You are getting divorced. The life you once knew is over, and the relationship that was supposed to be “forever” turned out to be as permanent as the wind. If there was ever a time to start over emotionally and physically, now is the time. If your soul is whispering that you should move on by…well, actually moving, you might want to listen. Moving after a divorce can help you re-set your life and save money. Here are four reasons why:
Staying in the House Could Suck Your Bank Account Dry
Many women want to stay in their home after a divorce. This is especially true if you have children and want to give them continued stability and keep them in their local schools. However, you may not realize just how hard it can be to try to pay a mortgage or rent on your salary alone, especially if your husband was the breadwinner of the family. Even if you are getting support, it may run out before your mortgage does. If you own your home together, you’ll also have to find a way to buy out your husband’s equity (assuming he is willing to give up the home and doesn’t want it for himself.)
Don’t cling to your home for emotional reasons if you truly can’t afford it. You’ll be much less stressed and more financially stable if you move into a less expensive home.
Find a Lower Cost of Living
If you live in an area with an extremely high cost of living (such as San Francisco, New York, or Chicago), you’ll find that staying financially afloat will be much, much harder without your husband’s salary helping to pay the bills. Rather than struggling in a market with a high cost of living, consider moving to a place with more reasonable expenses. For example, U.S. News and World named Des Moines, Iowa as the “best affordable place to live in the U.S.” The average income spent on living expenses was 23.8%. Compare that to Santa Barbara, California where you’d have to pay 72.4% of an average weekly wage!
Be aware that cities with a lower cost of living may also offer lower salaries, but when your dollar goes much further, a slightly lower salary can still be a pay boost when you aren’t spending all of it on the rent!
Be Closer to Your Family
Moving closer to your family can help your finances and your heart. Family members may be able to offer you a guest room or a couch to crash on for a few months (or longer) as you financially recover from the cost of your divorce. Since housing is usually the greatest cost most of us face, living rent-free or enjoying reduced “family rate” rent can help you rehab your savings account or start saving for a down payment of your own.
Family members, especially parents and grandparents, can also offer childcare duties, transportation, help with groceries and utilities, and more. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. This is what family is for!
Getting a Fresh Start Is Good for the Soul
Your financial life is tied to your emotional life. If you are in a bad emotional place, you probably won’t be able to concentrate at work or make the personal changes needed to pick yourself back up after divorce (such as going back to school to strengthen job skills or get back in the job market).
A Big Step
Moving is a very big decision, especially if you have an established career and/or children. Moving can also be expensive in its own right. What if you don’t find a job right away? How will you come up with a security deposit for renting a new home or apartment?
Don’t let your aching soul lead you into an impulsive decision that you will quickly regret. Make sure that a move is the right decision for you and that you can afford the financial and emotional uncertainty of picking up and going somewhere different!
If you are still on the fence about whether a divorce is right for you, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to find a Second Saturday Divorce Workshop in your area.