If you’ve entered the new year recently divorced or separated, you may feel intimidated by the thought of having to handle the future on your own. This is especially true if you’ve suddenly come back into the driving seat when it comes to managing the finances. During a marriage or relationship, it’s not uncommon for one spouse or partner to take care of the financial obligations. If this responsibility has been someone else’s for a long time, the thought of managing your money may feel like an overwhelming challenge. 

As we head into 2023, Here we’re looking at how  you can positively change your money mindset. Keep reading to find out how.

A settlement that works for you and your future

During your divorce or separation, having expert legal advice during negotiations will give you the best chance of agreeing an outcome that works for you and your future.

It’s all too easy to settle on something that works in the here and now. But it’s really important to think about the long-term outcomes too, including what your life will look like during retirement. A family solicitor will be able to ensure that any decisions you make are future proof for your circumstances. 

Where should I start?

When it comes to having a plan of action, it pays to go back to basics. Ask yourself where you are now, what financial resources you have and exactly what you want to achieve.

Everybody’s circumstances are different. It might be that you need advice around investing any lump sums, starting or moving a pension, or buying a new property. On the other hand, you may need to prioritise clearing debt, or start to budget for bills – something that’s becoming especially relevant as the cost of living continues to rise. 

In terms of practical financial steps, it’s a good idea to update your banking details and make sure they’re secure with new passwords. Consider opening up a savings account to enable you to put aside some funds for a rainy day – getting into the habit of making sound financial decisions on a daily basis will pay dividends.   

In addition, take a look at any benefits that you might be entitled to, or any discounts you might get as a single person, Council Tax being a good example. 

A plan of action

Creating a list of all the areas where you’d like to make a change is a good plan.  Tackle any big questions sooner rather than later. Consider where you’d like to live. Think about whether a change of career and income is necessary, or something that you want in order to achieve future goals. 

If you’re considering buying a new property, speak with a mortgage advisor who’ll be able to establish what’s realistic for you and your circumstances, and who can help you find the most cost-effective mortgage options.

From here, you can make a realistic plan, one that will give you control over a more stable and positive financial future. 

What if I’m not used to managing finances?

Life will always throw us curve balls that we never expected to deal with – divorce and financial pressure are just two examples. The important thing to remember is that there are people who can help. Whether that be a solicitor, a mortgage advisor, a divorce coach or a financial advisor. The more you educate yourself about how to manage your finances, the more control you’ll have and the more confident you’ll feel.  

Make sure any steps you take and any goals that you set are realistic and achievable, and avoid setting your expectations too high. Sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient and don’t give up on your plans. 

If you’re considering a divorce or separation, and feeling a sense of confusion about your financial future, don’t worry alone. Here at Harrogate Family Law, we’re dedicated to providing our clients with expert support and advice, and we’re here to help you achieve the best outcome possible. Get in touch now.