A divorce is a difficult process for anyone to go through. It can feel like your whole life is up in the air. You’re exhausted from the divorce process and emotions are still fresh, when suddenly, your whole lifestyle is changed dramatically. For most people, that also means dealing with some major financial changes.
After a divorce, you may find yourself looking at a giant pile of bills and expenses, with no extra income to pay them off.
Once all the legal stuff is done, here are 18 ways to make and save extra money after a divorce.
Ways to Make Extra Money After a Divorce
1. Sell What You Don’t Need on Auction Sites.
Online auctions like eBay are a great place to get a good price for certain items such as furniture, books, electronics, collectible cards and toys, and more. Amazon and Craigslist are also great places to sell your stuff.
2. Take Inventory of Valuable Items.
You may have valuable items at home that you’re simply not using. For example, many people choose to sell an engagement ring after a divorce. If you’re emotionally ready, this can offer some much needed financial relief and help you move past your divorce and on with your life.
Skip to the bottom of this post (or click here) if you’d like to learn more about selling an engagement ring for the best cash price.
3. Ask for A Raise.
Work hard and maybe even offer to take on new responsibilities. After a while, ask your boss for a raise. (If you never ask, you’ll never know!) Depending on your job, you may also be able to earn more money simply by requesting a few more hours or shifts.
4. Consider Taking Side Jobs that Match Your Interests.
If you’re not currently employed (or if your current job isn’t cutting it) you may want to take a side job or two. If you can find something that matches your interests, go for it, even if the job itself isn’t perfect. Who knows, they may help you develop skills you can turn into a long-term career in the future. There are also many ways to earn a little extra money online.
5. Find Focus Groups.
Companies often use focus groups to gather information about new products. If you participate in a paid focus group, you’re essentially getting paid (and often receiving free products) just for giving your opinion. A little online research will show you that there’s a focus group for almost everything and everyone.
Ways to Save Money After a Divorce
6. Write a Budget.
It’s worth sitting down and adding everything up to see where you are financially. You may not stick to your budget 100%, but it’s helpful to know where your money is going. (If you often find yourself tempted to buy, you may even want to leave your credit cards at home.)
7. Prioritize Your Bills.
If you can’t pay all your bills at once, be strategic about which ones you tackle first. Here’s some advice:
- Pay the bills that cover your and your family’s basic needs first (rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.).
- Request extensions on your bills if you can. This shows that you’re aware of what you owe and you’re making an effort to pay.
- Pay off the credit cards with the highest interest rate first.
8. Recalculate Taxes and Insurance.
Chances are, your tax requirements and insurance needs have changed. You may be filing income taxes as a single person or as head-of-household. You should recalculate the amount of payroll taxes that you are having withheld. Similarly, you may want to trim your insurance coverage if you find you’re paying for coverage you now don’t need.
9. Make Your Own Food.
Fast food and drive-through coffee purchases can be convenient when you’re short on time, but all those small purchases can add up fast. Did you know that the average American worker spends nearly $1,100 per year on coffee? What’s more, 66% of the workforce chooses to buy lunch rather than pack one. This comes to an average of $37 per week, making lunch significantly more expensive than commuting to and from work. Here’s what you can do:
- Brew your own coffee and take a thermos to work. (In the long run, even buying a coffee maker is much cheaper than stopping at Starbucks 3 times a week.)
- Pack lunch instead of eating out
- Eat in when you have time. If you have kids that are old enough to help, make cooking a fun activity you do together.
10. Go to Discount Stores for Non-Food Items.
Paper towels, trash bags, light bulbs, cleaning materials, and other household items are often more expensive at grocery stores. If you can swing it, break your shopping trip into two stops: swing by the discount store first before heading to the grocery store for your food items.
11. Buy Store Brands.
Usually, store brand items are just as good as name brand ones. In many cases, they have the same basic ingredients, especially when it comes to pain pills, allergy meds, and other drugstore products.
12. Sign Up for Rewards Programs.
If any stores you shop at have a decent rewards program, you may be able to save money simply by buying items you would have bought anyway. Just don’t make purchases solely for the purpose of getting rewards. Many rewards programs are designed to incentivize this, but it doesn’t help you save.
13. Shop at Thrift Stores and Off-Price Department Stores.
You’ll be amazed what you can find in thrift stores, especially if you go to one that’s in a high-income neighborhood. Stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls offer high-quality clothing and other items for less money.
14. Plan Your Meals in Advance.
Making dinner is much easier if you already have all the ingredients you need. Plus, planning your meals for the week ahead of time can help you avoid buying extra stuff you don’t need at the grocery store.
15. Find Inexpensive (or Free) Entertainment.
See movies at second-run movie theaters. Go to street fairs. Check if a museum near you has free days (sometimes they have discounts for kids). Get books and DVDs from the library. Invite friends over for BBQs, potlucks, or movie nights at your home. If you have kids, buy some second-hand board games to play with them on the weekend.
If you have kids, it can be hard to keep saying “no” to them. It helps to have a backup list of free or inexpensive activities to do instead.
16. Assess Your Cable Costs.
Feel like you’re paying an arm and a leg for cable when you only really watch a few channels? Think about downsizing your cable subscription. Or get rid of cable altogether. You can find a lot of your favorite programs online. A Netflix or Hulu Plus subscription is much cheaper than most cable subscriptions.
17. Save on Utilities.
No money-saving list would be complete without a mention of utilities. That’s because a few small tweaks can add up to a lot of savings over time.
- Unplug devices from the wall, or turn off power strips when you’re not using them.
- Switch off lights when you leave a room.
- Don’t fall asleep with the TV on.
- Turn down the heater and/or move the AC a few degrees higher.
18. Start a Child Care Group with Other Parents.
If you have kids who can’t be at home by themselves yet, you may be able to avoid paying for a babysitter by getting together with other parents you trust to arrange a system where you take turns watching the others’ kids. It’ll give you time to run errands (or a much-needed break), and you’ll have a list of people you can call next time you need a babysitter.
Moving On After a Divorce
Keep in mind that the divorce rate in the U.S. is around 40 to 50 percent, which means you’re definitely not alone. Believe it or not, many people say their divorce actually led to a happier, more fulfilling life.
At Samuelson’s Buyers, we’ve worked with many people who have decided to sell an engagement ring after a divorce. We know it can be a difficult decision, but if you’re ready, it can also give you the freedom of a fresh start with cash in hand.
If you’re ready to sell your ring for the best price, give Samuelson’s Buyers a call at (301) 804-6176 or contact us online to make an appointment.
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