If I say the word “budget”, how does it make you feel? Having a plan and purpose for every penny gives you complete control — and here’s why that’s so important after divorce.
In today’s episode of Your Money Minute with Tracy Stewart, CPA, I want to talk about how to start a budget after your divorce. If you’ve never budgeted, you’re definitely not alone.
Starting a budget can feel clunky and unfamiliar. Sometimes you have n no clue what numbers to plug in, how to track your spending, what goals to set… But it’s all about developing good, healthy habits regarding your money. Good habits take time to establish, so take it easy on yourself as you make the changes necessary. Divorce is all about change, right? You’ll absolutely get there, I have no doubt!
For a while, I was the lady carrying around a little notebook in my purse to track every time I swiped a card or spend a penny. I used this to track my expenses so my budget could get even more realistic with time. I eventually started using a credit card for all expenses, so I could more easily track and categorize them. (Reminder: This will ONLY work if you pay the card off at the end of each month. Don’t get yourself into debt and use the excuse that your money lady said you needed to do it for your budget!)
One last thing: You have to write down your budget. Don’t do this in your head — that’s not good enough. It has to be on paper, it has to be on purpose. The more you get into the nitty gritty of your dollars and cents, the better you can predict, prepare, protect and prosper.
Financial independence is unbelievably liberating. A budget keeps you honest and on track to reach your financial goals. Start developing strong money habits now, and set yourself up for financial security for the rest of your life.
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