Gaining sudden financial independence after a relationship can be unsettling, but finding finding your footing is essential. Whether facing a gentle parting, a turbulent separation, or the aftermath of abuse, reclaiming your physical and financial safety is crucial for healing and moving forward. Here are some tips to navigate your expenses and prioritize security during this transition.
Be Cautious With Debt and Credit Cards
Facing sudden solo financial responsibility can be jarring, especially when a past partner was financially abusive and limited your saving or independence. But amidst this, cautious optimism is key.
It can be tempting to take out multiple credit cards, but resist. Plunging into debt can quickly become overwhelming and lead to costly interest charges. However, strategically using one card and diligently paying it off can actually build your credit score. It’s a valuable asset for future car or house purchases.
Just remember that you do not want to have too many credit cards, even if they have zero balances. Each new application triggers a credit check, dinging your score. Also, unless meticulous, it’s easy to lose track of your multiple cards, missing fraudulent charges or recurring fees that harm your score.
Make A Budget
The key to avoid overspending while ensuring you have what you need? A sturdy budget, of course! Once you’ve settled, take stock of your income sources – job, spousal support, etc. Then, list your monthly expenses. If you’re short on funds, take that as a sign to reduce some of your expenses. You could consider fewer meals out. Or if gas guzzling is draining your wallet, consider a car-tune up. A well-maintained engine and properly inflated tires can work wonders for your fuel efficiency. It also means fewer trips to the pump and more money in your pocket.
Make More Money
When the budget shows over spending, even after cutting unnecessary expenses, it’s time to boost your income. Maybe you were in a controlling relationship, depended on your partner’s earnings, or faced other hurdles – landing a wage-earning job can feel daunting. Have comfort knowing there are ways to financial stability even with limited experience. In fact, you can get various high-paying jobs even if you don’t have a degree.
If you have technical skills, an apprenticeship could lead to becoming a well-paid electrician or plumber. Healthcare also offers numerous rewarding options. You could find work as a medical records technician or community health worker. Not only will you make a big difference people’s lives, but you’ll also achieve financial independence by earning your own income.
These roles, and others, like massage therapist, flight attendant, and truck driving, can be springboards for fulfilling careers. If you are feeling stuck, network with friends or colleagues, or even find a mentor who can guide and help you set goals. It’s okay to reach out for help when you can and avoid stress.
Building financial security can be rewarding, but remember not to overdo it and become burned out. Work your assigned shifts and then do something you enjoy or spend time with your family. It’s OK to prioritize self-care and say no to excessive overtime or unreasonable demands. If you have kids and other responsibilities, options like food delivery or rides hare can be good ways to earn extra income in your free time.
Secure Your Home and Finances
Securing your home and finances is crucial, whether you are navigating a mutual separation or emerging from an abusive situation. If you’ve escaped abuse, you must keep your head on a swivel and ensure you’re protecting your finances. Open a new post office box to receive your bills and credit card statements. Finally, change your ATM code and the passwords for credit card websites and social media to avoid potential scams.
If you have concerns about your ex-partner’s behavior, consider reinforcing home security beyond basic locks. At a minimum, install a video doorbell so you can always see who may be lurking around your home. Many security systems include an app that allows you to alert authorities with a simple text or voice command. The added security can provide you peace of of mind.
Protect Your Valuables
Beyond personal safety, securing your home safeguards your financial independence and personal belongings. Keep valuables hidden from window view and invest in a safe to protect your personal documents.
It’s also vital that you protect every entrance into your home, including ensuring the security of your garage door. An outdoor camera near the garage, coupled with a motion-sensor light that activates for anyone, can provide valuable visual insight and deter potential intruders. That way, you can see your surroundings, and any criminals approaching will be quickly startled away. If you have windows in the garage, cover them with privacy film so crooks can’t see in. If a side door is in the garage, ensure it’s always locked.
There are many steps that you and other newly single women can take to stay financially independent and safe during uncertain times. Take a moment to map out a plan, and speak to a financial advisor if necessary. You’ve got this!
About The Author
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys writing about the ways technology, education, and wellness intersect and impact our everyday lives. She is frequently lost in a good book.
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