Divorce Finances Can Be Scary and Stressful The divorce process is expensive, and you may have racked up a lot of debt in the process. Getting back on your feet – or getting on your feet for the first time ever – is one of the most difficult burden to overcome. Divorce finances require careful consideration, because let’s face it: life is expensive. You may fear for how you’ll feed your family. You may be responsible for shared debt. You may never have established your own credit, having left the financial matters to your spouse. When you’re starting anew, it can feel like being an 18-year old again, except that you don’t have the benefit of your teenage cockiness, which would come in so handy right about now. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone. Getting help with your divorce finances – professional and personal help – is the best way to get back on your feet. With some advice, support, and planning, you can regain confidence in your ability to take care of yourself and your family. Here are the first steps to take in getting your divorce finances in order: Use Your Support System While we don’t recommend borrowing money from friends and family, your support system can give you help in so many ways that will get you back on your feet. First and foremost is their emotional support. Money issues, especially when it comes to divorce fiances, can be paralyzingly terrifying, and it helps to be able to talk about your fears. Beyond this, your tribe can help you find a new job, get new skills, set a budget, care for the kids, barter for services, recommend a good financial planner, or help in a thousand other ways. When you’re feeling scared and vulnerable, your loved ones can help you restore your confidence and hope – and that’s priceless. Ask For Help Money ruins relationships. Financial jargon is overwhelming and confusing. What’s an APR? What’s an ARM? How do I keep a good credit score? Investments? Stocks? Many of us don’t have a clue. Before you start your new life, seek out help with your divorce finances. An accountant, financial advisor, and/or trusted friend with credible financial expertise can help you navigate these murky waters. As you work with them, ask lots of questions, and make sure you understand everything before taking action. Financial literacy is critical, and you can learn as you go. Market Your Talents A great way make some extra income is to take something you love and turn it into a side hustle. Starting small will keep you from getting overwhelmed and also allows you to make some cash you wouldn’t have had otherwise. You can tell others about your love for photography, making music, knitting. We live in a creative world (just take a stroll through Etsy if you need a reminder), and we love to support one another. If you share your passion, it gets people asking about it and keeps the fire under your ass aflame. Not only do you get to spend more time doing something you love, who knows – it could also become your sole income one day. Surround Yourself With Financially Smart Women A sure-fire way to learn is to get first-hand experience from someone who’s been where you are and has come out on top. They can show you how they managed their divorce finances so they could save money and became self-sufficient. Look to friends. Find a community group. Join a women’s club. Search for online groups or Mom-preneur groups on Facebook. Network with financially-savvy women business leaders, and learn from the best. Get the help you need to master your divorce finances Sorting out your finances can open many doors for you. You can feel secure, take pride in yourself, and enjoy each moment – instead of trying to figure out how you’ll pay the bills. All it takes is some effort, willingness to learn, and good help. To begin your path to financial literacy, check out the Women’s Institute for Financial Education, the National Endowment for Financial Education, LearnVest, Down-to-Earth Finance, and WISE (Women Investing in Security and Education).