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How do I budget as a divorced parent?

Caring for your kids financially is no easy feat, but it’s particularly difficult after a divorce. Single parents often find themselves struggling to make ends meet, which can have all sorts of ramifications. While it can be difficult to create a budget for you and your family after a divorce, the following tips from TheBalanance.com can set you on the right path.

Figure out shared debt

It’s not uncommon for spouses to have credit cards or bank accounts in both names. These arrangements can prove challenging after a divorce, especially if your ex-spouse is reluctant to pay his or her fair share. In this case, the balance your ex owes should be transferred to a personal credit card to prevent confusion. If you continue to share finances and your ex fails to pay, both of your credit scores will be impacted.

Create a budget for recurring expenses

A household budget will help you stay on track financially. To create a budget, begin by making spending categories, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, car, food, entertainment, savings, and any other recurring expenses you can think of. After inputting amounts into each category, take a look at where your money is actually going. If you find that it's hard to pay bills each month but you spend an exorbitant amount on entertainment, it’s time to make some financial changes.

Schedule financial meetings (with yourself)

The work isn’t over once you’ve established a budget. Check in on your finances on a weekly or monthly basis to determine if tweaks are needed to your financial plan. For instance, if you’ve recently paid off one debt you can now reallocate that money to savings. If you notice any pending bills and currently have the funds, consider paying them now. Regulars check-ups will allow you to maintain control of your finances, which will create a better future for you and your kids.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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