January is divorce month, where like it or not, couples who have managed to tough it out throughout Christmas finally give in and separate.
Divorce rates are actually falling in the UK for all apart from the over 60s, whose divorce rate is increasing.
Divorce will have a big impact on couples of pension age, as setting up a new home and divorce expenses will see many people struggle. For more information,
see Money Advice Service.
If you’re looking at separating or divorcing, there are a few things to take into account. Single parent or single income families are more likely to get into debt and poverty when faced with divorce. Adjusting to living on a single income can be daunting for some, so here are a few tips to help you manage your money more affectively.
1. Plan/ Budget
Now you have to survive on one income you need to understand how much money you’ll now have to live off and what your bills will be. This way you can work out how much you’ll have to spend every week. Determine a budget and make sure you don’t go over it. We’ve written an article on budgeting tips here
2. Child Support Allowance
Make sure that your partner is helping you out with childcare costs. You can organise payments between yourselves or through the CSA. If you do decide to arrange payments through the CSA, rest assured they won’t keep a percentage of the payments you receive. You can also change these payments should your circumstances change. For more information, click here.
3. Child Benefits
As a single parent, you may be eligible for child benefits. Anyone who is responsible for a child is eligible for child benefits. The Child Benefit pays £20.30 a week* for an only child/eldest child and £13.40 a week* for other children. It’s paid directly into any bank account which accepts direct payments. For more information, click here
4. Plan Meals
To survive on one income you need to plan. Planning meals to ensure nothing’s wasted and take a list when shopping so you’re less likely to buy more. This way you’ll ensure that everything you buy is used and that you’re keeping an eye on spending.
5. Find Alternatives
If there are items you cannot possibly live without, see if you can shop around to get a cheaper price, look for non branded items or cheaper alternatives. This will ensure you save some money in the process.
For bigger items like sofas, you may be able to get them online for free. Check out Freecycle here
Divorce is costly and emotionally draining for many, but it’s important to understand your finances and how they’ll be affected. Looking at the above will help you manage your money better during the difficult period ahead. If you have any tips or advice on how to survive on one income, share them below.