Getting back on your feet after a broken relationship is never easy. You not only have to get back on your feet mentally and emotionally but financially as well. When you’re in a long-term relationship, both of your lives become intertwined, and learning how to live independently can take some time. But just because your relationship failed, it doesn’t mean your finances should as well. Here are a few tips on how to recover financially after a separation.
Assess your Credit Situation
The very first thing you should do is check your credit. You should check for any joint account you had together, and see which ones appear on your report. If you see any errors or issues with your credit report, contact the bureau who you got it from.
You can get a free copy of your credit report from all three major bureaus. If there are any issues or mistakes, they have an easy set of procedure you can follow to correct them. Just one mistake could have a disastrous effect on your credit, so make sure that you don’t take this step lightly. This will also allow you to identify accounts you no longer need and close them.
List your Creditors
Now that you have your credit report, you should start making a list of all your creditors. Make sure that you include both your unsecured and secured creditors. Secured debt is debt that is guaranteed by collateral, like your home or a car, for instance. Negotiation on your assets and debt will have to be done by both parties, however.
Speaking of assets, you should start thinking about liquidating some of your assets if you’re desperately strapped for cash for the moment. You should consider selling any wedding or engagement ring that you have. You can easily find a business you can sell your engagement ring to. Some will allow you to bypass wholesalers and have money in your hand in less than 24 hours, so you should definitely consider this option.
Start a Budget
If you didn’t have a clear budget already, there is no better time to start than now. Whether you like it or not, you probably won’t be able to afford the same lifestyle now that you’re separated. You have to reassess all of your expenses and make sure that you stick to a strict budget from now on. A budget should have clear sections for both your discretionary and mandatory expenses. This will mean that you’ll have to make some tough choices when it comes to discretionary expenses. If you’re the party receiving or paying child support, you’ll have to take that into consideration as well. If you’re the person paying, then know that payments are not infinite and will stop at some point, so factor this into your budget as well. They also can be amended at a later time.
Look at Housing Options
Now that you’re single, you’ll have to re-evaluate your housing options. This could mean selling or refinancing the house. You may want to downsize the house if you have custody and believe you won’t have the means to pay for the home.
Plan for the Future
Your next step should be to start on an emergency fund so that you’ll be ready in case something happens. You should also update your will immediately and make the changes necessary. You’ll also have to consider closing some of your credit card accounts and review your insurance coverage as well.
Just because your relationship is in shambles, it doesn’t mean your finances should be as well. Take the steps needed to get back on track both emotionally and financially.