Divorce can be an emotionally difficult experience. Divorce attorneys and therapists agree that women and men who experience divorce, whether they consent or not, suffer with bouts of depression. The same applies to the financial situation. Of the 1.5 million people who filed bankruptcy in 2010, 8% of them indicated that divorce was the cause. Although this is not a high percentage, divorce can negatively alter the family’s finances.
I can attest to this experience. My husband and I divorced almost 10 years ago, and the journey back to financial stability has been a difficult road. I have experienced, job loss, repossession, homelessness, and needed government assistance at times to survive. I was on the verge of filing bankruptcy, but I was able to employ some simple strategies to avoid the process. Proudly, I am now a homeowner, a professor, and business owner, a mother to two college graduates, so I know that recovery is possible.
How do you recover when you are emotionally depressed and financially broke? Below are three practical tips for surviving this tumultuous experience.
- Connect With Your Faith. It is utterly important that you connect or reconnect with your faith. Read, attend Bible study, pray, and journal. I know this seems simple but building yourself up spiritually will help you through those emotionally difficult days. Be sure to surround yourself with non-judgmental people. The last thing you need is to be condemned and judged. Make the first step and just let them know where you are emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Trust me, real believers will love and encourage you back to yourself.
- Take Inventory of Your Finances. I meet women who are divorced and their husbands handled the finances. Being alone or the sole provider or custodial parent now requires they pay bills and develop financial plans for themselves and the children. All I can say is just do it. Start with a budget. A budget requires you to look at all of the income and expenses. A budget will let you know if there is an income problem, or spending problem. Once you determined the problem, you can focus on solutions.
- Hire a Wealth Coach/Financial Professional. Many women fear that a wealth coach is expensive, and they do not have enough money to work with one. I liken this to a fitness coach. For example, if you want to lose weight and have no idea how, or unsuccessful, it may be best to hire an expert. In lots of cases, financial professional’s services are a complimentary part of working with them. A thorough Wealth Coach/Financial Professional will take an unbiased look at your situation, and offer you practical solutions in line with your financial goals. Do not avoid getting a coach in your corner!
- Join a Financial Support/Accountability Group. Some of the women I work with find that this is the first time in decades that they are single and have no idea how to pay bills, develop a budget, or understand credit. A support group can help you understand how to navigate financially after divorce. It can also give you the encouragement you need to forge ahead in this new season. For information about joining the next Financial Accountability Support Group, which begins, November 5, 2017, email: DrApril@Broke-sim.com