7 Easy Ways to Save Money after Divorce
- Create a shopping list
- Clip coupons
- Beware retail therapy
- Purge and sell
- Learn to use rewards and points
- Buy generic
- Stop the “out for lunch” hour and food delivery
- Embrace minimalism
Your divorce process is finally over. Now, it's time to pursue your next chapter. Needless to say, life as a single person is going to look a lot different from your married life. This includes your finances. You’re transitioning from one household that may have been supported by two full-time incomes to a single-adult household.
Before you can make any financial decisions, you need a realistic picture of your new standard of living. What do you have to work with? What is your net worth? Take into account any mortgage payments and other big bills as well as your sources of income. Know your net income after expenses.
If you’ve never budgeted like this before, now is the perfect time to learn. There are plenty of online resources to help you calculate your net worth and get a clear picture of where your money is going.
Next, create a concrete budget that you can live within. Now that you have your financial bottom line, let’s save money!
1. Create a shopping list
Food is an unavoidable component of your monthly expenses. How can you save money on groceries? You’ve no doubt heard this tip before, but it works. Plan your weekly meals, develop a shopping list based on that plan, and stick to it.
Go to the store when you're not feeling stressed, tired, hungry, or overwhelmed with life. Go when the store is less busy, and stick to your list no matter the temptations. Not only are those last-minute chips, deli items, and gourmet cheeses expensive, but they won’t be doing your health any favors.
2. Clip coupons
While paper coupons aren’t totally a thing of the past, digital couponing is far easier. All the coupons you need are as close as your device with sites like coupons.com, lozo.com, or The Krazy Coupon Lady.
If you don’t feel like using coupons, there are still ways to save money. Many storefront sites now offer discounts for purchases you make through monthly subscriptions – no coupon necessary.
3. Beware retail therapy
We’ve all been there, poised to press the “buy” button after a particularly long day. Or shopping for school shoes for the kids when, suddenly, the perfect pair of boots cries out from a nearby shelf.
Don’t do it.
Here’s a hack to temper impulsive spending habits: Take the price of the product you’re thinking about buying, and wait that many hours before you make the actual purchase. Those cute boots may not look quite as cute a week or more from now. If you really want or need them, they’ll probably still be there, and waiting will give you some well-considered perspective without the dopamine high.
4. Purge and sell
There’s nothing more freeing than getting rid of “stuff” that has been weighing you down. After your divorce proceedings, it can help you feel like you’re getting a fresh starting while also making a little bit of money. Here are some ideas:
- Have a garage sale, or make it even more fun and have one with your neighbors.
- Sell stuff on eBay.
- Advertise to locals on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp.
- Used books? Sell them on Amazon.
- Clothes? Try Poshmark.
- Got some cool vintage stuff? Consider setting up an Etsy storefront.
- Old cell phones and laptops? Check out Gazelle.
- Want to sell some jewelry? Even your wedding ring? Look at Worthy.com.
Today, there’s a place for you to re-sell almost everything. Get a little cash flow from it, and you just may find you’re having some fun, too.
5. Learn to use rewards and points
Stores and credit card companies are always trying to lure new customers with better offers than competitors, and many offer rewards programs and points. This is basically “free money” for things you would be buying anyway.
Depending on the program, reward points can help you offset your credit card statement balance or be used for new purchases. They may offer you other products, services, or restaurant meals and travel at a discount. There are whole online communities of people (like The Points Guy) who share their rewards and points tips.
6. Buy generic
All those name brands are costing you big money. Interestingly, many generic brands are made by the same national brands but packaged under the store name.
Stores don’t advertise their generic products, and their packaging costs are low. You’re basically getting the same product at significant savings. How much more are you paying for the name-brand label over the generic? It can be as much as 30 percent!
And don’t forget stores like Aldi that only sell their own brands, often for prices that are half of what you’d pay at another grocery chain.
6. Stop the “out for lunch” hour and food delivery
We know. Food delivery is convenient, and during COVID, it was critical. But now, you don’t want or need these added expenditures. What else could you do with that money? Brown bag it for work lunches. Make your own food from scratch. If you really need some takeout, pick it up yourself.
By paying attention to the money you spend (or don’t spend) on takeout, you can save some cash, hone some latent cooking skills, and perhaps eat a little healthier.
7. Embrace minimalism
Just in the nick of time, minimalism has gained popularity. Sites devoted to minimalism extoll the virtues of having more with less. You may not want to go full-scale-frugal, but these sites are jam-packed with ideas to uncomplicate (and better) your life by not just doing with less but actually wanting less.
After your divorce, there will be some bumps along your financial road. You’re certainly not alone. We can help. At Hello Divorce, we offer certified financial adviser (CDFA) services that can help you explore more in-depth financial planning.
Need more information or help with your divorce proceedings or your post-divorce future? The tips in this article are just a starting point. We have a whole library of resources here.
What Does Life After Divorce Have in Store for You? Start Your Next Chapter Today.
Recommended reading: How to Work with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst