By: Amanda Vann, Esq.
Many people often find themselves financially drained after a contentious divorce. It will take some time to rebuild your finances, but if you have kids, you know their wants and needs won’t stop after divorce. If anything, the requests may seem to come more often, and now that your children may be going back and forth between two different households, you may feel the need to do more or compete to do the most for your kids after divorce. But, I caution parents about going overboard. Instead, with these tips, you can find yourself staying in budget yet still having quality time with your kids.
1. Make an itemized monthly budget and stick to it. Don’t extent your credit any more. If you can’t pay for it with cash, try not to purchase it. Sitting down and being honest about your spending habits can be an eye-opening experience. Now that you aren’t incurring legal fees or litigation costs, take a look at your new expenses and budget and be realistic about the ways you can cut back to start re-building your finances. Instead of going out for dinner, have a make-your-own-pizza night followed by sundaes and a movie at home. The time your kids have with you creating their own pizzas is much more special than the time they might spend coloring on the restaurant provided kids menu.
2. Kids need a lot, but you don’t have to go into debt to provide the necessities. People generally are of a giving nature, so if you ask around, you may be pleasantly surprised at what people will hand off to you. Toys, swing sets, clothes—you name it and most people are willing to part with it, particularly as their own kids grow out of these items. There is nothing wrong with getting a used swing set or hand-me-down toys. Your kids will love the new additions and, if they are like most kids, the novelty will wear off quickly—so don’t go into debt buying the latest and most expensive toys or clothes.
If you are looking for things to do, check out parent groups, apps, and social media forums with other parents that give you the latest news and coupon codes for what’s happening in your area and how to get in cheap!
3. Your greatest investment is always quality time with your children. You don’t need to book a fancy vacation to have fun with your child. Some of the best times a family can have are building forts out of blankets and sheets in your living room, reading stories with hot chocolate by the fireplace, having paper airplane competitions down the hallway in our home, or even going to the local playground or soccer field to play ball. Your kids yearn for time with you and after a divorce, they need time with you to digest and settle into their new homes. So, invest in them (and yourself!) and take the time away from all the electronic devices we have to play and connect with your kids. Family game night can create more bonding time than many vacations!
Getting back on your feet financially after a divorce is possible, but it takes planning and dedication. Don’t let your finances be a reason not to have quality time with your kids. Get back to the basics and establish new traditions and ways of connecting with your kids that don’t require you to go into further debt. If you need help with your separation agreement or child support in Maryland, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
You may also be interested in:
- Co-Parenting in the 21st Century
- Finding a Holiday Schedule for Your Children When Divorced or Separated
- My Child No Longer Wants to Live With Me—Can Custody Be Changed?