Divorce isn’t cheap. Neither is Christmas. Combine the two and you’re in for a hefty bill. Don’t head into January in debt. If you’ve just settled your divorce and this is your first holiday post-divorce, keep these tips in mind to manage your money at the holidays.
1. Don’t buy tons of gifts to show your kids you love them.
Divorce takes an emotional toll on everyone in your family. You may want to make it up to your kids by going over the top on gifts, but that won’t be an apology – it’ll just be excess. Sure, your kid might adore that Nintendo Switch or iPhone, but you can’t put a price on forgiveness, or happiness.
Ultimately, your child wants time with you on Christmas and you want time with him or her, so make sure your parenting time arrangement is fair so you get the time together that you want, even if you’re only exchanging small stocking stuffers. It’s not about the gifts – kids who have lived through a divorce already know this.
2. Don’t overspend to impress.
Maybe you gave up the family home or your treasured family car in the divorce and you’re still bitter about it. Fair enough. But it isn’t necessary to run out and purchase a new ride or settle on a bigger house than you had before just to prove that you’re in the black (especially if you’re not).
Being divorced means being on a budget. You don’t have to be a penny-pincher forever, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to give yourself some time to get used to your new expenses, so you don’t overextend yourself.
3. Indulge carefully.
You may be tempted to really indulge yourself as a reward for getting through a trying divorce. No one would begrudge you this treat. But plan your indulgences carefully so you don’t spend more money than you really have to spare. A massage? Yes. A year’s worth of massages? Maybe not.
4. Plan ahead.
It’s almost a new year, which means an invitation to really begin your new life. Spend time over the holidays figuring out where your money is going and how you’re going to use it so you really can buy something special for your kids next year, treat yourself, or get those digs or ride that you’ve always coveted but your ex wouldn’t let you have.
Saving money is an underrated gift you can give yourself. With a little planning, you can live within your means and still enjoy some finer things.
5. Get support.
Don’t underestimate the support that your Michigan divorce lawyer provides. Schedule a consultation with Femminineo Attorneys, PLLC in Macomb to discuss your case or get recommendations for financial planners to help you manage your money during or after your divorce.