Separation and divorce are expensive. Many families struggle with money when intact, so imagine what happens when a couple separates. In order to get a divorce, a couple must live separate and apart for an entire year. This means an additional monthly rental payment and utilities, and other costs of living separately. After the dust settles, all issues have been resolved, and attorney’s fees have been paid, you may find yourself financially hurting.
The holidays certainly don’t help you save money. There are parties, entertaining, meals to host, travel expenses, and the presents. So many presents. So with an understanding that financial ruin is not an option, keep the following thoughts in mind:
- Prepare yourself a budget. Look at your bank account and your savings, consider all of your recurring monthly expenses, and be really honest with yourself about how much you can afford to spend this season. In addition, avoid opening a new line of credit or maxing out your credit cards if you don’t have any ability to pay them off in the foreseeable future.
- Decide who you want to buy gifts for. Make a definitive list and decide what you can afford to spend on people. Set limits. If you have adult family members, a partner, or friends that you choose to buy gifts for, open a conversation about gift spending limits. For example, suggest a $20 limit with your adult siblings. Be honest about why this would help you out. Some families decide not to buy present for the adults, but focus on the children.
- Be thrifty. Look for travel and shopping deals online specific to your shopping list. Learn price-matching policies. Go to discount retailers. There are specific times of the year that are best to buy every product, do your research.
- Don’t get competitive. When you see that another parent has gotten their child an ATV, a flat screen TV, and a Nintendo, take a deep breath. Or if your child’s other parent has bought an over-the-top gift, do not attempt to compete by exceeding your budget. Remember the reason for the season. Don’t forget the meaning of Christmas was never about shopping or materialism.
Contact a Family Law Attorney
New Direction Family Law represents clients in legal issues involving separations, divorces, property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. We fully acknowledge that these are hard, trying times for our clients and strive to provide compassionate, thoughtful legal counsel. If you need help, contact us. We serve Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland, Nash, Granville, Franklin, and Durham counties. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment, or visit us online at our website.
Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law