Divorce can take a huge toll on you financially. Many Texas residents avoid divorce because they are afraid of not being able to survive financially as a single person.
This is understandable, especially if your spouse was the primary income earner. Worrying about your financial future, combined with the sadness, anger and heartache that often accompany divorces, can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Maintain realistic expectations
Unfortunately, you will most likely experience a drop in your standard of living in the first few years after your divorce. This is common. Going from two incomes to one requires a lifestyle adjustment.
Even if you make enough of your own money to live comfortably and pay your bills, you are still probably not going to immediately be living at the same financial level as you were when you were married.
However, you can regain your financial security after your divorce. The process may take time, but there are some steps you can take to help you recover.
Do not take on more than you can afford
As you negotiate the final terms of your divorce agreement, make careful decisions about what assets or debts you take on. This is particularly true when it comes to the marital residence.
Many people are emotionally attached to their homes, where they have created and shared a lot of memories. Additionally, moving is incredibly stressful and settling into a new place can be scary.
Therefore, you might be determined to keep the marital residence at all costs. Even if your spouse is willing to give it to you, be sure that you can afford the costs of it before agreeing to it.
Remember that keeping up a home involves more than making a mortgage payment. You are also responsible for taxes, insurance and upkeep.
If you are going to have trouble making these payments, it is best to cut your losses and move to a more affordable place. Staying in a home you cannot afford for emotional reasons is only going to cause you financial problems down the road.
Know what you have and what you don’t
Make a budget for your post-divorce life. List all of the assets that you were awarded and their values, as well as any debt. Calculate your monthly living expenses and compare them to your income.
Make cuts where necessary. Decide what you can give up. Small changes can make a significant difference to your financial stability.
For example, if you subscribe to three streaming services, think carefully about whether you really need all three. Canceling two of them could free up money for unexpected expenses or emergencies.
Rebuilding your credit
Review your credit report. If your credit dropped during or after your divorce, make sure to pay your bills on time and rebuild your credit.
Sometimes, there is no getting around the fact that you cannot live comfortably on your income alone. Consider finding another job in your industry that offers higher pay.
Recognizing that this is easier said than done, and that you may not want to leave a long-term job you are comfortable at, research jobs that you can do on the side. Remote work has increased over the past few years, and you might find a remote job that can bring in extra income without sacrificing too much of your time.