When you’ve just broken up with a partner or spouse, there’s a lot to sort out. You’re deciding who gets to keep all the stuff you’ve bought together, who gets to keep going to your favourite pub, and what you’ll do with your life now that you’ve got a lot more time to yourself. And usually, all this is happening while one person is grieving much differently to the other.
The good news is you can make a breakup a lot easier on yourself by taking a methodical approach to sorting out any shared finances. Here are a few key points:
1. Seperate your finances
The obvious one here is joint bank accounts. But you’ll also need to think about any joint debts you have; credit cards, personal loans, etc. You don’t want to be liable for their share of the debt if they stop making repayments.
2. Work out your position
Once you’ve got your money separated out, it’s time to work out where you stand. Take stock of your debts and assets to work out your net wealth. This is the first step towards planning for an independent financial future.
3. Re-do your budget
Even if you weren’t living with your ex, there’s a chance you shared a lot of budget line items with them. Draw up a budget with only your income and spending. Some of your expenses may go up a bit, especially if you end up moving house. But you may also find you’ve got more spare money for yourself.
4. Tell Centrelink
If you, your ex or both of you were receiving a Centrelink benefit, you’ve got to report the end of your relationship ASAP. This will most likely affect the rate of payment received. On the flip side, if you were unemployed (studying or a stay at home spouse) or a low-income earner, and ineligible for Centrelink because of your ex’s income, you may now be eligible for a payment as a single person.
5. Set new goals
When you have your budget sorted and your income is stable, you can begin to set new financial goals that are just for you – not anyone else. Think about the things you want to do with your life that cost money, set targets, and start working towards them.
6. Update your Will, your super, and your insurance/s
If you had your ex down as a beneficiary of your Will, your superannuation or your life insurance policy, you’ll probably want to change that ASAP. Get legal advice or financial advice if you’re not sure how to do this. Vision Super will help walk you through changing your binding death benefit nomination.
7. Get educated
Learning to manage your own money is particularly important if you used to let your ex handle all the money stuff. Take the first step by identifying what you don’t know about. Chances are, Vision Super has the tools that’ll help you make informed financial decisions!
If you need assistance with personal or general financial advice, Vision Super can help. You may only need general help and support, which we can do for free face-to-face or over the phone and walk you through many of your options. If you need more personal advice or detailed information, we can refer you onto one of our financial planners who can look at all aspects of your finances.
Call us on 1300 300 820 during business hours to set up an appointment.