Divorce or separation can be quite daunting, particularly from a financial perspective. When two people commence a relationship or marry, they often merge their assets and income. When they separate, it can put a strain on the parties financially as they each move on to support households on their own. When parties go through a separation or divorce, in most cases, adjustments will need to be made to expenses. Financially, life will not be the same as when you were married, but you can look forward to finding your independence. This can be a harsh reality for some people, especially if they have been used to a certain standard of living.
The best way to get back on your feet financially after separation and divorce is to create a new budget; this way, you know where you stand.
CREATING A BUDGET
To create a budget, you first need to work out your income. To do this, add the various sources of income that you receive each week, fortnight or month. These may include:
- Spousal maintenance;
- Child support;
- Centrelink benefits.
You may have other sources in addition to those listed above. Add them all together and write the figure down as a monthly total income.
The second step involves calculating your expenses (or outgoings). These may include:
- Rates and water charges;
- Daycare/school fees;
- Electricity and gas bills;
- Car fuel/insurance/registration/maintenance;
- Phone/internet bills;
- Home and contents insurance;
- Health insurance.
This is not an exhaustive list. You may have other expenses that need to be included. Be sure to factor in all of your expenses (weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, yearly and ‘other’), as there is nothing worse than receiving your car registration renewal notice and having no money set aside to pay it.
Living under two roofs instead of one will be more expensive, but once you know how much money you’ve got coming in and where it needs to go, you can make a plan. By sitting down and working out your budget, you can make the necessary changes to build a better financial future. You will also know for a fact, what your financial position will be after separation so that you are not in the dark.
What if my income doesn’t cover my expenses?
If your income exceeds your expenses, you might need to reassess your current lifestyle and tighten the budget.
HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS:
- Downsize your home;
- Buy a more fuel-efficient car;
- Shop more frugally and look for bargains;
- Shop around for your insurance;
- Cut Foxtel/internet;
- Get a housemate.
Sometimes being more aware of your expenses and knowing your limits can make a big difference to your lifestyle. Budgeting is a great way to take control of your financial future.
Don’t wait another day to get the legal advice you need. Book a family law consultation free with our family law solicitors gold coast and Brisbane now.