Welcome to Checkbook Roulette

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Hey pal, guess what! You just got served divorce papers. There is no way to sugar coat it; your life is about to change.  Everybody copes in their own way and there is tons of advice out there for you.  It sucks, but you will get through it. What Dr. Phil or anybody else can’t prepare you for though is the financial burden you just suddenly picked up overnight.  Gone are the days of two paychecks and welcome to checkbook Russian roulette.  The mortgage company doesn’t really care what is going on with you mentally, they just want their money!

Unless you are hobnobbing with Warren Buffett or have the last name of Walton, chances are you aren’t in the most secure place financially to begin with, and now you have to worry about keeping the lights on as well as taking care of your child and living expenses.  I’ve been there and have the t-shirt to show for it.  Today though let’s just focus on you sir and what tips and tricks there are to ensure you can make it financially through an already crappy time of your life.

Here are some financial tips for you the suddenly single man:

Do:            Sell off anything that isn’t bolted to the wall.

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Don’t:       Get on a first name basis with Jim at The Beer Depot.

Do:            Downsize, you’re cooking for one now and it’s about survival.  Hello Ramen noodles and peanut butter.

Don’t:       Get on the Christmas card list at the local pizzeria.

Do:            Find a cheap/inexpensive hobby to pass the time to keep you sane, for me it was blogging.

Don’t:       You aren’t God’s gift to women; stay out of the clubs, another woman is the last thing on your mind for a while.  If you need to go out, call up a friend and let them remind you that you’re broke.  Besides going to the club and ordering Natural Light because that is all you can afford isn’t going to impress the girl half your age dressed like a stripper.

Do:            Sign up for every single supermarket/department store discount card/plan, however do not use your primary email account if you value your time.  Believe me, you are getting ready to have plenty of “you” time and deleting 15% off coupons from a store for feminine hygiene will get old after a while.

Don’t:       Buy 25 jars of spaghetti sauce just because you saved five bucks.  Five bucks can be a matter of gas money or walking to work.

Do:            Lose the gym membership, it’s $30.00 bucks a month that might be the difference between having hot water or reliving your teenage years.

Don’t:       Become inactive, exercise is free even if you aren’t going to the gym now.  Borrow Rocky IV from someone and fast forward to the Russian training sessions.  You don’t realize it yet but you are about to become a free agent in the game of life, embrace it, but you have to work at it somewhat.

Do:            Anything on the side for extra cash that’s legal and weigh your options if it is borderline illegal.  You are in the fight for your life right now; nothing is off the table.

Don’t:       Suddenly look at a ten-year trend of Powerball numbers and think you are a new lottery swami.  I’ve tried this one first hand and it doesn’t work.

Do:            Before you attempt anything about your banking situation, run it by people whose life isn’t going 500 mph like yours currently is.

Don’t:       Make an internet-only bank your main bank account.  I don’t care what they are offering. Inevitably you will be in a spot where you need funds that are available immediately and not wait the 48-72 hours for a deposit to clear. Internet banking is a great thing if you have the extra cash, right now though you don’t!

Take my advice here and you will manage to save yourself a little bit of cash each week.  You are going to need it, because next will come some incredibly bad luck and if you have any children and still want to be involved in their life you are more than likely going to have to hire an attorney.  Attorneys aren’t cheap, there is a reason they drive Lexus’s while you are sweating if the bald tires on your 12-year-old pickup truck are going to get you through one more day.  That is a topic for another time though.

This is today’s lesson for all you men who just found out the bad news.  We have a lot more to cover in the coming weeks.  Child support (calm down man hater mom I believe in it, also just another unplanned expense), relocating, dating, and co-parenting among other things are going to squeeze the life out your finances.  Before you can fight those battles though you need to make sure you are financially fit yourself!  Welcome to divorce club bro, now it’s time to pull those boot laces a little tighter and get to work!

 

Send Skipah Sailing!

45 Comments

  1. This one just popped up in my FB feed for some reason. It’s really good. Masterful way to handle a tough topic.
    Francis Michael Linardo recently posted…Swim Team: Really?My Profile

  2. This is scary accurate. I think the biggest thing for me after my divorce was learning how to be single in the first place. I got into my relationship at 16 and got out of it at 23. How are you supposed to be single? What are you supposed to do? Do I flirt with people now? Hook up? Buy a cat and call it a day? Funny AND useful article! Thanks for sharing it!
    Michael Noker recently posted…How to Say No (When you’re a complete pushover)My Profile

  3. I made so many really bad financial move both during the divorce and after. I was manipulated and trying to be fair. I got ripped off during the divorce and honestly didn’t know how to manage money since I was married to a control freak (another story better left untold) I really think people should take a money course
    Heidi recently posted…How To Choose The Right Workout Gear (why it matters)My Profile

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  8. I feel sad that so many need your advice. Thanks for sharing it on the Blogger’s Pit Stop

  9. This was a great post. Just wish that it was fiction and not fact. Sounds as though you are doing a great job during this difficult time.

    • I’m getting there day by day, back in 2014 when this was all going down it got dicey for a bit.

      • My son is still dealing with this. His daughter is the bargaining chip in the extortion ring run by his ex-wife and her family. Sad. He does take the high road which is hard at times.

        • I tried to take the high road and just start my little website here but even this gets used against me!

          • I understand. It is terrible to be under such scrutiny and to have things twisted by an attorney in court. Been there with my son. Not pretty. It takes a maturity and wisdom to deal with this kind of situation. I think you fit the bill. Life is long and your little girl will be an adult one day. Hang in there!

  10. Very brilliant post and written with humour too. I enjoyed reading 😊

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  12. Maybe we could keep the 25 jars of spaghetti sauce, but then use them for weight training after quitting the gym membership… I mean, a five buck saving is a five buck saving.

  13. My hubby experienced this back in the day of his divorce, as a carpenter who would be laid off three months every year. You bet he did everything on that list, plus he had three young kids he took care of! It does get better.

  14. Ugh. Great advice. Funny in many ways but man are these true!

    Made me cringe thinking of attorney fees… Bleh

  15. My first ex-wife woke me up at two AM to say she was leaving. I stood by the window and watched her climb into a two-tone green DeSoto sedan and drive off with her boyfriend into a snowy November night. She left me with an infant and a toddler to raise. Coincidentally it was my payday and, as per usual I had stopped at the check cashing place on my way home, a fact that had not escaped her memory as I discovered the next day. Reading your post tells me that i actually came out in the roses on that deal.

    • I got the three week b.s. treatment from mine before she walked. She let me burn up a huge 401k loan in an effort to fix our finances. Nevermind a week later I’m lawyer shopping with no access to huge amounts of cash and thus began the cycle. It’s a great feeling once you get past all the muck. Walked out on an infant thats just low!

  16. Don’t use your primary email – best advice ever.

  17. Selling one’s blood plasma can also improve finances. Back in the day, The Mister and I used to bring in an additional $200 a month from that. Who knows what it pays now. Then when you’re no longer poor you can still donate for free, because important 😉
    Also, eat an apple a day to keep the dr away because insurance and medical bills are vile.

  18. Ramen noodles got me through college. Then I graduated to Tuna noodle helper with a can of peas added for vegetable content. Then I married my husband who could cook!

    No divorce in our future (He tried divorcing me twice, figured out he couldn’t survive without my added income!)

  19. Another tip i learned when my Ex left masses of debts. In writing, promise to pay say $2 a week/month off the debt. Never, ever default and you can always up the amount if things improve, so start really, really low. Certainly in the UK and south Africa if you do this, they are not able to take you to court or prosecute you – even if paying off the debt will take the next 60 years. Not sure if this works for a mortgage though.

    • There are programs for help that I probably wouldn’t have qualified for anyway, but there was no way I could keep up my marital property by myself. This is going to be a whole series for me so there will be plenty to cover in the upcoming weeks :).

  20. Hilarious, but true. I think that the key takeaway for men or women of divorce is that your lifestyle is about to change dramatically and you need to buckle down.

  21. Written with honesty, self-awareness and humor. And that you’re willing to share lessons learned speaks to your generosity of spirit. I’d say you’re going to do and be just fine.

  22. These are the best tips I never want to use!

    • Some of this is in jest, but no you do not ever want to go through it. If you ever have a rocky patch (and you won’t because your a rock star dad, gourmet chef, and kick ass hubby) don’t hesitate to contact me.

  23. Clever advice from a phoenix rising from the ashes!

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