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Scary being Financially on your own

torn2bits posted 10/2/2019 09:41 AM

When I was separated and had my kids in my condo, I had a much more recession-proof job than I do now.

Did you/do you find it a bit scary being financially on your own now?

How did you overcome this?

JanaGreen posted 10/2/2019 09:46 AM

I just try to keep my expenses down. I had to sell the marital home and I chose a house well below the amount I was pre-approved for. I drive an older paid off car and sock money away every month to offset the eventual cost of replacing it. Nothing else major. Just trying to be smarter and not buy things I don't need -avoid Target, delete the zulily app, etc.

lieshurt posted 10/2/2019 10:12 AM

^^^Ditto JanaGreen

I'm an empty nester now, but when I was raising my son I kept expenses very low. I've been in banking operations for 33 years and have been laid off a few times due to mergers. I made sure that my expenses never exceeded what I would be able to afford if I were on unemployment. I also had an emergency fund that covered 1 year of expenses in addition to my savings. Luckily, I only had to go on unemployment once and it was just for 3 months. I drive a used car and it's paid off. My townhouse cost 1/3 of what I was approved for. I have no credit card debt.

Regardless of all of that, I was still nervous at times. I just had to remind myself that whatever came my way I'd be able to handle.

DevastatedDee posted 10/2/2019 10:19 AM

Yes, it is scary. There's no question about it. It's extra scary for a lot of us at first because we wind up trying to support a household on one income instead of two unexpectedly and therefore have more bills than we would have had we remained single and on our single income budget. I won't downplay that at all as a legitimate fear. I am paycheck to paycheck and it is what it is. I am working on reducing my expenses the best that I can, but that is not an overnight process. I expect to be more secure in a few years, and it will take a few years. I recently gave in and got a second job for the weekends and I'm hoping that will speed it up a little.

All that said, I am a whole lot happier than I have been in probably 3 years. I have a peace within myself that is worth more than any spouse's additional paycheck.

DevastatedDee posted 10/2/2019 10:23 AM

As for how you come to terms with it? Weirdly, that hasn't been the problem I would have expected. I was a single mom for a lot of years and found that incredibly stressful financially. Not as stressful this time around. I discovered my husband was a serial cheater and a drug addict. Worrying about paying my bills or not being able to afford to eat out this week is NOTHING compared to what I've been through the past couple of years. Nothing. At. All. That stress is like a papercut compared to being sliced with a machete.

LilBlackCat posted 10/2/2019 11:25 AM

oh yeah, it's scary.. but learn to budget and track your spending..

You'll find trends that you may not have realized that can be killing your finances...

It's very eye opening when you do that.

The good things, is that once you get a good grip on expense tracking and money planning.. You will pitfalls a mile away and can then brace for them.. versus getting blindsided and then shooting yourself fin the foot by overcorrecting or what not.

I use google sheets and create tabs for very pay period.. and keep the worksheet to be only for calendar year.. before starting a new one.

What's great is that you can see your "money planning" from anywhere and at any time.. You know, if you got to "make adjustments".

DevastatedDee posted 10/2/2019 12:04 PM

Oh yes, I have a detailed spreadsheet of my finances. It helps tremendously to identify where I can cut back.

torn2bits posted 10/2/2019 13:17 PM

You all have been so helpful with this topic!

My STBX is emotionally abusive. It escalated to him wanting to hurt me with anything.

I have to say that when it was just me and the kids, he had to be court ordered to pay child support and I was on my paycheck for 11 months with nothing from him.
I borrowed from my sisters to get food on the table BUT you are right... the peacefulness of him not being there is profound and worth it.

Superesse posted 10/3/2019 00:00 AM

Thanks all of you for talking about this. A big worry for me, too. Like when you draw up a budget for what you spend on utilities, gasoline, food, taxes, property and health insurance, etc., and even with no mortgage, rent or credit card debt, you realize your retirement income won't quite stretch....yeah, BTDT. Very scary!

LilBlackCat, can you tell us more about those sheets and tabs? Just like an online spreadsheet? Is it an application or program you need an account signup to use? I have a spreadsheet budget (the one I made up to check if my proposed (reduced) income covered my current expenses) Is it the same thing, just cloud-based? Like you said, spotting where money is going out too often or unnecessarily can be very helpful in economizing. (I see your D is just now final. Are congratulations in order?)

[This message edited by Superesse at 12:04 AM, October 3rd (Thursday)]

LilBlackCat posted 10/3/2019 12:13 PM

Yes, it's through Google..

It works very similar to Excel, it's pretty robust.

I have cells that change color if I go over budget..

I track all spending and create a tab per paycheck.

It is cloud based and you can use the app on your phone to make changes (albeit a lil difficult due to screen size and using your phones virtual keyboard)

but at home it's easy.
(I would recommend using chrome due to performance issues, especially once you have more than a half year's worth of tabs)

EDIT:: There's plenty of online help and posts on how to do the automated cell recolors and calculations.

[This message edited by LilBlackCat at 12:14 PM, October 3rd (Thursday)]

CoderMom posted 10/9/2019 21:49 PM

My kids are now grown, 22 and 24, and I keep reading where my career industry is growing by leaps and bounds with increasing need for my line of work, however, it seems more and more people are finding it difficult to obtain work and keep the job long term, especially with outsourcing.

Between robots, technology, and outsourcing, many jobs in the US are in jeopardy. What was once solid work with bonuses and 401K and pension, now is instability and no pension and no promise of long-term work.

So I do find it can be challenging at times to make sure I am on some sort of solid financial footing.

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