Your upcoming divorce implies that you will be in charge of managing your money. This may or may not have been an area in your partnership where you and your ex worked very well together. Unfortunately, many women defer the management of their money decisions to their husbands. It may seem difficult to understand since women make the majority of consumer purchasing decisions for a household.
The older I get the more I realize how much responsibility it is to raise kids, work outside of the home and also run a household. The expectations of us as women and mothers are pretty high. The final and real power lies with how your money is actual spent and how your money is actual invested. Relinquishing that control to your husband can leave him with the power in the marriage. Because of divorce, in most cases you are now taking back that power.
One of the goals of WomenMoneyandDivorce.com is to both educate and prepare you for your independence. I don’t want to frighten you or add any additional stress or pressure—I want to help you be able to deal with some of the real issues associated with managing your money.
You need to take a look at all your income sources:
- weekly paycheck
- childcare support
- alimony payments
- investment income
Then you need to look at your fixed expenses:
- mortgage payment/ home equity line/real estate property tax/or rent
- auto/homeowners insurance, car payment
- kids education/childcare
- everyday expenses such as dining out, entertainment, exercise, coffee, vacations, gifts, etc.
Finally, make a list of what your flexible or discretionary expenses are.
P.S. Don’t forget to click on our Publications tab for a detailed Income and Expense worksheet that will help you organize and gather this information.
Once you have determined what your income and expenses are, you now have one piece of your financial picture.
The next piece you need to focus on is the overall investment of your money.
- How is your money being saved and invested?
- Are you saving for retirement?
- Does your company offer a match?
- How is it being invested based on your time horizon/age/risk tolerance?
- Are you comfortable in investing in stocks?
- Are you aware of the different asset classes that are available and offer diversification with returns?
- Do you have an Accountability Partner (somebody besides your ex) that can help you wade through these issues? Perhaps a sibling, financial planner or a trusted friend?
We will continue tackling these important issues especially in terms of dealing with money and finances as we go along—so stay with us!