After a divorce it can be easy to fall into bad spending habits. You may be used to your ex paying the bills, or handling most of the budgeting, and now you could find yourself making bad financial decisions. If you spend enough money then it won’t take long for you to learn the definition of poor spending habits. Instead of being told what not to do, here are a few helpful solutions that will make the transition from married finances into positive single spending habits a little easier.
Make Your Goals Realistic
Most divorcées that seek out professional money management assistance have already tried, and failed, to make the changes on their own. One of the biggest reasons these changes never really rake effect is because realistic goals are never set. Instead of expecting too much of yourself, and setting yourself up for failure, set realistic goals that you know are possible. If you try to go cold turkey and completing deprive yourself from spending then you’ll end up quitting and overspending. Whereas, if you expect too little of yourself you may never make any real headway.
Change Your Mindset
While spending habits are usually hardwired into our brains at a very young age, we can also pick them up from our partners while married. A great way to change, this is to pick a bad habit, be it a coffee from Starbucks or getting a manicure every couple weeks. Figure out why it is that you look forward to this so much – maybe that manicure is your new stress reliever. Now, figure out less expensive, or free, ways you can replace that spending. Don’t deprive yourself altogether, but replace the bad spending habit with a positive one.
Change Your Spending Habits
This is obvious, right? I’m not talking about all of your spending habits right now though, I’m talking about changing the way you spend money. It may have be easy to swipe the card of your joint account, but now it’s important that you keep track of your budget. Instead of constantly swiping a debit or credit card try only paying things for cash. Even if it’s only for a week, see how much more aware you are of what you’re spending when you only use cash. Cash is tangible and spending it makes us more aware of the funds that are leaving our household as we spend them. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to how many times we swipe a card or sign a receipt, it’s must more difficult to do that when you’re watching the big bills in your wallet shrink.
Turning negative spending habits into positive ones after a divorce can be difficult. Especially if you’re one of many that have had these bad habits since you were old enough to understand what money was for. However, by starting slowly and only having realistic expectations for yourself you can turn those negatives into positives. Your future credit and debit cards will thank you for the changes you begin making today.