No matter where you live, you’ll find that you have bills to pay. The amount of money you have should, in theory, be equal to or more than what it takes to live comfortably in those circumstances.
During your divorce, you do need to work out your living expenses and the cost of living where you’ll be following your divorce. Doing this helps you know more about your budget and gives you an opportunity to negotiate for the assets you need.
How do you calculate your living expenses?
To calculate your living expenses, the first step is to write down all of your outgoing expenses. These might include:
- Rent/your mortgage
- Utility costs
- Subscriptions, such as those for television or internet
- Travel expenses (gas for your vehicle, for example)
Include only the expenses that are necessary initially, so that you can see the minimum amount of money you need to live each month.
After you get the necessities down on paper, add in extras like clothing, shoes and accessories, home maintenance and other one-off expenses. You can estimate these if you’d like, but try to keep them in line with what you’ve spent in the previous year.
After calculating your living expenses, be ready to negotiate
After you calculate your living expenses and have a basic budget for your divorce, you should focus on planning for the future. If you keep your vehicle but lose your home, how will that impact your budget? If you separate, how much more will you need to spend to support yourself than you do now? Will you see an increase in expenses or a decrease? Which assets do you need in order to stay in a good financial situation?
Start asking these questions, so that you can get an idea of what you really need out of your marital assets. Then, go to the negotiating table knowing the bare minimum you can walk away with. Being aware of your financial situation and being sure of what you need will help you as you try to determine if a divorce settlement is fair or not.