3 Financial Considerations To Make in the Process of Divorce
Your financial state does not have to be ruined by divorce. In fact, it can be easy to take charge of your finances by following some of these simple steps:
- Go Through a Professional and Bring Your Documents: There are a couple of documents you are going to want to go over with a professional. For example, your will, which you are going to want to change. It should be reviewed so your spouse is not benefiting off of it. Also, be sure to go over your documents, such as your life insurance policy, 401K, and IRA to ensure that the beneficiaries are matching how you want.
- Think About Health Insurance: If you were getting health insurance through your spouse’s workplace, then health insurance needs must be reconsidered. Are you going to be able to afford your own private health insurance? Are their programs you are eligible for to receive health insurance at more affordable costs? This is something you can discuss with your financial planner specializing in divorce and figure out how you might be able to factor these new costs into your budget.
- Get Statements for All Debts: Any debt that you are tied to with your spouse, even if they were the one making payments on it, you are still responsible for those payments being made if you were a co-signer. This includes statements for the mortgage, credit cards, the car, and more. You want to work towards separating these accounts, but also ensuring that they are being paid for in the meantime so it does not affect your credit, which can only damage your financial plan post divorce.
Taking charge of your financial situation in the process of your divorce can certainly empower you and make this life transition easier on you not only financially, but emotionally, as well.
3 Ways to Handle Difficult Conversations in a Relationship
Sometimes being in a relationship requires having a difficult conversation. Every counselor knows that ignoring or avoiding difficult issues in a relationship can actually be more detrimental to a relationship than an argument may be. However, figuring out exactly how to have these kinds of conversations can be problematic. Here are 3 things you can do to make those difficult conversations successful.
Be direct and State the Facts
When having a difficult conversation it is important to focus on what matters most. Be direct and stick to the facts by focusing on exactly what happened and why it created a problem. Usually when the focus of the conversation is on the facts, the other party is less likely to feel attacked and will react better. Hopefully, by being direct and sticking to the facts, you will be able to end the conversation on a good note.
Control Your Emotions
Often you must be prepared for difficult conversations to become emotional. Sometimes your partner has been anticipating the conversation and they handle things very well. But at other times, it can be completely unexpected, and an emotional outburst, whether from anger or sadness, can be common. Be sympathetic but don’t forget or change your message simply because your loved one has become emotional. Your message is important and shouldn’t be compromised because you are surprised or upset by their emotions. These unexpected emotions can be difficult to handle, but often you are as emotionally invested in the issues as your partner is. Therefore, it is paramount to the success of the conversation, and your relationship, that you control your emotions.
End with a Solution
Any challenging conversation should have a purpose. Usually when a difficult conversation is necessary, it is because something our partner is doing is causing problems or bothering us. Therefore, when having those difficult conversations, our goal ought to be finding a solution to the problem. When handled appropriately, your partner will understand that it’s not a personal attack but that you are just honestly trying to find a solution. After understanding this, they are often as motivated to find a solution as you are.
Dealing with these difficult situations and conversations are never fun, but by remembering these 3 things we can ensure that our challenging conversations are less controversial and have better results.
Couples and Relationships: 4 Things Couples Should Shape Up Their Mutual Finances
Handling your finances is one of the biggest metrics that determine when you’ve reached adulthood in the eyes of society, your parents, and potential romantic partners. Not having your finances in order is also something that can cause unwanted tension in a relationship, Living paycheck to paycheck has a sort of grunge appeal for those who like the starving artist lifestyle, but anyone who’s been on that diet for a while will recommend getting your act together in a big hurry.
So, whether you’re just starting a relationship, or you’re thinking about popping the question, here are 4 finance basics every couple needs to have on lockdown.
Unless your wages are so low that you use check cashing services exclusively (which is a reality for a lot of people out there), you probably use a bank. And while you might think, “what’s the big deal? A bank is a bank,” they really aren’t all the same. For starters, ask if your bank requires a minimum balance to keep your account open. Look at the kinds of overdraft fees they charge, and ask if there’s an annual service fee. Lastly, if you have a money market account, or a savings account, look at what sort of interest your bank is giving you. You might be getting screwed without even thinking about it.
We all know how bills work. They show up in the mail, you send them a check, and everyone’s happy. However, you might be paying a lot more for your bills simply because you’re not looking at them. For example, if you are paying a monthly car insurance or medical insurance bill, see how much money you’d save if you bought your insurance in 6 month intervals instead. That can take a chunk out of your savings for right now, but that hole will fill in pretty quickly over the next six months. Ask your power company if they give you a discount for enrolling in an automated bill paying plan, and see if your Internet provider can cut you a deal on your package. A lot of the time you can spend less just by asking.
If you had economics in school, you know how budgeting works. You sit down, figure out how much money you make a month, and then figure out how much you spend. If you know your gym membership is $19.99 a month, you put that in your budget. If you know your Internet is $39.99 a month, you put that in your budget. Fill out all the things that are a solid fee every month first.
Once you have your known values, you assign the variables. For example, sometimes your power bill is $25, and sometimes it’s $50. You’re better off assuming that it will be $50, because that way you have money left over at the end if it’s low. The same goes for your fuel costs, and any other costs that are central to your life. After that’s figured out, you assign a value to everything else. That’s food, clothes, savings, entertainment, etc.
A word to the wise; don’t budget down to the penny if you don’t have to. A flexible budget is a forgiving budget, and you should be able to cover costs as you need to. Small costs, like a hike in gas prices or needing to get a new pair of shoes for work, anyway. Bigger costs will have to come out of savings.
#4: Plan Long-Term
This one doesn’t start with a B, but it’s no less useful. One of the keys to financial success is being able to plan for long-term goals in your life. For example, rather than buying a cheap $20 pair of work shoes every two months, buy a $60 pair of work shoes that will last for several years. Rather than buying fast food for lunch every day, buy bulk food you can eat for weeks.
A lot of this seems like common sense, but it’s surprising how much money we save once we start knuckling down on our in-the-moment pleasures, and keep our eyes on the long-term prize.