One of the greatest challenges of divorce is money. As a newly single parent, you might be overwhelmed, as I was, with more bills than you can afford. I can remember skimping on afterschool snacks and being generally in a very rotten mood (but trying to slap a smile and happy-go-lucky demeanor on my face for the kids) toward the end of every month. That is until I discovered the solution.
Cutting out cafe lattes and afterschool cupcakes will not improve circumstances at all, and the fact that you are trying to get things under control by eliminating all the fun just makes life sour. However, getting your big-ticket items in a reasonable range will almost immediately shift your life.
When you employ the 50% to thrive and 50% to survive budget, your basic needs will be manageable and you will have room in the budget for enjoying your kids. This requires brave choices, but the goal is that right after divorce, more than anything, you need a springboard that allows you to create a better life. If your ex is very wealthy and happily keeps you living in the lap of luxury, then you are lucky. For the rest of us, who are living on more moderate means, the Thrive Budget can be the ticket and bridge to redefining where we live, who we are and how we interact with our kids.
The Thrive Budget
My Thrive Budget is outlined in greater detail in my book You vs. Wall Street: How To Grow What You’ve Got and Get Back What You’ve Lost.
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Give yourself a raise
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10% of your net income should go on auto-deposit into your 401(k), IRA, health savings account, etc. First. It’s tax deductible. Pay yourself now, or pay the IRS later. If you invest right, your nest egg should earn 10% while you sleep, meaning your money will be worth more than your salary in seven years and will out-earn you in 25 years.
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10% of your net income should go on auto-deposit into your 401(k), IRA, health savings account, etc. First.
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