Money Crunching: 4 Ways You Can Save Money After a Divorce
The holidays are approaching—the first ones since your divorce—so it’s time to do some math. What we mean is that now is an ideal time to review your financial situation; to start looking for ways that you can give you and your family an enjoyable celebration without compromising your financial independence. Here are four:
1. Update Your Budget
If you haven’t updated your budget recently, now is the time. Sit down and review all sources of your present income, such as job salary, spousal support, and any money you may be making from side gigs or temporary work. If these amounts vary, it’s a good idea to use your lowest-income month as a baseline figure so you’re always prepared.
Now look at your expenses. Review all the aspects of your present lifestyle that you can comfortably downgrade:
- If you’ve been eating out a lot, is it really necessary?
- Are there ways you can trim your entertainment costs without denying yourself some enjoyment entirely?
- If your car is a “gas guzzler,” consider trading it in for a more practical model.
For almost anything you need, there is likely a more cost-effective way to obtain it.
2. Donate or Sell Old or Unused Items
After your divorce, there are likely items in your house that you no longer need. They may include:
- Your wedding ring
- Extra furniture that doesn’t fit in your downsized home
You can turn these unwanted items into cash by selling them online or having a garage sale. The extra influx of cash can help fund your holiday celebrations, saving you money because you don’t have to use your income or savings.
3. Review Utilities Use
There are many ways that you can comfortably reduce your utility costs to save money. For example:
- Lowering the thermostat at night before bedtime and while no one is home
- Turning off all lights once everyone leaves for the day
- Unplugging any devices that are not currently in use
The latter can yield surprising savings. When appliances are plugged in, they consume energy even if you’re not actually using them, so over time the savings can add up.
4. Use the 48 Hour Rule When Shopping
Any time you think about buying an expensive item, ask yourself if you really need it. If, after 48 hours, the answer is yes, then buy it. When you force yourself to wait before making an expensive purchase, impulse buying is reduced and you’re more likely to spend money on what you really need.
With the right planning, your post-divorce financial situation can be comfortable and conducive to your future independence. At Freed Marcroft, we support the future success of our divorce clients by reviewing their needs and goals. We also help them obtain the settlement and/or support they require to accomplish both. To speak to a team member about your own divorce situation, START HERE.