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Fresh Start: A Post-Divorce Action Plan

Fresh Start: A Post-Divorce Action Plan

June 07, 2024

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally charged and stressful event. Aside from the emotional toll, there's often the challenging task of disentangling finances and assets, a process that frequently leaves many divorcees in a precarious financial situation. However, it is essential to remember that this is not the end of the road—with a comprehensive strategy, you can rebuild your finances post-divorce. Here is a guide for divorcees seeking a fresh start for their finances.

1. Establish a new budget

The first step to rebuilding your financial health post-divorce is to assess your new financial reality. It's vital to thoroughly understand your income and expenses and establish a new budget based on these figures. A new budget allows you to adjust spending accordingly, save money where you can, and prioritize your expenses. Including future financial goals—retirement savings, children's education, or a down payment on a home—in your budget is also essential.

2. Cut down on unnecessary expenses

Divorce usually means moving from a dual-income lifestyle to a single-income household. Therefore, some lifestyle adjustments may be necessary, at least temporarily. Review your recurring expenses and identify areas where you can cut back. These could include gym memberships, cable subscriptions, or dining out. Trimming these expenses creates room in your budget for savings, expenditures, and an emergency fund.

3. Update your financial documents

During marriage, many couples list each other as beneficiaries on various financial accounts—from employer retirement savings plans and life insurance to savings accounts. Once you are officially divorced, you must promptly update all these documents to reflect your new marital status. Also, revisit your will and, if you have one, your estate plan, and make necessary changes.

4. Monitor your credit

Due to joint debt or missed payments, your credit score can be damaged during divorce proceedings. A low credit score might hinder your ability to rent a new place, apply for a car loan, or even secure a job. Therefore, you should keep an eye on your credit report, make sure there are no errors, and take steps to rebuild your credit if necessary.

5. Seek professional financial guidance

Navigating through the intricacies of financial management post-divorce can be complicated. It's often beneficial to seek support from financial professionals. They can assist in creating an economic recovery strategy based on your circumstances and long-term financial goals.

6. Invest in yourself

The period immediately after divorce is an excellent time to invest in yourself, particularly in advancing your career. Career growth could mean returning to school, pursuing further training, or starting a business. Investing in yourself may include taking self-improvement, nutrition, or specialized health courses, which can significantly improve one's health and confidence.
Rebuilding your finances post-divorce can be challenging, but with planning and resilience, it is possible. Keep your goals in mind, focus on long-term financial independence, and use these tips to get a fresh start for your finances. 

Important Disclosures:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This article was prepared by Fresh Finance.

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