The future is fantastic: Week 3 of Financially Fab-ruary

Envision a fabulous financial future after divorce. Photo by George Bohunicky via Unsplash.

Give yourself a pat on the back for all the work you did in weeks one and two. This week we’ll be focused on envisioning: what you would like your life to look like after divorce. And not just in terms of dollars and cents!

Hopefully the last day of last week functioned as a reality check for you. If your income is barely meeting expenses, and/or your list of debts is much more than your assets, your lifestyle can’t be particularly extravagant. At least not until you make significant changes.

That’s not to say that you won’t eventually be able to have a more luxurious lifestyle. You just can’t have it right now. But if you cut back on expenses now and increase your income, you might just end up where you’d like to be.

Let’s envision!

Monday, 2/18

“Not having money to spend doesn’t mean we can’t have well-spent moments every day.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

You probably will have to get creative with how you spend your time and money. Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, trust me, there are a lot of suggestions on blogs and Pinterest boards! Fortunately being frugal doesn’t have to mean a bland life. And it helps you focus on what matters most: family, friends, hobbies or interests that you can now make time for.

Tuesday, 2/19

What kinds of relationships do you want?

You may be feeling a little burned out on people at the moment, especially people like your spouse! And these goals just might not be achievable right now, but you can work toward them.

For example, do you want to have a relationship with your ex-spouse where you can be seated near each other at your child’s wedding? Do you want them to have input on childrearing decisions? If you’re really angry with them right now, that’s understandable. But would a more cordial relationship be better down the road, especially for your children’s sake?

If you have young children, it may not be possible to split cleanly and go your separate ways. But if you don’t have kids or they’re adults off on their own, you might choose to do this.

Do you want to be married again, sometime in the future? Would you prefer to strike out on your own first, and then see how you feel later? Again, valid choices.

Giving this some thought doesn’t mean it’s set in stone — you could determine that you’ll never marry again and then fall in love with someone who completely sweeps you off your feet! But using this as a guide can help you make some near-term decisions.

Wednesday, 2/20

What are your goals for your children? (If you don’t have kids, today is a good day to review what you’ve done so far.)

Would you like to keep them in the same school district? Would you rather live nearer your family? Are there any special needs that you must consider?

Knowing what’s best for your kids can also help you make decisions during this time. And remember, they’re your kids, not your neighbors’ and not your friends’. You know them best. What is right for them may not be the same as for other people’s kids.

Thursday, 2/21

“If you want your children to turn out well, invest twice as much time with them and half as much money.” — Abigail Van Buren

This is true for kids, but it’s also true for key relationships in your life: parents, friends, even pets! My cats couldn’t care less how much I spent on their feather toy, they just want to play with it.

Friday, 2/22

What kind of lifestyle are you looking for? No judgement here — what works for you doesn’t have to work for others.

Lifestyles often change over time. For example, you might want to stay home with your children while they’re young, and then travel. Or you might want to start traveling before you retire. Do you want to go back to school?

Would you want a job (and if not now, maybe eventually) where you make a ton of money, but you work long hours? Or would you rather make less money but know you’ll have more time to be with family and friends?

Do you want to have the house with the white picket fence, children and pets? Or are you thinking more of a bohemian life, traveling and being creative?

Please note these are all valid choices. What makes sense for you may not make sense for anyone else. You now have a chance to start fresh! Think deeply about how you want that fresh start to look.

Saturday, 2/23

Time to get crafty!

You’ve envisioned your goals and dreams. Let’s make your future visible, on a vision board. Something that you can look at to remind you why you’re going through what you’re going through.

You can do this old-school if you like. Use cutouts from magazines and whatnot, or print pictures out on your printer. If you’d rather go digital, you can use Instagram, Pinterest, or whatever to craft your vision.

There might be a way your kids can help too. Get them involved where you can. Or maybe they want to make their own vision boards.

Sunday, 2/24

Today is the day for self-care. Ideally you’ll schedule this more than once a month! What do you need to relax? Time alone with a good book and a cup of coffee? A massage? A chance to journal or reflect? Maybe you go for a walk, listening to your favorite playlist.

Whatever it is… just do it.

“What we need to strive for is not perfection, but balance.” — Ani DiFranco

Congratulations on another completed week! Did the self-care really hit the spot? Hopefully you enjoyed the process of making the vision board. And you have an idea of what your ideal future looks like.

If you want more information about divorce finances, check out the blog on the Divorce Nest site. Or shoot me an email at jjank@divorcenest.com.

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