• What happens to my pension? Cottage? Business?
  • How am I going to get through this?
  • When will I stop feeling sad? Ashamed?
  • How will we split everything?
  • How will we tell the children?
  • What will everyone think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Does it have to be a big court battle?
  • Do we have to sell the house?
  • How am I going to pay the bills?
  • Categories

  • A Man Is Not A Plan

    A Man Is Not a Plan… or is it?

    By Jackie Ramler, Financial Specialist.

    I had a recently divorced client move their account to me because the prior broker said to them, “Don’t worry about the money, you’ll get married again and your new man can take care of you”.  The suggestion was that ‘A Man is a Plan’.  Needless to say, the message that the client received was that they couldn’t figure it out on their own.

    For those of you that gladly let their spouses handle the finances, it is time to take hold of the financial reigns.  Managing your finances does not require advanced math- basic addition and subtraction is all you need.  The fundamental law of managing your finances is that you can’t have more expenses than income- otherwise you go into debt and risk losing what you have.

    You need to have a realistic idea of what you have to spend.  Take a close look at your paycheque and see what you really make, after taxes and expenses.  If you receive spousal support then you need to set aside a portion of that payment for taxes.  If you disregard this advice, and you spend it all, then you may have a tax bill.  Nothing is worse than owing money to Revenue Canada.

    The next step is to take a look at all of your expenses and break them into 2 categories- Needs and Wants.  Your needs are food, shelter and necessities to survive.  The wants are all of the extras that you could survive without.  Be clear about what you have to have to survive and what you can live without.  I once met with a couple that were having debt challenges and I noticed about 6 magazine stacks of current magazines.  When I suggested that they consider letting go of those subscriptions, the one spouse reacted as if they were a necessity.   This unrealistic ‘need’ was contributing to their debt problems.

    Only you can make the value decisions around what expenses you maintain or let go of.  If you find this a real challenge, then look for a financial professional that can assist you. Either way, invest a bit of time and you can manage your finances so that you aren’t dependent on another to take care of for you.

    Jackie Ramler, Financial Specialist, Divorce Choices Inc. www.divorcechoices.ca

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