When I was Suddenly Single, it was like a grenade had gone off. You’re disoriented, with good reason. And whether you realize it or not, you’re going through some huge, emotional upheaval.
And that’s why I’m offering these tips on what to do about your finances when you’re trying to hold on. Try these for starters –
One: Start an emergency savings fund of $1000. Sounds nuts at a time like this. But think about it. It’ll give you some cushion for stuff that comes up. Most importantly, it’ll keep you from going crazy into debt. To get to 1K, sell stuff. Shut down the extras. At a time like this, some who are Suddenly Single spend themselves deep into debt, instead of saving, because they feel they “deserve it.” Even a year later, they don’t know where it all went. Again, the grenade factor, which leads me to the next recommendation –
Two: Don’t make any major financial decisions or purchases, if you can avoid it. Good counselors would tell you not to make any major decisions, period, let alone big, money ones. Again, picture yourself in shock. You’re not coming from a position of strength. Here’s how you can do even better than this –
Three: Make sure you prioritize these expenses: Food, Shelter, Utilities, Shelter, Clothing. Then, with these in mind, create a spending plan, aka, a budget. If you’re already working one, congrats! But review your plan in light of your new, Suddenly Single life. Even if you’re thinking, “I’ll remarry soon and it’ll all get better,” you should have a plan, since remarriage is indefinite. (And being brutally honest here – because I’ve been where you are – you shouldn’t even be thinking about a relationship, right now, anyway.)
What if I don’t have a spending plan or have never really lived on one? There’s a place you can go, like I did, to get help on budgeting and getting your whole financial act together. I’m a Financial Peace University (FPU) coordinator, so I’m jaded. But I don’t hesitate to recommend that you find an FPU class and jump in. At this posting, there’s a free trial going on. Get on a budget and know where each of your dollars is going. This will be a major relief, I promise. Additionally, the Ramsey Solutions site has loads of resources, including a daily podcast – a gold mine just waiting for you, if you’ll embrace it.