Divorce can be a very hard time for families. However, while it’s already difficult from an emotional and mental standpoint, there are also financial ramifications to consider. Going from a dual-income family to being the sole earner can be very challenging. This is an even greater challenge for women who were homemakers before the divorce. Suddenly having to provide financially when you have been dependent on someone else for so long can be terrifying.
Scary as it may be though, there are ways to handle this adjustment that won’t leave you broke. They will require some major life-changes though. Alimony and child support, if you have children, can certainly help to make ends meet after divorce in the Metro Detroit area. However, you are going to have to make peace with changing financial circumstances, at least for the first few years. We have put together a basic list of things to consider that may help you prepare for what lies ahead.
Create A Budget
Make a list of things you will need to pay for every month. Be sure to include more than just bills, like a grocery budget and what you will need for gas and basic car maintenance. This will require that you be very specific about the difference between wants and needs, cutting out anything that is not truly needed. By doing this you can create a very clear picture of how much money you and your household will need to survive on a monthly basis in the immediate future. You may be surprised by how much money you spend monthly on those little non-necessity items here and there – it can add up very quickly!
When writing up your budget, list your fixed expenses separately from your variable expenses. “A fixed expense is one that costs the same each month. Some examples are: your mortgage or rent payment, car payment, insurance payments, etc. Other expenses are variable expenses because they vary each month. For instance, your food bill, gasoline bill, maybe cable TV/internet/phone bill and even your utilities. Variable expenses are easier to reduce than fixed expenses reports Oakland County divorce attorney Brandy Thompson.
Spend some time writing down all of your fixed expenses and see what you may be able to eliminate. Anything you can do to reduce your monthly payments and bills in Oakland County will be a great help. Shutting off satellite T.V. or cable for a few months until finances stabilize may cause your kids some frustrations, but it may also save you as much as a hundred dollars a month, which could be better utilized in other areas.
While applying for financial aid may be the last thing you want, if it’s the difference between financial security and not being able to pay your bills, it may be your best option right now. Food stamps (called a Bridge Card in Michigan), Section 8 subsidized housing, Medicaid insurance for your children, anything that can temporarily ease the pinch will go a long way towards reducing stress, and getting you back to a place of better financial stability. You can learn more about available community resources in Michigan by dialing 2-1-1 on your telephone.
Join us next time, as we wrap up this two part series on how to live on a budget after a divorce. We understand that money is not a very exciting subject to talk about, however it’s something everyone needs more of these days. So if you are looking at a future with less money and more budgeting, stick with us. We can help you figure out the best ways to survive until you get on your feet again. Until then, we are available 24/7 to discuss your situation with you. The experienced family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of combined experience representing people in Michigan during their divorces, ensuring that their rights are recognized and their futures are protected. Please call our Oakland County (Farmington Hills) office today at (248) 479-6200. We are here to help.