financial impact on those involved simply because it is cheaper for two people to live together in one home than to live in two homes with two sets of bills.

Once the divorce is finalized, you may find yourself struggling to pay your bills and get ahead. This is natural and while it may seem like you will always struggle, budgeting after a divorce can help you gain control of your finances.

Creating a budget is the best way to see where your money is going and why. There are bills that will never change, such as mortgages, alimony payments, and student loans—and then there are the bills that you can control, such as car payments, cable bills, and credit card bills. When creating your budget, it is important to know which expenses are fixed and which are fluctuating. Once you do, you'll be able to make important decisions between wants and needs and trim the necessary fat from your budget.

Consider selling your car and buying a cheaper car with a reduced car payment or NO car payment at all.
Consider refinancing your home to stretch out payments or consider selling your home and moving into a smaller home or apartment.
Call insurance companies and reduce your monthly payment by increasing deductibles.
Reduce utilities by installing CFL bulbs, programming your thermostat to turn off or down when you are away, and fix leaky faucets or toilets to conserve water.
Call your cable company and ask for a reduced package or consider cutting the cord altogether.
Cut your gym membership and take advantage of outdoor parks and tracks.
Learn to brew your own coffee at home and cut out the Starbucks bill.
Quit unhealthy eating habits or smoking habits and save LOTS of money both now and later down the road.
Consider selling all unwanted items on eBay or garage sales.

If you are considering a divorce, we can help you through this difficult time and afterwards. No matter what life brings, we are here to help. Contact the Boulder divorce attorneys at Goff & Goff, LLC today for a free initial consultation