Evaluating Your Finances After a Breakup

Evaluating Your Finances After A BreakupIf you’ve recently gone through a breakup, then you know that it doesn’t just affect your heart. Breakups affect your finances as well. Maybe you’ve been splurging to lift your spirits. Or perhaps you weren’t in tune with your finances during the relationship and now you want to fix that. Whatever the case may be, the fact that you’re reading this now shows that you’re ready to take control and move forward in your financial future. So let’s talk about how to start fresh and evaluate and improve finances after a breakup.

Evaluate What Your Finances Were During the Relationship

How would you rate your awareness of your finances during the relationship? Were you diligent in keeping a budget and tracking your goals, were you aware enough to know everything was alright but generally ignored them, or did your finances actually suffer? Remember not to judge yourself no matter what your answer to this question may be. It’s important to know and accept whatever your past situation was so you can figure out where to start in moving on.

If you were less than diligent in keeping up with your finances, what was the reason? Maybe you were scared to think about it or it simply wasn’t a priority at the time. It’s also possible that your significant other wasn’t the best influence on you financially – either because of the lifestyle you maintained as a couple or because of your partner’s attitude towards his or her own finances. Conversely, if you were on top of your finances at the time, was it because this was a priority for you or because your partner encouraged it? Again, the answers to these questions are crucial to evaluating where to go from here.

Evaluate Your Present Financial Situation

Now that you understand where you were, where does that leave you? Your previous financial attitude may already be altering since the breakup. For example, you might be becoming more aware and diligent with your finances or you might be finding it hard to stay motivated now that you’re healing a broken heart. Whatever it is, be honest about your current situation and make a checklist to get started in moving forward.

What kind of things should be on this list? Here are the basics: building an emergency fund, getting out of debt, obtaining and reviewing your credit report regularly, and starting to plan out your retirement savings. These are all important financial goals to have in order to ensure financial stability and growth into the future.

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Dream About – and Plan for – Your Financial Future

Alright, enough with the hard questions – let’s move on to the fun part! Make a wishlist. Where do you want to be a year from now, five years from now, and so on? Would you like to own your own home? Travel the world? Change careers? Go back to school? Start your own business? The sky is the limit! No one expects you to achieve any of these goals overnight. But learning what you really want will empower you to start taking the steps to make it happen.

So get started on your wishlist and don’t hold back! Then look at your budget and figure out what can be allocated to these goals. One thing that may help is to open a separate savings account just for your wishlist. Strategize how long it could take to reach these goals in both the best and worst case scenarios. Think about a few different ways you can do your budget to make them happen. In a few short years, you may be living a better life than you even imagined.

Believe it or not, taking control of your finances isn’t just good for the wallet. It’s a great way to empower yourself and find your own personal happiness again. Breaking up can make us feel less than whole, question our self-worth, and worry about our future. But by taking the time to evaluate and strategize how to create a bright financial future you’ll see that you can make your dreams come true. No more worrying where you’ll end up or if you’re worth it – you know who you are and you know that you can make your dreams happen!

Image Credit: Atilla1000

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  • Dealing with a breakup is hard enough, I can’t even imagine adding shared finances into the mix. I think its a major reason why divorcees can get pretty messy most of the time.

    • Shannon_ReadyForZero

      That’s a good point, Sean. I think the important thing is always being open and honest with yourself and others in terms of your personal financial priorities – whether single or in a relationship.

  • Funancials

    My fiance and I completely merged finances when we bought a house together summer 2012. We’re getting married in April.

    I essentially did exactly what I make fun of other people for doing. I can’t imagine the potential heartache/headaches that would follow a split.

    • Shannon_ReadyForZero

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I can see why there would be hesitation to merge finances before actually getting married, but if it’s clear that you and your fiance are committed to building a future together then that makes sense too. Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding!

  • Jean-Paul Francoeur

    I’m dealing with this very issue right now. I lived with my fiance for 4 years. She controlled ALL the finances. I’m a personal trainer and I just gave her all the checks and let her work it all out. When she dumped me last May I was not only brokenhearted, but I had no CLUE what my income even was. I didn’t even have my name on her checking account.

    I have never been a good financial manager and frankly the prospect scares the hell out of me. We were completely merged financially… As intertwined as you can get. And there is no divorce agreement that protected me, so all the items we bought together (fridge, stove, dishwasher, 3D TV, furniture, etc) and all the improvements I did to her house (because I thought we were together forever) which cost both lots of money and sweat… EVERYTHING was simply left behind. I’m literally starting completely over again, and I am trying to mend my finances while also mending my heart.

    On one good note, so far I have found out that I make pretty decent income, so at least on that front I’ll be okay, as long as I can keep this up, and learn how to budget. Well-timed article in my case. Thank you.

    • Shannon_ReadyForZero

      Thanks for sharing your story Jean-Paul and I’m so sorry to hear about this. That’s unquestionably an extremely difficult decision but it sounds like you’re really ready to move forward and start fresh. I do hope that you find advice on this blog to help you learn to budget and take control of your finances – you might even realize that doing so can be fun! Please keep us posted on how things go for you!