Learn how to manage your house, your bills and your kids ... on just one income.
What gives me the right to teach you about household budgeting? Well, I've been there and done that. And as the saying goes: "I've got the T-shirt." After 18 years of marriage, it was over. Why it was over doesn't matter. Whose fault it was doesn't matter. That was part of my "moving on."
It took me a while to get to this conclusion. I went through all the emotions — anger, fear, resentment, acceptance, etc. I lost a lot of confidence in myself ... if he didn't want me, who would? I spent a lot of time thinking about what happened, not so that I could place blame, but to understand and learn from it. 10 Lessons I Learned From My Divorce
In the middle of this soul-searching journey, and being mother and father to my two young children, of course the bills had to get paid. How was I going to do a budget with only one income? How could I do this without drastically affecting the lifestyle my children were used to?
I have been saving for retirement since I was 18 years old, so that definitely had to continue ... monthly deposits right off my paycheck. Then of course, I needed to budget for the necessities — mortgage, heat, electricity, car, food, etc ... I was doing ok so far. I also, made sure I gave to those less fortunate. Again, right off my paycheck and only a few dollars if that's all I could afford at the time.
I was also sure to gave myself and my children a treat. Every year I saved all my income tax return money and from that, we went away for spring vacation. We all needed a break and rather than change my paycheck to pay more taxes every week, I learned to live with a little less so we could have a big payout at tax time.
The single most important thing I did, my "Aha moment," to stay on track financially even though I was down to one income, was to be very frugal. I only went to the store if I needed something and only bought what I needed. If it was not a necessity, I talked myself out of buying it. I would always say, "Do I really need this?" If the answer was no, I did not buy it.
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