5 Budgeting Tips for Divorced Dads

 Posted on November 12, 2020 in Single Dad Survival

divorced dad budgeting tipsGetting a divorce can wreak havoc on your finances. The costs involved in separating your life from your spouse can be significant, especially if you will be moving to a new home, setting up utilities, and purchasing items such as furniture or cooking utensils. When you add in the legal costs involved in the divorce process and any child support or spousal support payments that you will be required to make, you may wonder how you will be able to support yourself on a single income. Fortunately, with the proper financial preparation, you can determine how to live comfortably while meeting your needs and continuing to be a great parent for your children. Creating a workable budget is crucial during this time, and it can give you reassurance that you will be able to maintain financial security both right now and in the future.

Things to Keep in Mind When Creating a Budget

  1. Fully document your income and expenses - Tracking the income you earn and everything you spend money on will help you form a complete picture of your financial situation. Understanding the net income you take home after taxes, health insurance premiums, and support payments that are deducted from your paychecks will let you know how much you have to work with. You can then look at everything you spend money on, including food, utilities, rent or mortgage payments, car insurance, life insurance, gas or transportation, clothing, entertainment, medical expenses such as doctor visits or prescriptions, and expenses related to your children, such as school fees, extracurricular activities, clothing, or toys. Fully understanding all aspects of your finances can help you make sure you will be able to cover your ongoing expenses.

  2. Determine where you can cut back - As you adjust to your new financial situation, you may begin to look at the steps you can take to reduce your expenses. This may include cooking at home more often instead of eating out, utilizing sales and coupons when shopping for food or clothing, or foregoing expensive purchases for the time being.

  3. Consider additional sources of income - If you’re struggling to pay all of your expenses, you may want to look at ways you can earn money in addition to your regular job. A part-time job in which you work some extra hours in the evenings or on weekends can provide you with some extra spending money. You may also consider “gig economy” work such as driving for Uber or Lyft in your spare time. This can be a great solution for a flexible schedule that will allow you to work around your scheduled parenting time with your children.

  4. Set aside money for savings - If possible, you’ll want to try to save some money so you can have cash on hand if the need arises. This can help you address unexpected expenses such as car repairs and ensure that you can buy holiday or birthday gifts for your children. The money you have saved can also be helpful if you need to return to court to make modifications to your divorce decree.

  5. Focus on spending time with your children rather than spending money - During and after your divorce, you may be tempted to spoil your kids due to guilt about spending less time with them or out of a desire to make sure they feel positive about their relationship with you. However, buying expensive toys or taking them on vacations is likely to give them unrealistic expectations while also causing additional financial problems. Instead of spending large amounts of money, you can focus on spending quality time with your kids, participating in their activities, and letting them know that you will always be there in their lives.

While figuring out your finances as you embark on your post-divorce life can be challenging, following these tips can help you prepare for a successful future. An experienced family law attorney can help you make the right decisions that will allow you to maintain financial stability once your divorce is complete.



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