How are you likely to fare financially after your divorce? We aren’t talking about the division of your assets and how much of the marital pot you’ll claim as your share. Instead, we’re talking about how you will manage from month-to-month on a solo income.

Figuring out your post-divorce budget is a key to landing on your financial feet after a divorce. That’s not always easy, especially if you have been more “hands-off” the finances during your marriage than your spouse. Here’s how to start:

  1. Cut out all excess spending for a month. That will help you track your basic financial needs so that you can see how much you have left for luxuries or savings.
  2. Create a list and tally it up. That way you have a clear idea of how much money you have going out each month compared to what money you can reasonably expect to have coming in, post-divorce.
  3. Look for ways to curtail your costs. Are your expenses bigger than your projected income? It’s time to downsize, find a cheaper mode of transportation, cut out those pricey lunches or look for other ways to trim your budget. It may take even redefining what you consider a “basic” expense.
  4. Put money aside. When you’re on your own, it’s harder to bounce back from an unexpected expense or two — and they’re bound to happen. Putting money aside in a little “nest egg” for emergencies is wise — even if you can only afford a few dollars a week. (Plus, it’s a good way to help you avoid unnecessary splurges.)

The sooner you start figuring out a budget, the easier it will be to negotiate for support or part of the marital assets. You’ll walk into the situation understanding exactly what you need to make it moving forward.