Prepare a Crisis Budget
- How much do you absolutely need to survive? This should not include anything extra, just a roof over your head, food, water, basic bills (water, electricity, trash) and the clothes on your back. This budget is written down so that you have thought it out and know exactly what you need to just survive.
Prepare a Realistic Day-to-Day Budget
- This is more realistic because we all know life is full of opportunities to spend money. This budget should be set so you know how much you can really afford. If you write down your "musts," then write down your priorities and last of all your luxuries (depending on your income luxuries may be anything from a bag of chips to a pedicure!) This way, you can visualize the cost of how you want to live. It is extremely important to live within your means. Make sure you are putting away some money into a savings every month, even if it is only $5.
Avoid the Credit Card
- It is so easy to put it on credit and pay later! This is a trap and should be avoided! You will end up paying more in the end. Budget now. Sacrifice now. You can do it! There are others who are doing it and going through this now, maybe even worse!
Stop the Denial
- It is so easy to believe that everything will work out. Maybe you will wake up tomorrow and your former spouse will want to take you back and start over, maybe you will meet someone new, fall in love quickly and marry and then he/she will provide for you or at least work with you to provide supplemental income! This would be wonderful, but we cannot count on it. Be strong and work hard! Life is full of obstacles that seem insurmountable, but the scriptures teach us that we are capable of doing anything with faith in the Lord.
- 2 Nephi 1:20 And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.
- You may be able to reconcile with your ex-spouse instead of paying more in legal expenses.
- Make sure you are keeping your part of the contract! It is important to your integrity and your children will know and love you for your dedication and keeping your word.
- Make sure if you are the parent receiving the Child Support check that you are using it appropriately and keeping your integrity! Make sure you are providing and bettering their life. Don't act off of guilt or emotion to buy them more than what they need. Children can help save money and use the money wisely. You will be teaching them very valuable lessons, early in life, about budgeting money. Their family will likely benefit from the discipline of saving!
Ideas That Can Help
-Share housing expenses or downsize, If you know someone you could live with that would be ideal because you can share the rent! mortgage (but remember church standards and choose wisely your roommates!)
-What kind of car do you have? Could you get a smaller vehicle with a lower payment or lower gas mileage?
-Avoid eating out and buying prepared foods. It may seem convenient, but over all you will get more from healthy and home cooked meals. It may cost more to eat healthy, but the Lord will bless you with greater health (maybe less doctor visits) and the wholesome foods are more substantial and will nourish you longer! Let people know your needs! Many people are willing to help, but they don't know how. It is ok to let others know what you are in need of occasionally.
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to
you as well." Matthew 6:33
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is
mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. Romans 12:19
Financial Survival -
Things that might happen: Foreclosure - working mom - bread winner - debt, paycheck to paycheck, bankruptcy, children wanting things, holidays, homeless, penniless, etc.
- Practical ideas for financial survival: Abort the divorce if at all possible. If you can get back together and work it out - that would be best, but we understand that may not be an option.
- Crisis budget -live within your means - but what does that mean? Don't wait until you are out on your own to start selling and saving. Financial problems get worse not better because of interest, debt, due date, etc. You gotta grow up and face your circumstances. It's critical you reset your expectations - it will be different. You need to drop your standard of living by 20 - 30%. Magazines sub. - give up this, get rid of that, etc. Cash flow basis. I knew if I sold my house I would have X amount of dollars. Do without things of enjoyment - hairdresser, nails, food, etc. Phil 4: 19, because you save, the Lord will bless you
- Credit is a trap - it should be called a Debt card, not a credit card. If you can't pay full price now - you can't pay the credit card and interest. Cut them up.
- Don't attempt to go it alone -let others know what your needs are. Turn to church, family, friends, etc. You may feel embarrassed, but it may be worth it. Become proactive - you can't let everyone else take over for you - you must work hard, etc.
- Bills start pilling up - don't go into denial. Some people stop opening the mail. They hide it, they avoid it, etc.
- Get financial help - financial advisors, etc. You might need someone to educate you on budgeting. It can be easy, but you may need help. How much do you have to spend? What are you going to spend it on? Budgets can be liberating - you are more free - you will be more prepared and not so afraid to make judgment calls and quick financial decisions if you know what you have - you will know how to handle it. When you write it down, you will see how much you are spending on things and will be surprised!
Budget Busters: What is huge in your budget
- House - renting might be cheaper even though you don't want to give up your home. It can ease expenses, rent out part of your space, share rent, etc. But be careful with roommates - make sure you address all concerns - kids, food, cooking, sleeping late, work ethics, etc
- Car - 15% of your expendable income - Gas, payment, insurance, etc. Something about a new car makes a new divorcee feel refreshed or young again, better looking, etc. 5-6 year old car - not a lot to maintain or fix up, but old enough to be cheaper
- Children - sit down and list their needs and wants. Show them and teach them. Don't be afraid to get real with them.
- Food - avoid eating out! It's expensive at times - but mostly unhealthy! Don't buy prepared foods, microwave food. Preparing your food is the cheapest way to go! It will be hard because you will be busy, stressed and want a quick meal, be cautious!
- Debt you have incurred in the past. Don't slip into denial. Talk with creditors. It might be embarrassed, but they do it regularly, and they would rather work with you and get paid than not at all. They may even forgo the interest. You can use non-profit organizations such as a consumer credit counseling service to assist you in getting out of debt. If you wait too long - they won't work with you and won't negotiate with you.
- Tithing - money you give to God. You can't afford it, well you can't afford not to. Do I trust God or do I just say I trust him. He sees your figures - he knows your needs. Take it from the top - pay it! He will provide - you won't go hungry, without shelter, etc
- Legal Expenses - Don't gamble by going to court - mediate and figure it out in mediation. Child support - your responsibility to the children.
- Tim 5:8. You made a vow when you got married - you didn't keep it, but you must keep the vow to your children - your responsibility.
- Working World - re-enter the work force. Brush up on your education. Get the training! Study and work hard! Free classes are offered. Because the divorce rate has increased, there is more understanding for it. You may be surprised who will help you. Even your boss may pay for more education.
Working more to provide for family, but not spending enough time with family can become a dilemma. The primary breadwinner of the family has changed and now it seems you are choosing finances or parenting. It's easier to provide. You must do both, but it's easy to work a few more hours than to raise children. Remember your relationships are far more important than money!
Always look to the Lord for guidance.
If you are overwhelmed - don't go it alone - God will help you! Have Faith!