Creating a monthly budget can help you reign in your finances when you are going through a divorce. This can be incredibly helpful to keep you on track and ensure you don’t end up racking up debt on your credit cards. It also helps you keep moving towards your financial goals in a positive direction.
Your first step is going to be evaluating what your total net income is. Many people make the mistake of thinking about their income before taxes as their take-home pay when in reality you have to consider that taxes, social security, benefits, and retirement savings are taken out of your gross monthly income before your money is deposited into your bank account. The number you want to use is the number you get after all of these things are taken out of your paycheck.
Take a month to track your spending and at the end of the month categorize all of your expenses. Things such as gas, utilities, and your rent/mortgage are necessities that must be accounted for monthly. Things such as groceries and your cable bill can be categorized as adjustable’s. These are items that you could probably economize your spending with if need be. Finally, you have your expendables. These are items such as dinners out or the movies, these are items that you could eliminate and are not necessary spending.
During this month take the time to focus on what your financial goals are. Do you want to contribute to your retirement fund? Are you trying to pay off a credit card? Do you need to save for a down payment for a new home? Answer these questions for yourself so you know how to prioritize your spending and your budget.
Now you can go in and see after your necessities how much extra money you have left to spend. Here you can make adjustments to your list of expendable items first and then work towards lowering your adjustable’s as well so that at the end of the month you have enough left over to put towards your financial goals. By making these adjustments to your budget and sticking to them you are able to move steadily in the right direction.
*If you had retirement funds when you were married that when you divorced resulted in a QDRO, our attorney Ashley Balicki can help you with the division of those assets. She is specially qualified to help with these financial matters. Call Divorce Matters at 720-542-6142 to schedule a consultation with her today.