Thursday, April 30, 2015

Moving Out - One Year Later

This is part one of a multi part series of posts related to the process of divorce. In this post, I describe the process of moving out as part of separation. This article is written as a retrospective though, since it was written during the time of the events, but only recently did I decide that I would publish it.

I moved out a year ago in late March/early April. I actually wrote about this process back then, but decided to hold off on posting about it. In fact, I have not updated this blog since that point. Now, I think the time has come to write about the experience from a financial perspective and with that, here's my first post:

After a very long relationship of nearly 15 years, it is now over. Recognizing it is over is often the most difficult thing to do. And while the emotional stuff was a whole separate set of issues that I won't get into here, the real issues with the financial stuff is where there is definitely some interest and so far, I think that things are going ok.

I am incredibly grateful that we had the financial resources to do this. I consider how difficult it can be for many people to separate due to the issues around money and how expensive the separation process can be. Then I reflect on the fact that it was the simple principles that were followed, day after day for weeks and months and years that led us to the point that when the relationship had finally run its course, that there were few issues with separating. There were enough resources for us to separate and for both of us to be ok.

And the principles were these:
0. From the very beginning of the relationship, I was clear that we should each maintain our own stash of money. I never wanted anyone to be staying with me because of the money. That is just a bad way to be together--to be depending upon another person in such a way that you can never make your own choices. Once that is settled, the other principles can take place.

1. Live below your means, and if you are going to splurge on anything, make sure it is a one-time fixed cost. Do not splurge by continuing to expand your monthly expenses.

2. Save automatically, regularly. For me, it was a matter of saving more than 10% of my salary into my 401k each month. That is the kind of money that you need to be comfortable saving regularly if you want to be in a good place financially.

3. Invest in yourself. Work hard at your profession and make yourself indispensable to the people you work for. Or, find yourself a union so that your income is protected. Either way, develop your income stream and work to protect and secure it once you have it. The income stream is what matters because when you separate, if you have income, you can rebuild a life. If you are without income and have no means to it, then the money will run out fast.

No comments: