Getting divorced is not only extremely emotionally draining but it can also be a huge financial stress. Depending on your situation divorce proceedings can be very expensive, not to mention that fact that you no longer have another person to help pay daily living costs. If you have racked up a lot of debt while going through divorce you are not alone.
Money is a huge worry for many people and it can add even more stress to an already difficult situation. The weight of debt can make your divorce feel like it is lingering and infiltrating into the rest of your life, making it difficult to move on. If this sounds like your situation here are a few tips on hour to conquer your debt and cut the last few strings tying you to your divorce.
Ditch the credit cards
The temptation of credit cards to “buy now and pay later” is tricky. The interest rate on credit cards is high so if you don’t pay them off within the designated period you will be paying a lot to borrow the money. When trying to eliminate debt it just makes sense to get rid of anything that might allow you to do the opposite. Cut them up or at least make sure they are out of your wallet. Make a pact with yourself not to use them unless it is a real emergency.
This is easier said than done but when it comes to cutting spending every little bit helps. Batch cook so that you can eat leftovers a few times a week instead of eating out. Cancel your cable and house phone and keep your cell phone plan to a minimum. Many small steps turn into giant leaps and pretty soon you should be able to see enough savings to make a significant dent in your debt.
Many people are hesitant to go to a credit counselling service because they are embarrassed. The first appointment might feel a bit awkward, but a little discomfort is well worth having professional help when trying to dig yourself out of a mountain of debt.
Credit counselling services can help you consolidate credit card payments and get a lower interest rate on most of your cards. They will also provide moral support which is extremely important when making a significant lifestyle change. Making the first call is the most difficult part as you will usually find that credit counselling services will be your best ally in your journey out of debt.
Don’t shop emotionally
We’ve all heard about retail therapy. This not a good strategy when trying to get out of debt. Try and train yourself to shop logistically instead of emotionally. A good rule of thumb is developing a six-month rule. If you see something you want either in a store or online put it in a folder and sit on it for six months. If after that period, you still feel like you need it you can consider purchasing it. With this rule in place you will usually find that the things you think you need aren’t necessary after all.
Monitor your credit score
Keeping on top of your credit score is like taking your financial temperature. Checking it regularly will not only keep your financial goals top of mind, but it can be very gratifying when you see it steadily improve over time. Celebrate your little victories. You might find yourself doing a little happy dance in your kitchen when your score finally reaches a healthy range.
If you are looking for help with your debt, consider contacting one of DivorceNet’s debt specialists. Check out our directory for a list of financial professionals who can help you take the first step towards financial freedom.