It can be difficult adjusting to life after divorce. One of the biggest challenges for divorced parents is figuring out how to be fiscally responsible, especially when factors such as child support and alimony are involved.
We’re offering our top tips for organizing a budget to help those who need to fit in child support orders.
1. Make a list of your fixed expenses
Your fixed expenses are the costs that don’t change, which may include rent, car payments, and utility bills. Although this list will typically include expenses that you deem essential, you may find a few areas to cut down on. For example, a lavish gym membership or a premium cable service.
This is also an excellent time to get creative with your spending habits and reduce costs. You may want to consider using coupons, carpooling with a co-worker, and dining in more.
2. Reduce the amount of unnecessary spending
After writing down your fixed expenses, you should then examine the other areas in your life that you spend money on. Come up with a list of estimates that covers everything from groceries to entertainment, and don’t forget the small costs because that’s often what adds to your bottom line the most. For some people that includes weekly happy hour outings, online shopping, or daily coffee runs. Most of this can be cut back on and it helps you save money in the long run.
3. Create a realistic budget that you can stick to
After you figure out how your money is being spent, you should create a budget based on your initial findings. This will include monthly child support payments, additional expenditures, an emergency fund, and other expenses. Each individual’s budget will look different, but if you’d like some guidance on how to create one, you can follow the popular 50/30/20 plan. With this, you’ll spend 50% of your after-tax dollars on necessities, no more than 30% on wants, and at least 20% on savings and debt repayment. It will most likely be difficult to stick to your budget at first, but it should get easier as time passes.
Our family law attorneys at Creative Family Solutions, Cecil Cianci Law, PC are here to help those seeking legal assistance regarding child support, enforcement, or support modifications. Contact our Roseville office by calling (916) 675-3866 to schedule an initial consultation.