I was flicking through the newspapers over the weekend and came across an article about reducing financial anxiety. Reading this article reminded me a lot of the situations that many of the people I speak to find themselves in.
I think financial stress can be one of the main factors in a relationship running into difficulties. Good communication has to be at the heart of addressing financial stress. When I am helping people to sort out their finances on separation, the first thing I want to know is what have you got, what type asset and so on. Information, information and more information.
I think budgeting is critical. You need to know what income you’ve got coming in and what you have got going out. Whether you are working the figures through as a couple or as a newly separated person, you need to balance the books and work out what you need.
If you are in debt, there is no point hiding from it and there is lots of help available out there for you – Step Change, Citizens Advice and Money Advice Service are three of them. If you can’t face opening the letters, get someone you trust to do it. Having debt is really not the end of the world and as my grandmother would say, you can’t get blood from stone, so if you do not have the money to make the full monthly payment, you can’t magic it from thin air but offering something is better than ignoring all letters and phone calls. Again, back to communication with those that you owe money to.
I do also think that if you have debt and want to stop it happening again, you need to take some time to work out why you ran up the debt in the first place – and be really honest with yourself.
If you need help in sorting out your finances when you are separating, contact me.