Have you sat there, with this feeling of worry? How the F&#k will I survive? Don’t know about you but l knew l needed to move on, it was time, nothing was going to change and if anything, l felt like l had tossed the situation around in my mind for that long, it was exhausting. I was tired, and every day I became increasingly bitter at what my life had become. Was l doing the right thing? Could l fall back in love after everything had been said and done? Maybe l could live in this loveless marriage for the kids? Could I settle for a life which no longer fulfilled me? I continually came up with a reason why I had to stay, yet my stomach and soul told me something different. There was no way l could continue to ignore what l felt, it was affecting my health. Then when you return to reality, the concept of breaking everything up and finalising your relationship feels like a climb to the top of Mount Everest. The mammoth task seems unattainable and the vision of one day being happy again insurmountable. Looking back, l now realise that every marathon starts with a single step! One step at a time and before you know it, you are halfway there. The pain and agony, lessening as the finish line comes into view. The hopes and dreams of a life where the fighting stops and the negative feelings have disappeared, all of sudden encompass you as your partner walks through the door. The kids leave the room as they feel the loveless environment around them and the last thing they want is to witness the two people they love not talking or showing no pleasantries like they once did. The pain of this enough for them to retreat into their bedrooms where everything feels warm, inviting and safe.
‘Whatever you focus on, you will feel and experience at a stronger level’ Tony Robbins.
When you have run out of energy and the decision inevitable, realism hits you like a slap in the face. The apprehension is consuming as you comprehend the need to be self-sufficient if you continue down this path. However, the choice is easy. • Smiles over frowns. • Laughter over fighting. • Happiness over money. • Plans over dreams. Trusting that being on your own and whatever your inner person is telling you, will make everything all right. Trusting that you have the strength, to rebuild on your own. To rely on no one but you! This belief is like a superpower, and when the decision is made, there is no turning back. We need to put on our big girl undies and travel in the direction our dreams are taking us. The thought of one day being full filled and happy drawing us out of the quicksand, our life has become. Eight years on, l will not lie, there were doubts. Worrying late at night about how l would pay the bills and survive. How has this become my existence? What did l do to deserve this? When you change your thinking from Victim to Victor, doors start opening out. Opportunities you never thought possible. Events that would not have occurred if you had stayed because that was easier. Having the strength to leave a marriage and stepping up, to be in control of your future is so empowering. Having the belief that life can be better. Controlling your destiny and pushing yourself to become a person you were once scared of becoming. Here are my keys to survival: The number one issue for us all is Security. Both Emotional and Financial. • Taking control of your finances • Having goals and visions. • Believing in your decisions • Backing yourself • Forgiveness of past mistakes • Stepping outside of your comfort zone. • Willingness to learn. • Not being a victim. • Being true to yourself and finding a purpose. • Believing in your ability to do it yourself
The above is not in any order, but each of these has helped me to become the person l am today. My greatest lessons have come from failures. I now spending my time helping others deal with the complex process of divorce and teaching my clients the lessons others have made, to save them from any more sorrow and heartache. You will go through ebbs and flows of sorrow and happiness. This is normal. Just say strong and know that life will get better. I often refer to the ‘Life Stress Inventory’ and how both Divorce and Separation are two of the Top 3 Stresses in Life. There is a wonderful Ted Talk which may help you understand some of the key reasons why your marriage may have failed but also to understand the drivers to look for in your next relationship.
*Get old before you get married.
*Reliability – have your partner’s back
My future is so bright it makes me giddy with joy. Just because the love of your life was only for a short period rather than a lifetime, doesn’t mean that is wasn’t supposed to be. He/she may have been sent to teach you what you really want out of life and how to go about achieving it. So don’t be bitter but be thankful. Learn from the experience and grow as an individual. I promise life will one day be better, you just need to take it one day at a time.
Life is far too short to live with regret! Here’s to a life filled with possibilities, but first, you must believe in yourself and your vision for the future.
When you’re getting a divorce, it can be so easy to point fingers and blame your spouse for what is happening. But let’s face it, it does take two people to make or break a marriage. You both have to take responsibility and most importantly, understand that the future is bright!
So, why do we point fingers and place blame during a divorce? And how can you overcome this tendency and move forward without tearing down your partner and them tearing you down?
Whether you realise it or not, your divorce is causing you to grieve. Researchers agree that there are five stages in the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Right now you may be engulfed in the waves of emotions that come along with grief. And yes, even if this divorce is something you WANT, you can still grieve.
Chances are, you and your spouse haven’t been happy for a while and it has finally culminated into issues that can no longer be ignored. In fact, your grieving process probably started a long time ago as you realised that your marriage was declining and headed toward separation and divorce. If you have been laying on the couch feeling stuck and depressed, you deserve better…and so do your friends, family and kids.
It’s important to allow yourself to feel these emotions. Don’t fight it, because even negative emotions are natural. The important thing to remember is not to allow your grief to change who you are and how you treat others. It may be that your grief is causing you to lash out and place blame because it feels like that’s the easy thing to do.
Instead, try to relinquish control and allow yourself to be engulfed by your grief. Acknowledge how you feel. Acknowledge where you are in your life. Acknowledge that it just plain sucks, no matter how you look at your situation. And then, rise above your grief and take your first step forward…and before you know it you will have started the process of moving in the right direction.
You Feel Like You’ve Failed
No one likes to fail. Even if you’re placing blame on your spouse, deep down inside you know that it takes two people to make things work – or fail. You know that you have just as much of a part in your marriage failing as your spouse does. We know. It hurts to hear those words. You may even be shaking your head and thinking, “Nope, not me. Not in my marriage!”
But if you really think about it, we’re sure you can think of ways you could have been a better husband or wife. Life is hard. Marriage is hard. It takes work, and a lot of us didn’t realise we were signing up for so much work to make our marriage succeed. At first, it can seem so easy. You’re in love, you have fun, you get along most of the time, and you can laugh off arguments and makeup.
But then you have the same argument 50 more times. Work, kids, sex, bills, extended family and so much more add stress to your marriage. Your daily life becomes mundane and more like a routine. Maybe one of you gains weight. Maybe one of you stops doing as much around the house. Maybe it’s worse than any of that and one of you is unfaithful.
Anger can easily become deeply rooted in your marriage over time. Then one day you think the D-word. Divorce. Then one of you says it aloud. Slowly, slowly things continue to get worse until it feels like there is no other way out. And maybe you’ve given it your all. Maybe you’ve tried counselling. You’ve tried bargaining with one another to each do better.
Society tells us that failure is giving up. In fact, we love to be so very positive and encouraging that we say “The only time you ever fail is if you quit.” And isn’t that what divorce is? Quitting marriage? It’s no wonder that divorce is such a tumultuous subject. No one wants to quit and ultimately fail!
It’s time that we change that perception. Instead of treating divorce as a failure, maybe divorce is a success. You were brave enough to stand up and say “No. This isn’t for me. I made a mistake and it’s time to move forward.” There is so much power in changing the way we view divorce and failure, and we challenge you to overcome the idea that you’ve somehow failed.
It’s Tough to be Accountable
While we stand firm in our belief that divorce doesn’t mean you failed, we also believe that credit should be given where credit is due. And the same goes for blame. We love to point fingers and play the blame game because it takes the focus off of ourselves. It’s like saying “It’s ALL their fault. NOT mine,” without actually using those words.
We love to distract ourselves and others from thinking that maybe we are at fault, too. Just think about it. In any other instance of your life if you make a mistake, even a super obvious one, it’s so hard to be accountable! Our instinct is to make excuses and try to detract from the fact that we messed up.
How awesome would it be if we just raised a hand, owned our mistakes and said, “Yep. I did that. I was wrong.” Marriage is no different. Part of the healing process is acceptance. Not only acceptance that your divorce is in fact happening, but acceptance that you do also have fault in the marriage ending.
Only once you acknowledge this can you begin to move forward. And you don’t have to shout it from the rooftops or hang a sign around your neck. Just accept it in your heart and stop pointing the finger at your spouse. If someone asks what happened, they don’t need details. You’re not required to spill the details of how each of you messed up. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you expected.
It’s Easier to Focus on the Past
We also place blame because that allows us to focus on the past. We can look back and pick apart everything that went wrong. When really, the truth is that the future scares us. When you got married, you had a vision for the future. Now that future is uncertain. Will it be good? Will it be bad? The stress is probably already rising in your chest just thinking about it.
So instead we look back. We try to figure out what went wrong and we try to consider where it all began. How could we have done things differently? Was there a pivotal moment that it all began going downhill? But you cannot change the past! No amount of thinking and calculating will change where you are now. And if you and your spouse have agreed that your marriage is irreparable, then it is time to move forward.
Every time you place blame – even just thinking about it in your head – you drag yourself back into the past and away from the future. And the thing is, the future is imminent. It is coming whether you like it or not. You have to train your mind (and your mouth!) to let the blame go. At first, it may be a real struggle. But over time it will become a positive habit that helps you to move forward. It makes more room in your head to plan for an amazing future.
Understand that it’s Normal
Another struggle with blame is knowing that placing blame is wrong. Every time you open your mouth and say something bad about your spouse, you feel a twinge of guilt. Those feelings just pile on top of all the negative thoughts already in your mind and make it worse.
But blame is so very normal! It’s what you do with those instincts to place blame that matters. It all comes back to accountability and the desire to feel like we haven’t failed. It’s OK to feel the need to place blame, and it’s ok to have weak moments in which you give in and push it all back onto your spouse. It happens, and you’re human.
The important thing is to strive to rise above this tendency. Be purposeful in thinking positive thoughts and feeding your mind with dreams of the future. Think those thoughts full of blame, and then remind yourself that it goes both ways. Vent to a friend and then thank them for allowing you to get your feelings out. Follow up by acknowledging that you also have fault in your marriage ending and that everything will work out exactly how it’s supposed to.
It’s so easy to look at divorce as an ending. It might even feel like your life is over and you don’t have a future. But that’s just not true! It’s time to change your perspective and realise that there is a lot out there that is much bigger than the two of you. You’re just a blip in this great adventure we call life.
That’s not to make you feel like your situation is insignificant. We know that for the two of you, this is the most important thing you may ever have to face. But life is so full of possibilities. We want to help you realise that your life is not ending with this divorce. This isn’t a funeral. You are closing one chapter and beginning another one. Your new chapter is full of blank pages that you can fill up however you wish.
Instead of feeling like life is coming to an end because it didn’t go as expected, start to think of ways you can make your future bright. What goals do you want to accomplish? What will make you smile again and give you joy? Chase those things in your life and get out of your rut – slowly at first, but then with more confidence. Start each day with positive thoughts and a mentality that looks toward the future instead of dwelling in the past and what could have been.
About the author:
Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, and helps facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’
Providing step by step processes which limits cost and conflict.
If you’re facing an imminent divorce, you probably want the process to be over sooner rather than later so that you can separate and move on with your individual lives. While we understand your desire to move quickly, (we’ve been there, too!) it is so important to think clearly and create a plan as you look toward the future.
This is not the time to make rash decisions, and we want to help you streamline the process of divorce. With a clear mind and the ability to truly focus on your future without dwelling on the past, it is possible. That’s why we put together Five Steps to a Seamless Divorce that will help you get to the other side of your divorce with your finances in line and a healthy outlook for the future.
Facing Your Emotions
One of the greatest battles during a divorce is confronting all of the emotions that come along with the decision to get a divorce. Even if you and your spouse decide together that your marriage isn’t working, there are still deep-rooted emotions that span the length of your relationship.
After all, no matter how much you’ve grown apart, you still remember the days that you couldn’t imagine life without your partner. You still remember your wedding day in detail, and probably still very fondly. There are happy, wonderful memories that flash through your head and cause you to smile, even in the darkest moments.
This can be so confusing when you’re also deeply hurt, disappointed and maybe even guilty. You may each feel like you’re giving up, like the other person is giving up and you may even wonder if you’re making the right decision. It’s important to accept that confusion is completely normal, among many other emotions you’re feeling.
And you know what, it’s OK to hold onto those fantastic memories you’ve shared together over the years. Just because things didn’t work out the way you each expected doesn’t take away from the good times you DID share together.
Maybe not right now, and maybe not even next year, but one day you’ll be able to look back and appreciate what you had while you had it…and you’ll also appreciate that you were able to let go and move forward with your life when that chapter ended.
Still, when your emotions are at a peak, and while you’re in the middle of a divorce, it can be very tough to make clear decisions. As we have seen so many times, spouses often just want to get their divorce over with quickly. While quick can be good, you also need time to heal.
And to an extent, these couples are in such a rush that they miss opportunities to begin the mending process. NOW and even save money and make each of their futures better.
If you’re struggling with emotions, and really even if you think you’ve got it all under control, we highly suggest you pursue counselling prior to settling assets. We’re not talking about marriage counselling together to “figure out your problems” because we know that ship has sailed!
We would love to see you pursue individual counselling to help you work through your emotions before making big decisions.
After all, you should never make big, important changes and decisions when you are in the throws of any emotional turmoil. But isn’t that so backwards for a couple getting a divorce? Of course, you’re feeling every emotion possible…but you can’t just wait to get a divorce until those emotions pass. That’s not how it works.
But it IS why we are here. Our Army of Angels includes counselors that can talk to you once, twice or even ten times. They will counsel you for as long as you need to begin healing. They will listen, offer their professional input, feedback from other couples they’ve helped and even their thoughts from personal experiences with divorce. If nothing else, at least you will have someone to open up to who understands what you are going through.
Have you ever heard the first step to solving your problem is to admit that you have one? Well, you may be trying to be strong for your family, friends and kids but now is not the time for that. You don’t have to put on a “brave face” to impress anyone. You owe yourself the chance to begin the healing process NOW instead of when your divorce is finalised.
Counseling can help to get all of your feelings out and work through the emotions before allowing them to impact financial decisions. It is so important to keep your emotions separate from long-term financial decisions, and we can’t stress that enough! You and your partner may be separating, but for now, you still have to work as a team to split your assets in a way that makes the most sense for BOTH of you.
Think About Your Children
If you don’t have children, go ahead and skip down to our next tip. But according to the Australian Institute for Family Studies (AIFS), around 47% of divorces will involved children under the age of 18. So there is a 50/50 chance that someone reading this is divorcing with children still at home.
Knowing that your children are entrenched in your divorce with you and your spouse can deepen the emotions you feel. All of the guilt, anger and sadness you feel is magnified when you think about your children. You probably feel like you’re failing them as a parent.
But consider this, the decision to get a divorce didn’t happen overnight. And even if it DID, the circumstances that led to the decision definitely didn’t. It’s not like you woke up one day and decided to get a divorce because you feel like it. No. Slowly, slowly over time you and your spouse grew apart. Maybe you started bickering more or began spending more and more time apart. Either way, your children have seen these changes. Depending on their ages, they are probably very aware that mummy and daddy aren’t happy together.
So many parents try and stay together “for the kids” and we implore that you consider the other possibility…the possibility that you divorce for the kids as much as you are doing it for yourselves. You kids deserve happy parents who function at 100%. If you’re unhappy in a marriage, you’re definitely not being the best parent you can be to your kids.
So, while it’s important to consider that this affects your kids as much if not more than it affects each of you, please remember that this is for the better. Together, you can show your kids that you’re still a team and you’re both still there for them 100%.
There are many parenting classes available to parents divorcing so that you can learn how to help your kids cope and move forward. You may also pursue individual counselling for your kids with a counselor who specialises in divorce – like those who are part of our Army of Angels.
Know Your Assets and Liabilities
Once you’ve worked through your emotions and cleared your head, you might think your next stop is a lawyer’s office. But it’s not! Before you even talk to a lawyer, you should have a clear picture of assets and liabilities.
Lawyers are experts in law, but that doesn’t mean that they should be making financial recommendations to you.
Instead, set the framework for your divorce in advance of speaking to a lawyer. Know what your entire financial picture looks like. Know what you want the future to look like. It’s so important for you and your spouse to sit down together and review ALL of your assets and liabilities whether they are individual or shared. If this is not possible, do the best YOU can do to put together a financial picture.
Take a look at all loans and outstanding debt, and then look at your savings. This includes superannuation balances and even college savings you’ve set up for your kids, etc. It’s also important to consider each of your individual incomes. And who is currently responsible for which debts until this is sorted? How will you split the assets? Will anyone be paying child support or spousal maintenance based on your individual circumstances and income and how custody will be split?
Many couples go straight to a lawyer’s office to solved all of these dilemmas. But, not you. You’ll have an entire team working to help you – an Army of Angels – that will help you review every aspect of your life. And it doesn’t end there. We will also help you assess what the outcome will be for the future.
When you’re done, you’ll feel a new emotion – relief. You still have a long way to go, but for now, you know how the assets and liabilities will be divided and what’s in store for the future. Then you can go to your lawyer or ours, with a plan in place to streamline your divorce process and your lawyer can help you make it happen from a legal standpoint. This is where our Divorce Roadmap Session answers all those questions.
When we approach the process of divorce, we want to see it streamlined and as amicable as possible – but not rushed or uncontrolled. And there is a difference! If you can work through your emotions and create a plan for the future, there will be a much better outcome for everyone. We want to help you make decisions from a place of love, forgiveness and amicability.
Why do men find women sexy, who can manage a budget?
Budgeting is not sexy at all. Some may even consider budgeting boring. We men and women are different beasts. Women are the nurturers and men the hunters and gathers. We have different interest. What women find enjoyable, some men think is dull and boring.
Have you heard the gents complaining about waiting while their partner is trying on clothes. Why does it take so long? To the extent, that some shopping centres are thinking up ways to keep men entertained. Knowing it will bring in more women shoppers if their partners are happy.
And what men prioritise, we women can find tedious and time-consuming?
I know a man that had to organise his family holiday around a Tuesday night table tennis game. He had played 96 games in a row and wanted to get to ‘100’. They left for their holiday on a Wednesday morning and returned the following Tuesday morning. With just enough time contingency for a delayed flight. Because l don’t want you to worry, he made his game and reached his 100th game.
At Divorce Angel, when talking to our clients, the different sexes seem to show a pattern.
Our research and findings have highlighted two areas men and women think differently. Especially when going through a separation and divorce.
Women’s greatest struggles are related to the children, and we often hear comments like, ‘He is trying to take the children’.
And for men, it is about money and finances.
I overheard a comment while having drinks the other night. There was a group of guys supporting their mate who was having relationship problems. The guys saying ‘All she wants is your money’. And there is no doubt that the girls would be saying, ” He’ll try and get the kids”. These similar conversations occur throughout most relationship breakups.
But if we look back at history, we were all brought up to believe women are the nurtures- being children and the men hunters and gather – being money.
So, why men find women sexy who can manage a budget?
Simple, men worry about money. They go out and (hunt and gather) to get paid and don’t want to see it misused. They want every bit of value out of that hard earned dollar. Think back centuries ago when men would bring back the animal. It would be used for everything from food, to clothing and blankets.
Today, their masculine brain still thinks the same. Whether they are in construction or IT, men still see going to work as a form of protection and security. It pays the bills, it feeds the family and keeps them warm.
Now, please don’t think l am sexist in any way, and l am far from a kept women. I am just explaining this in simple terms.
Bringing this conversation back into the 21st century, we women work as hard as men, some would say harder. Does this sound familiar, working full time and then coming home to look after a family? A single woman in control of her finances is my hero! And it all starts with knowing your numbers. The power and control that comes from knowing your budget can make all the difference to how you live.
Being in control of a budget can make the difference between having a secure future or finding yourself in debt. Having money is empowering. Money gives you choices. Having money gives you freedom. So if you think doing a budget is boring, a waste of time, and there’s no need to do it. I suggest you think again, because knowing at your fingertips your cash position, at any given time, allows you to think differently.
‘Having money is empowering.
Money gives you choices.
Having money gives you freedom’.
Developing a money mindset allows you to think more about investments rather than instant gratifications. It becomes second nature and rather than spending money on THINGS that can give you regret straight after you’ve purchased them, you live within your means and don’t rack up unnecessary debt.
But her is the thing; a budget can make all the difference.
Not only to how you spend money, but how you attract your next partner. That’s right! I am going to tell you the difference it made to me. Being in control of my money, and knowing how much I could spend and I couldn’t spend, was simply the most empowering decision I ever made. You know why….. it is all about control. Control of my money put control back into my life.
After 22 years of marriage, I found myself having to make my own decisions. Shitting myself and being excited at the same time. No longer having to get another opinion or consent as to where money was being spent. Being a single, newly separated or divorced women, it was my job to know and my responsibility to keep control of my budget.
There’s nothing worse than laying in bed at night wondering how you’re going to pay the next bill. Where the rent money is going to come from or how you are going to buy the shoes for the kids? All of those things keeping you up at night.
But when you have a budget, that is in control, and you have rainy day money put aside, I can’t tell you the strength a single woman or man gets from that knowledge. I may make this all sound easy; it is anything but. However, taking control of your money takes time and effort. And you had better start today!
So if you think budgets aren’t sexy, I’d suggest you think again.
The power of controlling your life and knowing you have financial security allows you to walk with your head held high. A swagger in your step and an air of self-assurance. Every man and women in the room will be attracted to your poise and self-confidence wondering why you move light on your feet. Then, when he learns you don’t want him for his money.
You don’t need him to carry your grocery bags or pay your bills, what is left. It all comes down to satisfaction, ladies. And if he isn’t satisfying your needs, then kick him to the kerb, because you are self-sufficient and in control.
About the author:
Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’
She provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict.
Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home.
When you’re single everyone wants to know the secret key to survival. It is even more important when you are going through a separation or divorce. I hate to spill the beans so early, but the answer is simple…..MONEY. And being across your budget, knowing where your money is being spent and how much is coming in each week.
If you are not mathematically-minded that’s okay; you need to simplify your life and your spending, bringing everything back to basics. It is critical that you know how much money is coming in and how much money is going out, making sure funds are left over. It is just a simple math equation. But to get to the answer you need to do a deep dive into your living expenses, and that’s what we’re here to do.
Over the recent weeks, several of our clients have struggled with their financial situation. Simple not understanding the importance of a budget and given it is the end of the financial year, it is a great time to review your spending. Starting this year with a fresh outlook and a plan to get back in the black. It is paramount that your budgets are updated and reviewed if you are separated or are going through a divorce.
You can no longer live as you did before. It is also critical to your emotional health at such a stressful time that you have a clear understanding of where your money is going. So, it’s not just about the money; it’s also about the other factors that come into play and making sure that you feel secure. And security comes from knowing that you have enough money to cover your debts and hopefully a little spare.
Ignoring your financial circumstances is the silliest thing you can do. What you need to do is address the issue straight on, and to do that you have to have a clear idea of how much debt you are in and how much money you are bringing in each week.
Putting your head in the sand and ignoring your position will only make everything worse. And emotionally that is the last thing you need to deal with. But so often finances can be the breaking point when you are dealing with all other kinds of emotional stresses. People think they will leave this till last as they feel there are other more important issues to deal with and they simply don’t have the strength to deal with their money concerns.
‘So obviously if your debt outweighs your income, then you’re in trouble, and the longer this continues, the greater the problem becomes.’
Now, this can be scary, but they say most growth happens in the face of fear. And l can attest to this. If you know, for instance, that your debt is far more than your income, it’s time to put the brakes on right now. If you can’t do this alone, then seek out a professional.
Sometimes just talking to an expert about the state of your budget can make all the difference because you may not be able to see the quick fixes. And l promise there are always quick fixes. You can also locate tools online that can be used and apps that will help you keep track of your expenses and understand where all your money is being spent. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard, ‘I have no idea where my money is going?’
‘You may have heard this all before but be, please don’t ignore the significance of a budget’.
There is no doubt that initially, addressing your spending behaviours can be hard. In my instance, I used to spend money because it made me feel better. Rather than thinking about the unhappiness, I was living.
I would go out and shop for gifts for other people, including myself to try and address the unhappiness that I felt inside my relationship. It also got me out of the house while l ignored the loneliness l felt. Looking back if l stopped ignoring my situation, I could have saved a fortune.
Today, however, my outlook on money is completely different, and I only spend cash on assets that are acquiring in value. It could be that my mental clarity and direction in life has changed. I no longer find it enjoyable to go and spend hours in a shopping centre. Because I don’t have a purpose and a reason to be there or trying to fill a void by buying things that might make me feel better. If only for a short period.
It is so much easier looking in the rear-view mirror, but all I was doing was perpetuating my problems rather than addressing them in the first place. So, no more ignoring your spending, let’s get this under control:
‘Fixing your life doesn’t just mean leaving an unhappy relationship or the shock of being told you are no longer loved. The approach to happiness is holistic and must address every part, so don’t underestimate the power of controlling all areas including finances.’
Step One: ( A position – Income)
Step two is looking at your income and the total of your funds. Here we are talking about income from your job, child support, tax A and B, spousal maintenance or any other including rental income. You may also get a regular bonus or commission from your job. Add this all up. Now you can tackle this one of two ways. Divided by 12 and get a monthly average, or if you want to be more actuate you can do it as per your monthly totals.
Step Two. ( B position – Expenditure)
The first action is to look at where all your money is going. I want you to do a spreadsheet looking back over the last 12 months. Look at where all of your money has gone—so using actual figures. Look at amenities, such as gas, electricity and water. Add each bill up for the last 12 months. Once added together, with a yearly total for each area divided by 12.
(So let’s talk about the gas bill. You’re going to add up the last six gas bills because you get them bi-monthly. Then divide by 12 because there are 12 months, and you’re going to get a monthly figure. This is the total amount you have spent in the last year on gas.)You will do the same thing for electricity and water. Then move on to other expenses such as the internet, vehicle costs, mortgage payments/rent, and so on. Dividing all yearly totals by 12 to get a monthly totally.
Then tackle your food bill. This area has a lot of wastage. Think of the amount of take away coffees and lunches you may buy in a week and times by 52. The total may shock you. Your weekly grocery bill and that sneaky fast food a few times a week. Go over your credit card statement or your debit card and have a look back at actual figures.
Also, review such things as presents. Work out how much you spend every Christmas, how much you spend on birthday presents, how much you spend on Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and presents throughout the year for friends and family. Add that all together and you get a total and divide that by 12.
If you had a credit card, with an outstanding balance, I want you to use the credit card limit for this exercise. For example; let’s say your credit card has a $10,000 limit, but you have $8,400.00 outstanding. I want you to times that credit card limit of $10,000 by 3%. ($10,000 by 3% is $300 or $5,000 by 3% if that is your limit being $150). Now use that 3% figure in your budget. $300 per month is the figure that I want you to use in your monthly. You also need to include any mortgages, car or personal loan repayments at today’s repayment amounts.
‘All of a sudden you have a clear picture of where all your money is going. With calculations done you now have your debt position or expenditure’.
We now have an A position and have just completed your B position.
A position – income
B position – expenditure
Now that magic number, drum roll, please! We are going to work out your C position. Either a negative cash flow or a positive surplus. Let’s take A – B = C
All of a sudden reality hits and for some it may be hard. If you have a negative surplus, straight away you need to stop what you’re doing and address this problem because it will only compound month after month. If you have a positive position, I want you to make sure that it is at least 10% of your wage. This 10% is your rainy day money.
There is a possibility that you are still shaking after finding out your financial truth and feeling a little sick in the stomach. But this is a step in the right direction and kudos to you. Now to address this moving forward, I’ve had many clients who have done some completely outside-the-square thinking. Which has benefited their bottom line.
They’ve sold unwanted clothing on eBay.
I had a client that went through their partner’s garage and took everything that had a price on it back to Bunnings. They ended up getting $10,000—or just under $10,000—in credit notes back from Bunnings.
Selling unwanted furniture, goods, clothes, shoes, camping gear that you haven’t used for years that you can put on your local Facebook group and buy swap and sell.
Renting out your spare room. (One client pays back her monthly mortgage this way)
Selling your hobbies at markets or online.
Sell your car if you work inner city and use public transport or shared vehicles.
There are apps where you can rent out your car to people who don’t have a vehicle.
Get paid to do market research. ( A client of mine get roughly $400 A month)
Become a Customer service rep. ( check this out online for after-hours work).
Baked goods or cater for additional income.
Consider house sitting or moving in with a family member and renting out your home.
Cleaning services or repair person in your spare time.
Write people’s CV and charge them.
Ask for a raise.
‘Every little bit adds up.’
With your extra money consider paying down the debt with the highest interest rate first. (This is normally a credit card facility). It is the accrued interest that is keeping your poor. So get a handle on it. Cut up the card if you must but don’t spend another cent unless you can afford it and it is not credit.
The next part of this is to go back over your providers and see if you can get a better deal. Ring your gas supplier, and ask for a cheaper rate or move somewhere else. This hard work will all pay off.
Now attached to this blog I’ve added a budget template. I want you to download and use it, and get this under control. Security is knowing you can pay your bills. Ultimately one of the strongest positions that you can have as a single person. As part of our 5 Steps to a Seamless Divorce, the area of finances is key to a positive outcome and future. We spend time and effort on this because no good comes from ignoring this area of your life. Empowerment comes from investment and investment cant happen if you live outside your limits.
About the author:
Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’
She provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict.
Also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home.
Everyday l support client’s as they deal with the heartbreaking decisions of dividing assets which they have worked hard to obtain. More often than not, I hear the woman say, ‘I want to stay in our family home’. In a lot of cases, this just isn’t possible. The thought of selling just another burden to bare. The emotional attachment and secure environment become the driving force in doing whatever possible to keep the property.
But, l would like my clients to review all options and think about the bigger picture. In most cases keeping the family home causes extra stress and prevents the person from moving on in their life as the debt associated translates into an anchor around their neck. Limiting their cash flow and preventing them living a life of happiness.
In some cases, the thought of betrayal and the hurt associated with the family breakdown brings financial reality to a head. And reviewing your circumstances, and spending can also be an eye-opening experience. For some clients after years of being together and then review your assets versus liabilities can seem like a wasted opportunity. With more debt than you were prepared to consider possible. Here in Australia, our way to wealth is via property and capital growth. Depositing of that asset may seem silly.(more…)