“I first learned to manage my finances even after the divorce”

Alice, 37, heard from her husband last year that he wanted a divorce. A big blow, also financially. For he always took care of all money matters. This is the first summer Alice has had to manage her finances herself.

Had a difficult divorce, tell me?
“We had lived apart for a while, there was no longer any communication in the house. So our relationship had not been good for a while. Still, I had a very hard time when we got divorced. Partly because I was not used to arranging things myself. We got married together, and I once went into the marriage with the idea that the man should take care of everything around the economy. ”

How was it during the marriage?
“I have been taught good principles about money from the house, but in practice we were very easy to use. For example, when I had children, I started working part-time. I made a lot less money back then, but I did not spend less. As a result, we always fell short at the end of the month. Not that we were poor, but it seemed like life was a little more expensive with us than with others. Everyone who bought a house around us, for example, immediately started renovating. We did not go further than for a lick of paint, then the money was already gone. ”

How much came in per month?
“Together, we earned between € 2,500 and € 3,000 net a month ten years ago, but the money flew out. We also had no idea how it happened. In hindsight, there was no grip. If we lacked anything, it was bought. We did not live excessively but we did not think about our expenses.As a result we lived beyond our means.When we felt like going out to eat we did not look at whether it was financially possible.We went straight.Sometimes once per month, but sometimes three times a week if we wanted to. ”

When did you realize that was no longer possible?
“When we went on holiday, the money was always a little too early. So we went out and ate night after night and we could not do anything halfway because we had nothing. We borrowed occasionally from the family. Afterwards, I sometimes think: what should they have thought: I just left for a weekend while still having to pay the previous one back. Terrible, I would never do that again. In 2020, I stumbled upon PorteRenee’s podcast by chance. There I learned to handle money again, as I had learned from my parents: to make jars. A jar for groceries, a jar for clothes, a jar for holidays. I went into it so much that I really started to like it. It felt so good to get my money back. ”

Was your husband with you?
“No, at that time our relationship was not so strong anymore. We did not speak. In addition, he continued to live in the same way, and I suddenly became much stricter about our money matters. Nevertheless, budgeting gave us a lot of benefits: I suddenly had money left over at the end of the month. We had never experienced that before. ”

How are you doing financially now that you are single?
“I work and I am also entitled to child support, child allowance, childcare allowance and child budget. All in all, it is around 3200 euros a month, which is quite a lot. I finally have full control over the money.”

Are you still budgeting?
“Sure. I save for something before I use it. I also plan a lot more. I used to think I could not decide what I would eat in three days. Nonsense, it’s possible! Weekly shopping gives you grip, but also peace of mind.You know where you stand every night and the kids know what to eat.Last year I went on vacation with my kids, because of my new way of handling money it was the first “Holiday without financial problems. We could eat out every night, I had planned it financially. And it worked, what a relief!”

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