No matter how you slice it, divorce is not for the faint of heart. From finding a divorce attorney to sorting out the division of assets, divorce can financially burden even the most budget-savvy women. But even though the “D” word can feel like the end of the world, it’s far from it. In fact, divorce marks a new beginning. And if you invest in yourself, there are ways to start over financially after divorce to become a better version of yourself.
Regaining a sense of your finances following a divorce can be challenging, especially if you have kids or other relatives who depend on you for care. Fortunately, you can take charge of your life with the help of a few tips. If you want to learn how to create that better life for yourself, here are five ways to start over financially after a divorce:
1. Evaluate your finances.
The divorce process can be quite costly. Plus, starting from scratch financially can be downright depressing. But fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. To get your finances back on track, thoroughly assess your financial situation by creating a budget, reviewing your assets, and going over your debts. Understanding your new reality is the first step toward creating a healthier financial future.
2. Set Realistic Goals
It’s common for people to experience low self-worth and even depression following a divorce. This can make getting out of bed for work feel near impossible. For a quick pick-me-up, list financial goals you’d like to accomplish this year, from getting a promotion to paying off debt. Setting goals for yourself gives your mind something more productive to think about. Plus, crushing your goals is the perfect way to boost your self-esteem.
3. Start an emergency fund.
Emergencies happen, and when they do, it’s best to be prepared, especially as a single woman. To best equip yourself, consider building an emergency fund with at least six months’ worth of rent and other living expenses. This way, you can easily cover lodging, unexpected medical bills, car repairs, or other expenses that can arise without warning.
4. Establish your credit.
If you’re used to sharing finances with your former spouse, establishing your own credit can be daunting. But to turn your finances around, having good credit is a must. To build your credit, consider making small, regular payments on a credit card or loan.
5. Build your support system.
The divorce process comes with a rollercoaster of emotions, making it easy to make irresponsible financial decisions without thinking. For this reason, it’s important to surround yourself with people who can help guide and support you through the process. You can join a support group for divorcees or participate in a discussion with other women also going through a divorce. The point is to find and lean on friends and family members who can help uplift you during this trying time.
The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.