What can you do to make and save money when you are newly single?
Suddenly becoming single, whether you made the choice or not, can heavily impact your finances. I have been divorced after 8 years of marriage (I left an abusive relationship). Later, my on again off again boyfriend of 3 years and I finally called it quits (almost 2 years ago). Both times were different but each time required financially rebuilding my life.
While it wasn’t easy, there is a lot you can do if you’re in this situation. Also, while it might not sound great, it is a good idea to always be prepared. I recommend having a squirrel fund (money stashed away), being smart with your money and knowing what to do, just in case.
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1. Protect Yourself
Whatever the circumstances are that brought you here, protect yourself. Get financial advice. Lock the accounts down. Seek legal advice if you need. Money and the end of a relationship can bring out the worst in people. While you might have had everything together and they say it will be split fairly, the chances are it won’t.
Protect yourself and your interests first. This doesn’t mean you need to get nasty. Be factual, know your rights and be smart. Never trust the other person to ‘do the right thing’.
My marriage was abusive and some of that got quite messy when splitting. Worse was the second relationship. He really screwed me financially with promises that never eventuated. When I tried to get him to pay me back or be fair about money, he got extremely angry and it turned nasty quickly.
2. Remove Everything That Is Joint
If you don’t already have your own account, get one. Switch your pay and anything else to this account instead of the joint account. Look at the debts and bills. Remove your name from anything you will no longer be responsible for. For example, if you have moved out of the house, take your name off the electricity and other bills.
While you’re at it, redirect all your mail and update your address on everything. Check your credit history too. I’ve heard of numerous people who end up with debt they didn’t know about because their partners took it out in their name. It’s easy to do online now if you have someone’s ID.
When it comes to superannuation and the rest of your finances, get it sorted legally. You don’t have to use lawyers but be sure to finalise it all so you don’t get stung later.
3. Go Easy On Yourself
Ok, with the two big practical things sorted, be sure to go easy on yourself. Breakups are hard. Allow yourself time to grieve and sort through your new life. You don’t need to make rash decisions or throw out everything connected to them immediately. Do what works for you.
Get therapy if you need to, go out with friends, focus on self-care, read books, listen to podcasts and work through whatever you need to.
My Post Divorce Self
For me, after my separation and divorce, my life was messy. We ended up homeless for a while and eventually moved back to Canberra to rebuild. That stage of my life was intense. I share a lot of it and how I managed on my other site.
During this time, my focus was making enough money to support my daughters and myself, as well as moving to Canberra. Then I focused on helping others, raising money for charities and building a company.
My Post Boyfriend Breakup Self
After my breakup with the now ex-boyfriend two years ago, I took the time for myself. I read about addictions (specifically, loving an addict and healing from codependent relationships since he was a full on alcoholic and later I found out also doing cocaine).
Books such as Women Who Love Too Much (only $3.99 and all women should read it), feminine energy groups on Facebook, my family and podcasts helped a lot. Learning to love me again, my own interests and needs came first.
After a trip to the Solomon Islands, where I was disconnected from the world and had time to think, I decided to dedicate the year to myself. In 2019, I made it the Year Of Me and set about doing all the things I had always wanted to do. As a result, I lost weight, increased my finances, travelled a lot, made new friends and finally have the life I always wanted.
4. Focus On You
What do you love and what parts of yourself did you lose in your relationship? Get back into your own hobbies, get active, focus on your health and do things for yourself. Last year, I learnt to dive, hiked through Slovenia, started surfing, hiking and other activities again.
5. Find Other Ways To Make Money
Going from two incomes, if you combined them, to one can be a shock. Look at ways you can make money without too much effort to make up the difference. Rent out a room, rent out your garage, sell things or try renting out your car. Check out 43 ways for single mums to make money and how to become a millionaire, even as a single mum.
6. Avoid Relationships
Not permanently! Take the time you need to heal from this one before jumping into another. Know what you want in your life, get your finances sorted, be clear on your goals, lifestyle and if you have kids, their needs.
Get professional counselling if you need – both for your mental health and financial counselling. Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.
7. Check Your Will
And superannuation beneficiaries. Often if we are in a long relationship, these things get changed so they are the beneficiary. Change that asap!