Separation may seem a time where you feel in limbo. You may have some agreements drawn up between you and your estranged spouse, but in some cases, you’re awaiting information, trying to make emotional and practical decisions, and you often feel that you have little control over different aspects of your life.
Financially speaking, there are wise move to take regardless:
- Use this time during tax preparation season, to get better organized with financial paperwork.
- Request a credit report from one of the major credit reporting services — Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
- Be sure to file the FAFSA if you have students in college or high school seniors. If the other parent is unwilling to cooperate, file regardless. You can go back and update the information, but each state may have a looming deadline you’ll want to adhere to.
- Check your computer systems and backups, with an eye toward protecting against identity theft.
- As you think about indoor projects and spring cleaning ahead, set aside items that you may wish to donate to charity, sell at a yard sale, take to a consignment shop, or sell online.
- Revisit your resume even if you’re quite happy in your current job.
- If you can contribute to your retirement savings (deadline often in April along with taxes), be sure to stash away the maximum amount you can afford. Compound interest accumulates and you’ll thank yourself years later.
- Keep track of your spending to see where you might trim your budget with things that are frivolous or unnecessary expenditures.
- Consider creative ways to save on any upcoming summer vacation. Visit friends in other cities where you may have a place to stay, share accommodations with another single parent, or plan a relaxing “stay cation” at home with outings you’ve wanted to do but haven’t made time for.
These and other tips are a part of Surviving Separation and Divorce: A Woman’s Guide to Regaining Control, Building Strength & Confidence, & Securing a Financial Future. Check out the Facebook page below, “liking” it and sharing with friends, if you choose.