The papers are signed, the ink is barely dry and suddenly you are faced with the question WHAT NOW? You may have been a stay at home parent, or maybe you worked part time or for a lower wage because you could depend on two paychecks coming in. But now it’s not two paychecks, it’s back to yours and mine, not ours. This can be a scary reality. But it’s important to look at this as an opportunity. Hopefully you hired a Divorce Financial Professional such as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and your financial future looks bright. This is a chance for you to start fresh.
One of the first things you should do is make a budget. You may have to make some uncomfortable adjustments in your lifestyle. Maybe you needto scale back on your purchases, bring your lunch instead of going out, choose to have either Netflix OR Hulu, shop at Whole Foods a bit less, etc. These changes can be uncomfortable at first but over time you’ll be happier and less stressed financially. Remember CHANGE IS GOOD.
This is a good time to explore future career goals. Think about going back to school or researching a new job. Many people fear going full force into a career because they have children or they feel they are too inexperienced. Your kids will grow up and leave the nest before you know it and how can you ever get experience unless you get it?
It’s also time to reevaluate your retirement accounts; are you contributing enough money for your future? Be sure to change the beneficiaries on all your accounts. Don’t forget about your insurance policies and be sure to update your will and any powers of attorney. You most likely had your ex listed and it’s something you probably want to change.
Take it one step at a time and be gentle with yourself. While it’s important to grieve, it’s also important to move fully into your new self. Stand tall in the decisions you make moving forward, this is the new you and this is your new life!