Divorce Advice: 10 Ways to Curb Spending during a Divorce

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

I have shared a lot of divorce advice about co-parenting, dating after divorce, and ways to move on emotionally after a split. But there is some divorce advice that I that I think is really, really important: what to do when it comes to the financial part of your separation.


Every couple has a different financial situation, which ranges from those who are loaded and never have to worry about money to a couple scraping by to make ends meet, and everyone in between. But a few basic things apply to most divorced couples.


You and your ex are now living in separate homes, which means two rents or mortgages. All the utilities that used to be for one home are now for two. Next are the exorbitant, obscene legal bills that you are receiving every month, and if you are smart, you are now seeing a therapist, which costs more. And let’s not forget medical costs. Maybe you have to go out and get your own insurance, now that you can’t be on your husband’s plan. And what about the settlement? You now have half of what you had with your ex. (if you’re lucky.)


Feel like jumping off a ledge? Don’t. Things have a way of working themselves out and they will for you, too. You just have to be strong and make good, responsible decisions.


I can’t really help with the big stuff, but I want to give you some financial divorce advice that might make a difference and help you manage finances a little better after divorce: Here are 10 ways to save money after divorce:

1. Cut your Starbucks runs to twice a week: Let’s say you spend $4 everyday you get your Starbucks fix. That means you are spending $120 per month just on coffee. If you allow yourself two trips to Starbucks a week, you’re now at $32. That means you are saving $1056 per year! Plus, I find that if I go to Starbucks less often, I appreciate it more and it tastes better.


2. Get rid of some of your cable stations: Do you really need the whole package, with every single cable channel available? Ladies, are you really watching ESPN Red Zone? Guys, do you really need six different movie channels? Look into a cheaper package. Plus, less TV is good! It will make you watch the news more, read more, and maybe even sleep more! Tip: do not get rid of Showtime or you won’t be able to watch Homeland!!


3.  Start using Groupon: Okay, so this is new to me. I just started using Groupon and it made me realize that I am the queen of overspending. Pay $39 for a massage instead of $85, get 75% off your next Keratin treatment, get $100 gift certificate at a great restaurant for $30. The deals are amazing, and you will save hundreds over time!


4. Stop buying bottled water: At $2.79 for a bottle of water, you could be spending $55.80 a month if you buy 5 bottles a week (one every day with lunch.) Instead, invest in a glass water bottle (the best ones are at Whole Foods) for $15 and use that!  You are saving $669 per year.


5.    Stop impulse buying: I have had this rule for years. If I see something I love and it’s over $50, I make myself wait 24 hours before going back to get it. If you do this, most likely you get home and you look in your closet and realize you have something really similar, and that you don’t need it. But when you do go back to get it, you are so appreciative and happy, and you will never have buyer’s remorse.


6.    Refinance your home: Refinancing is huge right now! You could be saving hundreds every month, and paying such a small upfront cost. With interest rates at a historic low, this is really the time to do it! Don’t miss out. At least make a call to a mortgage broker and inquire.


 7.    Take advantage of free kindle books: Did you know there are hundreds of free kindle books available to download every day? Authors (like me) who want to get exposure to their book offer a free day every once in awhile. There are sites you can go to that will list all the free books of the day. Pixel of Ink and E-reader news today are the two biggies. If you buy two kindle books a month, you will save $239 for the year.


8.    Put $20 in a jar every Friday and hide it: Think about it. You go to the cash station and get out $200, so you have all these twenties. You won’t miss one by putting it into a shoebox. Time goes by so fast, that before you know it, a year goes by and you have $1040!!


 9.    Cut back on manicures: Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about the importance of pampering and trying to look the best you can, but I find that a manicure every other week is just as effective as one a week. All you have to do is take off the polish and do a quick filing and your cuticles are good for another week. Plus, it’s nice to have polish off your nails from time to time. Another bonus, you have an extra hour once a week!! The best part, you are saving: $390 for the year!


10. Never go to the grocery store hungry: Eat before you shop. If you do that, you are less likely to grab things off the shelf like you are shopping for a year. You won’t buy as much junk food either, and I’d be willing to bet your bill is $50 less every time. Over a year period, that is a savings of $2600.


So, adding these ten things up, I just saved you: $5994, and that doesn’t even include getting rid of some of your cable stations, using Groupon, curbing impulse buying, or refinancing your home!


The financial part of divorce is probably one of the scariest parts. It’s a time when you really have to be smart and make really responsible decisions. I wish you the best!


Buy novels by Jackie Pilossoph



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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

4 Responses to “Divorce Advice: 10 Ways to Curb Spending during a Divorce”

  1. JoAnn

    Hi Jackie,

    I just came upon your blog and find it very insightful. My husband just left me and I am trying to find a way to get through this. I don’t have many friends and I live far away from my family. So not much support for me. My greatest fear is being alone I guess. I have a 17 year old daughter that is oblivious. He is not her father. I am not very strong when it comes to calling or texting him. What would be your advice if any on trying not to contact him?

    • Jackie Pilossoph

      First of all, I”m so sorry you are going through this. I know firsthand how difficult divorce is at the very beginning. Please realize I’m not a therapist, but my advice to you as a friend is, take deep breaths. Let yourself cry and grieve the end of your marriage. Try to do things with your daughter. Tell her you are hurting. Also, you should really consider going to therapy. I think everyone should go at the beginning of a divorce. It will really help you. Also, working out and going to church/temple are two great places to meet friends and do good things for yourself. Hope that helps. Best wishes to you.

    • Sally

      Just revisited this site and was wondering how you were doing . My divorce after 20+ year marriage has been a roller coaster .. Days when I feel so strong and empowered and other days just so darn overwhelmed. Please hang in there and lean in whatever support you can get.. Even online like this. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone and can learn strategies from others who too are in the same boat , we are strong. We can do this. Heck we ARE doing this … Hugs..


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