Your Relationship with Money
What is your relationship with money? Money is an emotionally charged word in any language. We love it when we have it and hate it when we don’t! From a logical point of view it’s a simply a form of exchange. In your own mind it’s probably so much more. It’s meaning is frequently affiliated with lifestyle, identity and freedom. It’s common to feel you have more choices and opportunities when your resources are abundant. Divorce changes your relationship with money at some level and often changes your standard of living. Without a doubt it increases personal accountability for your own financial well-being.
It’s tempting to ignore the financial reality of divorce and hide from making decisions. Confronting your financial reality head on will be a tremendous help to you as you move towards building a new life. The best way to begin to understand where you stand financially is to sit down and look your monthly expenses. Include all of your expenses, your mortgage payment, monthly credit card payments, school lunch and field trip money etc. Don’t forget to factor in expenses that come due an an annual or semi-annual basis such as life insurance payments and car tags. Compare your expenses to the amount of money that you have coming in each month. If there is a shortfall in income look at areas of your life where you can trim your expenses. You may need to make dramatic changes like downsizing your home to reduce your expenses. On the other hand you may only need to make changes on a smaller scale; such as clipping coupons and becoming a dedicated bargain shopper. This is the time to prioritize and decide what you can let go of for now.
Also important is to think about your long-term financial security. If you have money that was awarded to you in your divorce settlement, decide how you can best make that money work for you. Contact a financial planner who can suggest financial strategies to maximize what you have to work with. A financial planner can forecast how long your money will last based on your short and long term goals and looking at your overall financial picture.
At this point you are in a position to make decisions about how you are going to move forward. You are in charge of how you will handle your money . This may seem overwhelming but look at it as an opportunity to flex your muscles of new independence! How can you maximize what you have? This kind of thinking creates a wider variety of choices and opportunities. You will set yourself up for success in making wise choices based on the strategies outlined here. One example would be to invest in further education to increase your marketability in the workforce and increase future earnings.
Some women have never balanced a check book let alone made an investment decision. If you have never dealt with finances don’t panic. It’s OK! Enlist help from a trusted friend or family member. Your friends and family want to know how to help. Choose someone with good financial skill sets and ask them to sit down with you and go over your budget . You’ll will find , as you learn more , that it’s a lot easier than you think!
Whether you have had a good or a less than ideal relationship with money in the past, now is the time to take charge of your finances and improve your long term relationship with money . Start now and confront your current financial reality by gathering all the information you need to make decisions that work for you. By taking charge of your financial future, you will find that you will not only develop a feelings of self confidence and independence over time but also create new possibilities for your future.
Nichole is an authorized facilitator of the NOW WHAT? 90 Days to a new life direction program. For more information contact Nichole at firstname.lastname@example.org