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Budgeting After a Divorce

Posted By Center for Mediated Divorce || 23-Mar-2017

Divorces can often leave at least one partner in the lurch financially. After all, during a marriage, two people often share an income to help jointly pay for their lifestyle. Post-divorce, however, it can be difficult to navigate fiscal stability, particularly if it’s been years since creating your last budget. Here are a few tips for getting started.

What Is Your Income?

When you decide your budget, the first calculation you need to make is your income after taxes. This is the amount of money you’ll have to work with each month. If you have another job, make sure to list the income from that occupation. Also, include any alimony or child support you receive.

List Your Necessary Expenses

Next, make a list of all of your necessary expenses, or things you pay for every month that you can’t do without. For example, rent or mortgage payments are one of the expenses most people have to make. Cell phones have also become a staple accessory, and most homes have electricity, water, and trash pickup services. Groceries are another pricey addition to this list.

What Can You Cut?

Looking at your expenses last month, what was on your spending list that isn’t also in your necessary expenditures? Is Starbucks coffee a huge expense for you? Do you go out to eat too much? Try and determine how much of these unnecessary costs can be eliminated in order to save yourself some extra cash each month.

How Are Your Loans?

If you’re paying back student, car, or home loans, consider calling your creditors to ask for lower payments. Many will be willing to work with you to ensure you don’t fall behind on your payments. This will also allow you extra breathing room to work with each month until you can increase your income again.

Can You Increase Your Income?

If you’re only working part-time, can you take an extra job? If you’re a waiter, but you have a B.A. in English, can you ghostwrite on the side? Try and think of other ways you could add to your income in order to increase your monthly intake. This can save you a significant amount of stress by giving you a bit of financial cushion to work with.

Avoid New Debt

Instead of relying on a credit card to buy things you can’t afford, take another look at what you want to buy. Can you get it cheaper anywhere else? Is it something you need to buy this month, or can it wait until you have a bigger savings account? Increasing your debt when you’re already on a tight budget is not a good idea. Take that impulse to spend money and invest it in something else, such as putting an extra $10 in your savings account.

Making an effective budget can not only save you time but save you from stress. Overspending can often lead to financial scrambling every month as people struggle to pay for necessary expenses when they’ve wasted money on unnecessary purchases. If you stick to your budget, you know exactly what you’re spending and exactly how much you’re saving. There are no surprises this way, allowing you to build financial stability even as you recover emotionally from the divorce.

If you need help from an Irvine divorce attorney, contact us. Our experienced lawyers are skilled in family law and mediation techniques. If you can’t agree with your spouse about child custody or alimony, let us help. We offer a vast range of knowledge and legal experience that we can put at your disposal.

Categories: Divorce, Finances

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