WILL I STAY OR WILL I GO?

According to ‘statistics’ about 1/5th of all people in relationships can’t decide whether to stay or leave.  That’s 2 people in every 10 in a relationship are not sure whether they want to stay with their partner.  Now every relationship has it’s moments when things are pretty rocky, life, work, kids and unexpected events deal some challenging blows from time to time and many couples manage to work through these times together.  However, living every day with the internal struggle going on is not a great place to be and many people, (myself included) spend a few years sorting the why’s, the what if’s, the if only’s as well as the conflict of violating their values around family.

Let’s explore this ‘will I stay or will I leave’ dilemma in more detail.

For me it really was a case of weighing up the pros and cons at the time and attempting to make the decision based on how these balanced out for me – using logic clearly was not the right approach and never one that I would recommend anyone to use, the scales will tip from one to the other on any given day and living in a constant state of ambivalence is mentally and emotionally draining.

Ambivalence in your heart is another matter entirely and goes hand and hand with the distance you will be feeling in your relationship. From my personal experience when you get to this point you no longer want to spend much time with your partner, you talk less and less about important things, both parties end up emotionally detached and the distance between you gets wider and wider.

Here’s the thing!

Your relationship is either too good to leave or too bad to stay, it can never be both and the problem for most people in this situation is not knowing how to really figure out what to do.

Here are some questions to help you get to the heart of the matter, questions for you to ponder that may help you get more clarity and in turn help you reach a decision one way or the other. I would suggest that you write down your answers to each question and come back to them a few days later and see if there is anything you would change or add to your responses.

    1. Take yourself back to when things were at there best between you. Would you now say that things were really, really good?
    2. Has there been more than one incidence of physical violence in your relationship?
    3. Have you already thought about what a course of action that excludes your partner? (In other words have you been mentally preparing to leave?)
    4. If God or some omniscient being said it was okay to leave, would you feel tremendously relieved and have a strong sense that finally you would end your relationship?
    5. In spite of your problems do you and your partner have at least one pleasurable activity or interest (besides children) you currently share and look forward to sharing in the future, that you both like and gives a feeling of closeness?
    6. Are you in a relationship with a power person? If so, then any and all of your needs are a threat to his power. If ever you do get what you want is it such an ordeal that you don’t even feel it was worth all the effort?
    7. Do you have a basic, recurring feeling of humiliation or invisibility in your relationship?
    8. Have you gotten to the point when your partner says something that you usually feel it’s more likely that he’s lying than that he’s telling the truth?
    9. Do you feel willing to give your partner more than you’re giving already, and are you willing to do this the way things are between you now without any expectation of being paid back?
    10. Do both you and your partner want to touch each other and look forward to touching each other? Things like kissing, hugging, holding hands, cuddling. Taking into consideration that some people are just not the touchy feelie type have you or your partner moved to the point where there is no physical affection?

Ideally for couples going through a difficult time in their relationship couple therapy can be very helpful, however this will only ever be productive if both parties are fully committed to the process and in many cases one of the people involved has already made the decision internally and hasn’t been clearly articulated verbally.  Any signs of resistance to this process or other suggestions to work through problems together I would see as red flags.

If you have been struggling to come to terms with an inner discontent for some time and you have reached the threshold and ready now to step over it, if you know there is no going back, then you have reached the tipping point, when you know you are done.

Connect with me by clicking the link below to find out the next steps you need to take before you speak to a lawyer.

Visit our website: https://www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au

Schedule a time to chat with Jenny Schedule Appointment

Jenny is an advocate and champion for women rediscovering themselves through the process of divorce.

FINANCIAL ABUSE IN RELATIONSHIPS

I stumbled across this article by David Koch and I feel strongly that it is such an important discussion and needs to be shared. 

Sadly what David speaks about in this article is far too common either because one party has placed all their trust in the other partner to manage the finances or as in this article the actions of a partner are clearly financial abuse.  

I have also spoken to several women who 1. had no money of their own and I recall one lady telling me she didn’t have access to any of their accounts or credit card and had to call her husband so he could give a salesperson the credit card details to pay for her purchases or were unaware of the debt the other party had accumulated which is often termed as Sexually Transmitted Debt.

Financial abuse in any family or relationship is a powerful and dangerous form of intimidation which is a lot more common in Australia than you think… not just celebrity divorces.

What makes financial abuse even more insidious is that the abuser often justifies their actions as caring.

But the bottom line is that financial abuse can leave the weaker partner extraordinarily exposed.

This sort of abuse often takes the form of a partner in a relationship, or a parent over a child, or an adult child over an elderly parent where the abuser completely controls the finances of the other person and refuses to share any of that responsibility or information.

Financial abuse could be;

. having sole access to bank and online accounts.

. controlling PIN codes

. taking out joint loans without a partner’s consent

. restricting access to insurance, superannuation and estate planning documents.

. limiting access to cash and credit cards

. making investment decisions without consultation

. asking a person to sign financial documents without explaining what they are.

We’re not talking about situations where a couple has agreed one partner takes primary responsibility for running the finances but is always happy to keep the other partner informed.

A financial abuser is a partner which has insisted on controlling the finances, is secretive about what they’re doing and will not share information.

To test which sort of partner you have simply ask for them to explain the state of your finances, provide access to all accounts and show where insurance and investment documents are kept.

If they refuse, you need to worry.

If they say, “you don’t need to worry about it, I have it all under control”. You should worry.

Explain that you’re concerned if they drop dead you’d have no idea where anything was and that is just too risky and you’re feeling vulnerable.

If they refuse after that, you’re in real strife and must do something about it. Your partner either has something to hide or they have such a controlling personality it will put you at risk in the future.

What if your partner does die… or leaves you?

We had friends where the husband walked out of a marriage and left his wife with the comment “you be nice to me or you won’t get a cent”. They owned a family business but she had no idea where they banked, what they earned, investments, insurances, estate planning… nothing.

We put a team of professionals together to help her and she ended up okay. But she should never have been in that position.

Sexually Transmitted Debt is just one of many risks. It’s where one partner in a relationship is lumbered with the debts of the other. You’d be amazed just how common this problem is.

One partner will rack up debts on the joint credit card, refuse to pay or skip out and the other partner is left with the responsibility of paying the whole debt. Joint cards or loans don’t mean you’re responsible for your half. It means both people are responsible for the whole debt if the other can’t pay.

Here are some steps to protect yourself from financial abuse;

  • Base financial decisions on economics, not emotions. If you trust each other then there is no problem with formalising that trust by keeping each other informed about financial decisions.
  • Don’t dismiss it. Read it. When you have to sign papers it is better to be one day late than to lose everything in five years time just because you were too busy to read the small print.
  • Going guarantor: If the bank does not have confidence in the principal applicant, why should you? Remember, when you sign as guarantor, you are indicating you are prepared to take over the debt if the borrower defaults.
  • Know where the money is coming from and where it is going..
  • If you have a joint account with your spouse, make sure the bank does not allow payments above a certain amount unless there is joint agreement.
  • Look carefully at how you buy assets… single names, joint names, their name, your name? It could all be extremely relevant for both tax purposes and if the relationship splits.
  • If you are a director of a family company you have a right to see the books. Insist on the accountant showing them to you. If stopped from doing so, you can take action under the Companies Code.
  • Agree on a financial plan. This way both partners have common goals and know where they are heading.

In our relationship, Libby has always run the day-to-day finances and I’ve run the investments. But each of us has full access to everything and make big financial decisions jointly.

If you would love to have a quick chat with Jenny about anything, even your favourite wine, click here to arrange a time

ESTATE PLANNING FOLLOWING A RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN

Thank you to Nelson Wockner for allowing me to share this article.  Added to the complexities of the emotional, legal and financial issues associated with the end of a relationship the following article covers some very important information that may be overlooked by some people.

When a personal relationship breaks down, your life changes.  A relationship breakdown means that you have to redesign your future plans.  Whilst an unwanted experience, it is the perfect time to make the changes to protect your future.

Estate planning is far more than a Will and may also include:

  • reviewing your jointly owned properties
  • reviewing your superannuation funds and death benefit nominations
  • reviewing your life and risk insurance policies
  • reviewing your circumstances to decide whether your Will should include Testamentary Trusts
  • reviewing your parents’ Wills & discussing whether a testamentary trust is needed to protect your inheritance
  • reviewing any powers of attorney & your arrangements where you are unable to manage your own affairs
  • understanding the reasons for asset protection & benefits of owning property in family discretionary trusts
  1.  Jointly Owned Property

Where you own a property with your former spouse or partner, you must verify whether the ownership is recorded  as ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’.

Where owned as ‘Joint Tenants’, you must change the ownership to ‘Tenants in Common’.  A lawyer can do this for you – it’s a quick and inexpensive process – and no transfer duty is payable.

This process should be actioned immediately to ensure that your interests are protected from the moment of separation until the implementation of the final property settlement, which would most likely involve the property being transferred solely to one person – or the property being sold.

When someone dies owning a property as ‘joint tenants’, the surviving co-owner receives the deceased person’s share of the property.  The deceased’s interest in the property doesn’t form part of their estate and their Will does not apply to that property.

  1.  Superannuation Binding Death Benefit Nominations

Review your superannuation arrangements with your Financial Advisor and/or the trustee of your superannuation fund.

Where you had nominated your former partner to benefit from your Binding Death Benefit Nomination, notify the Trustee of your superannuation fund as to whom the death benefit will be paid following your death.

If you don’t maintain a current authority, the Trustee will make the decision – which may not be what you want.

  1.  Life & Risk Insurance Policies

Whilst an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Will are essential, your Attorney and your Executor will need sufficient cash to provide the support and care needed by you and your children and any other people who may depend upon you for financial support – potentially for many years.

Unless you have substantial reserves of cash and assets, you may need various risk insurance policies to provide a source of finance.

  1.  Companies & Trusts

You will need to engage your lawyer to review the shareholding and officeholders of private companies that you have an interest in.  You will have to do the same process regarding family discretionary trusts that you have an interest in.  These reviews will be undertaken by your family lawyer, and the necessary action taken as part of any property settlement.

Your accountant and financial planner will also need to participate in this process – or at the very least be informed as to what changes have been made to your financial planning arrangements.

5.  Your Will & Testamentary Trusts 

When you separate from your spouse or partner, you must review your Will.

A simple Will may be sufficient to provide the immediate assurance you need.  Later, you can implement a more sophisticated estate plan to better protect your family.

As your Will does not deal with all of your assets and financial affairs, the first thing to do is to identify what assets are owned by you and will be distributed by your Will.

You also need to review who should be the guardian of any of your children where your former spouse is unable or predeceases you.

6.  Parents Wills containing a Testamentary Trust

You may substantially improve your future financial security by ensuring that your parents create Wills containing a testamentary trust.

The benefit to you is that your parents’ assets can be protected from most claims made by any current or future spouse, or anyone else who seeks to take money from you.

Regardless of your matrimonial circumstances, where your parents are alive and mentally alert, it is crucial that you discuss with them the benefits, and you can take a pro-active role in ensuring that advice from an estate planning lawyer is obtained.

7.  Power of Attorney

Where you have an Enduring Power of Attorney nominating your former partner as your Attorney, you will need to revoke that document.  It is recommended that you obtain all signed original copies of the document.

You may wish to appoint a highly trusted and responsible person as your Attorney, as you may appreciate the comfort and security of knowing that if some unexpected event were to happen, you had made prior arrangements to ensure that you and your family were well looked after.

Where you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself, a trusted friend or family member is unable to make those decisions unless you have previously authorised them – using an Enduring Power of Attorney.

There are many issues to consider in appointing an Attorney, and you can appoint more than one Attorney for different tasks.

Appointing 2 separate trusted persons to act jointly may provide some additional protection.

As with an Enduring Power of Attorney, where you had previously signed a General Power of Attorney in favour of your former partner, you will need to revoke that document in writing.  Again, it is also recommended that you obtain all signed original copies of the document.

8.  Asset Protection – owning assets in your name

One of the more essential strategies used by professional people and business owners is that they do not own assets in their own name. 

Why?  Because if someone sues them personally & obtains a judgement against them, only assets owned by them can be taken from them – exceptions apply.

When someone contacts a lawyer about suing someone, if there are good prospects of success, the lawyer investigates what assets are owned by the “Defendant”.  If a lawyer spends time and money suing someone, they want to know that there are assets available.

A strategy successfully used by many Australians is to create a Family Discretionary Trust to hold assets, often using a company to act as the Trustee of the Trust.  The effect is that whilst you control the company and the Trust; it is the Trustee that owns the assets – rather than you.

There are other issues to be considered, and your lawyer and accountant will advise on the various issues that apply to your circumstances.

 

 

Disclaimer: The above is to be considered as general education. This is not advice and it is not to be acted upon without advice from a qualified professional who understands your personal circumstances.     Copyright © 2017 Wockner Lawyers. All Rights Reserved.

Show Me The Money! The Only Way To Mediate Property Settlement.

When couples separate, there are financial issues which need to be discussed and resolved. Usually issues regarding payment of expenses, income and property. Some are urgent and need immediate attention and others are longer term decisions about how to separate the financial arrangements on a permanent and final basis. Making these decisions can be emotionally draining and complex. This is where the mediation process can prove extremely helpful and mutually beneficial. Negotiating property and financial matters can be stressful and overwhelming especially where there are short term financial pressures to pay bills and conflict about how to fairly distribute any assets. It can even be distressing if the other person has been in control of the finances and you feel in the dark.

Here are some things to think about to prepare yourself for the mediation process regarding money.

  1. Make a list of all your bills that are coming up.
  2. Even if you can’t prepare a cashflow of your family and personal expenses and when they fall due just make a list of all the expenses you know about on an annual, monthly and weekly basis. Mediation can address the urgent issues first so that everyone has peace of mind to focus on the long term division of the property.
  3. Identifying what is included in the property pool.

Property of a relationship will include:

All assets (things you own) held by you and your former partner in joint or separate names such as:

  • Family home, holiday home or rental properties
  • Investments like shares and companies
  • Cars and boats
  • Furniture and household effects from stereos to cups and saucers that you want to keep
  • Personal items like jewellery and musical instruments that you want to keep.

All assets in your own or your former partner’s control such as:

  • any business, company or trust
  • superannuation
  • a share in an extended family business or investment property.

All debts in joint or separate names such as:

  • mortgage debts
  • credit cards
  • hire purchase agreements.

It needs to include everything including any property held in your own name prior to entering into the relationship, or property you have acquired since separation.

Negotiating the division of the pool by way of a property agreement.

The best way to divide your assets is through a mutually negotiated property agreement in mediation. This allows you to be part of the decision making process and helps to minimise the cost of lawyers and avoid a negative outcome through court. It will be much quicker and less emotional for you and your children, helping you to move on quickly with less to deal with.

Think about your main concerns and wishes about your property division, consider who has contributed what to your property and life together and your personal future financial needs right now and tomorrow for you and any children. Your mediator will ask you questions about your financial circumstances and financial needs. You will need to prepare for the joint session of mediation to resolve your property agreement. You may wish to break it into separate parts or deal with everything on the one day. How that is done will be designed by you with the mediator. The preparation will involve further gathering of information, exchanging documentations and starting to weigh up your options before the joint session.

Formalising the agreement to achieve a property settlement.

Once you have agreed on how the expenses are to be paid and a property settlement it is still the law to have the financial agreement legally formalised. It is not generally possible to change your mind and seek a different property agreement once it is done and dusted. Once you are satisfied with the outcome, you can sign the financial agreement as a Deed or file the documents with the Court if you are signing Consent Orders. This is the milestone to moving forward.

Reaching a mutually agreeable property settlement should be your main aim when you attend mediation. Approaching your mediation with an open mind and an attitude of willingness to reach an agreement will assist the process of settlement to progress with as little angst or as few roadblocks as possible. No one wants the issues of a financial arrangement to be more difficult or emotional than it already is, so with preparation, co-operation and some thought concerning your part in the process it will go a long way towards reaching the agreement which is mutually beneficial and helpful in moving forward without Court.

Is it time to get creative about how you mediate your money disputes?
Contact SHAW Mediation and let’s talk about how we can help you.

Shaw Mediation Services

Level 36 Riparian Plaza
71 Eagle Street
Brisbane QLD 4000
Phone: 1300 768 496
mediate@shawmediation.com.au

Level 30/91 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: 1300 768 496
mediate@shawmediation.com.au

Level 26, 44 Market St
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 1300 768 496
mediate@shawmediation.com.au

HOW DO I PUT MYSELF FIRST AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT?

When someone asks a question like this, or makes a statement along the lines of “I can’t because” there are a whole lot of beliefs about what they must do, what they should do, how they supposed to act and how much or how little they value themselves.

It becomes a very real problem when other people expect us to always be there for them, to jump when they say jump or allow them to speak to us in ways that are unacceptable. If we don’t value ourselves, our time, our goals and our dreams how can we ever expect other people to value us? We end up becoming people pleasers and as a result lose our sense of who we are and our self-respect.

We teach people how to treat to us and if we want things to be different we have to retrain ourselves first. When we change it creates a ripple effect on the dynamics of our relationships with our loved ones, our friends and in the workplace.

For those of you reading this who think you might be a people pleaser check in and ask yourself how many times you do something out of a sense of ‘duty’ or because of what someone might think about you and then notice how that makes you feel.

Now ask yourself how you feel when you decide that you really want to do something for someone, regardless of the inconvenience and take particular notice of how that makes you feel.

Deciding to do something for someone when it is coming from a place of giving is a very different experience from those times when we agree to do something that we really don’t want to do, or we alter our plans to do something to fit in with someone else and there is resentment, anger or we experience a general feeling of being pissed off.

There is nothing wrong with putting ourselves first, in fact if we don’t know how to say NO then we are giving people the green light to walk all over us. We have let them know that their life, their goals, their wants and their desires are far more important than our own.

I remember when I first started work after being at home raising my kids for many years and one of the managers asked me to prepare a report. ‘It must be completed by the end of the day as I need it first thing the next morning” he said. To do this I had to stay back later after work and arrange for the kids to stay with a neighbour for a few hours until I got home. I placed the report on his desk as I left the office.

About 4 or 5 days later I was in his office and I noticed the report still on his desk where I had left it. When I asked about the deadline he had put on having it finished he said ‘the meeting isn’t until next week, I just wanted to get it done straight away.’ A big lesson for me, it never happened again simply because I asked better questions about deadlines and timeframes.

We all want to be liked and loved it makes us feel good right? Friendships and relationships are the perfect training ground for us to learn how and when to draw a line in the sand and when it’s OK to go along with what other’s want even if we aren’t all that keen. It’s about finding that balance between what’s important and what isn’t and when it comes to friendships and relationships it’s about being willing to walk away from the ones that are no longer aligned with who we are.

I would like to share something I read many years ago from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey that had an impact on me at the time and still resonates deeply with me.

“A personal mission statement based on correct principles becomes a standard for an individual, the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives.

Once you have that sense of mission you have the essence of your own proactivity. You have the vision and the values that direct your life. You have the basic direction from which you set your long and short-term goals. You have the power of a written constitution based on correct principles, against which every decision concerning the most effective use of your time, your talents and your energies can be effectively measured.

Many of us, me included, allow other people and circumstances to have an influence on our day to day lives that takes us away from doing the things that are most important to us. Writing this blog has been a wonderful reminder for me to go back and reassess where I find myself in relation to my personal mission statement.

Which brings me to ‘self-love’ or lack thereof.

Many people give too much and love too much and then wonder why they are left feeling unappreciated, unloved and dissatisfied with life.

If you identify as someone who gives too much and you are frustrated that your goals and dreams are sitting out in some far distant future this is the perfect time to write your personal mission statement and enforce boundaries around how you use your time and your energy.

To share your thoughts or your story please email me: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au
With love and gratitude
Jenny xx

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HOW TO CREATE YOUR BEST ENVIRONMENT

One of the biggest changes we face after the end of a relationship is in our living environment. Which is of course, one of the most important aspects of our lives, the place we call ‘home.’

Along with separating from someone we had planned on spending the best part of our lives with we are also faced with separating from many of the things that not only feel so familiar but also feel like a part of us in some way.

One of the biggest upheavals is the decision to either stay in what has been the marital home or move out and find somewhere else where we can begin to start all over again. Both of these options bring with them their own challenges and for many women this is not a decision that comes easily for them. In many cases this is come down to accepting the financial reality of the situation.

If you are emotionally attached (in a good way) to your family home and now the decision has been made to sell up, that can be particularly stressful for you. Even if you are in the position to stay in the family home it is quite possible that there will be lots of memories attached to the home that could trigger highly charged emotional responses in any number of different ways and being aware that this may be the case will help make the decision as to whether you choose to stay or sell up and move.

With any change in circumstances and more so when it comes to our home, there is a period of adjustment we go through and as we do one of the realizations that becomes clear as we take these next steps is that it is never really about a particular house or apartment or town or city that makes us grieve the loss when it is gone but rather the memories that were created in the home, the people who came in and out of our lives, the work we put into the garden, or transforming and redecorating a part of the house, the kids friends popping in and out, the sounds of children’s laughter, the family times when we all cuddled up to watch a movie, the sharing of cooking the family meals and the dreams we had for our futures.

If you accept that premise then you might also accept that the end of what was is also the beginning of something new. The only difference this time is that you have new awareness and experience to take with you on your journey and the choices you make are all yours.

“There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so. We see the world not as it is, but as we are” Shakespeare

You now get to be the creator of the next phase of your life and where and how you live it.

I believe that home is what we make it and we see evidence of this in the most unusual and unexpected places around the world all the time. What we might consider to be an uninhabitable ‘home’ the people who live there have the biggest, most beautiful smiles and appear to be far happier than many who live in the biggest mansions.

At its’ very heart it seems that the feeling about a home is the same for most people.

  • A safe and supportive environment
  • A place to call our own
  • A place where we are able to relax and be ourselves
  • A place to share with our family and friends
  • A place that is an expression of who we are and what is important to us

All of these things become evident from how we feel in our home and how other people are welcomed into our home. It is rarely about the size of the home, the luxurious trappings or the massive pool in the back yard, nice to have for sure, but what speaks to me straight away is the feeling you get when you walk inside and that is priceless.

One of my clients a while ago now, was really struggling with the thought of letting go of the home where she had raised her children and all the happy memories she had attached to the home. Once she was able to see that this was the end of that phase in her life and that it was OK to let go she began to see that making a new home was just one part of the new life she had ahead of her she became excited about the possibilities and put her time and energy into finding out what it was she really wanted including where she wanted to live.

After discussion with her family she ended up making a big move from her home town to a beachside location, in a different state where she settled into a much smaller home that needed some ‘work,’ but was affordable and started working in a job she had never done before and that she absolutely loved. She spent the next few years making some changes to the house little by little as she lovingly decorated each room adding her own unique style and personality. I have been there a few times since to visit and these words say it all.

Home is Where The Heart Is, and creating a new home after divorce is just one of the hidden gifts we never expected to receive.

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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STUCK IN A MONEY RUT?

Let’s talk about money!

It’s up there with topics like politics, religion and sex when it comes to having discussions about it with a partner, a colleague or a friend or your ‘friendly’ bank manager.

Far too many women really struggle financially as an outcome of separation and divorce. And yes, I know a lot of guys do too, unfortunately it’s true for both parties. When you have spent years working towards some financial goals and things fall apart, by the time credit card debt, mortgage, leases on cars and all the other many expenses that are part of everyday life are taken out of what little might be left over after the divorce often what is left is little or next to nothing. Then it’s a matter of starting all over again to create some financial security and wealth, never an easy thing particularly for those who divorce later in life.

Have you found yourself in a financial rut and have no idea how to get your self out?

Here’s the thing!
WE ALL HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF OUR LIVES!
Including where we are headed financially.

And just like creating any change, the first place to start is by taking a good hard look at where we are. Much like going on a diet, you have to know where you are now and where you want to be and then get focused on the end goal. Make it a project you are working on, a well formed plan that includes knowing exactly what you want to achieve both short and long term.

Start doing the numbers. It can be really scary and most of us like to just bury our heads in the sand rather than deal with what makes us feel uncomfortable. Spend the time to go through all your credit cards, your bills and regular expenses so you know your outgoings. If you have kids there are always things that crop up that we haven’t budgeted for and it really does put a great deal of pressure on parents.

If you have been putting more value of the thrill of going on a shopping spree, having nice clothes and shoes or going a holiday or whatever it might be then I would suggest you spend some time really thinking about your values around money.

When my marriage ended and I became totally responsible for all the bills and other expenses I used a Collins 18 Money Column book. I divided it up into months of the year with my income for each month at the bottom, then all the regular bills in whatever column they were due. I knew at the end of every month whether I was going to be under or over. This system really helped me decide how I spent my money. There are plenty of other great tools available online these days to make it even easier.

If your outgoings are higher than your income it’s time to look at how you can pull back in some area, purchase different brands that are cheaper or take on some extra work. If we are consistently spending more than we earn, there is only ever going to an unhappy ending.

If you are finding it still too difficult to do on your own and can’t afford to speak to a professional advisor, get an accountability partner. Someone you trust to help keep you on track. Make it as much fun as you can and give yourself some little rewards for your little wins along the way.

Many of us turn a blind eye or simply justify our spending habits. Time to take your head out of the sand, look around you and decide what you really want in your life and then do whatever you have to do to make it happen.

A money map so you can see exactly where you are going and what you need to do

  • Persistance
  • Consistency
  • A burning desire to create a happier, more financially secure future
  • And an accountability buddy to make the journey more fun

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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