Getting Back on Track After Financial Abuse

By Ronald Williford

Financial planning is critical. Whether you’re living with your partner and have never married or are seeking separation or divorce, you may be able to get help resolving your debt, accessing insurance, and obtaining other financial support in hopes of financial security.

The definition of financial security varies from person to person. For some, it means having food, shelter, and a decent job. For others, it means being able to live where they want, afford childcare and own a car. And for others, financial security is defined by preparing for a comfortable retirement, enjoying vacations, owning a home, and paying for college.

Financial security is one of the many reasons why deciding to end an abusive relationship can be difficult. Most people find that their standard of living declines after ending an abusive relationship, and those without employment may have to work to support themselves and theirc hildren. This can be overwhelming and frightening.

Regardless of how you define financial security, if you decide to leave an abusive partner, remember, you are not alone. Community service providers will help you address safety concerns, identify assistance programs devise appropriate plans and strategies to regain control of your life. Begin by developing a budget. A budget will help you to understand where your money goes.

To create a budget, follow these steps:

Step 1: Identify your net monthly income: This is the money that comes into your household after deducting taxes, Social Security, insurance, etc.

Step 2: Identify your monthly expenses: Monthly expenses include rent and utilities and those that occur periodically, like car insurance and medical expenses.

Step 3: Subtract your monthly expenses from your income: The difference between your income and expenses indicates whether or not you have any money to spare. If you have extra money, you’ll need to decide whether to spend or save it. Can you reduce expenses or earn more money to cover shortages? By distinguishing between needs and wants, you can better identify areas where you might be overspending.

A budget is a tool that will help you make critical spending decisions. If you’re considering ending a financial relationship with your partner, it’s essential to review all of your assets to find out if they will support you and your family. When you end a relationship, your income and financial assets may change dramatically. If you take time to determine how much money you need to support your family before you leave, you can prepare in advance to meet your family’s financial needs.

Ronald Williford is the CEO of Philadelphia Financial Consultants, LLC, an independent financial planning brokerage specializing in personal financial planning, retirement planning, small business consulting, and tax planning.