Back On The Market After Divorce: Part 2 Targeted Distribution and Sweet Self Promotion

Back On The Market After Divorce: Part 2 Targeted Distribution and Sweet Self Promotion

In Part 1 of our two-part series, we gave you the recipe for self-promotion when you are ready to get back on the market after divorce – a simple process for newly divorced men who are ready to start dating again but who lack the tools or language to get started. In this follow up, we go beyond your immediate circle of friends to find new avenues of distribution, and we cover the ABCs of cupcakery.  

Picking Your Favorite Flavor

In Part 1, your helpful friend lays the groundwork with a woman you find to be physically attractive.  And while chemistry is absolutely necessary, how do you know if she’s a good match in any other regard? If you are back on the market and looking for anything beyond singularly casual, an attraction based solely on looks is not sustainable. Without compatibility, you’re just two ships passing in the night. Or the coffee shop. Or whatever.

According to the American Marketing Association, a significant part of good marketing is exchanging offerings of value for partners. You have value.  But in order for marketing to work effectively, the value must be exchanged. You spend a fair amount of time baking your own value into your offerings, but do you value what she brings? Do you know what flavor even appeals to you?  You have to know what’s important to you in a partner before you can truthfully answer that question. 

Figuring Out What You Want In a Woman

This is where you draw up a loose ingredient list for the recipe of your ideal partner.  Does she have the same interests as you?  Or, are you cool with her giving you space to do your thing on your own time?  Does she have to know the lyrics to your favorite song? Love to travel? Like long walks in the park?

Whatever it is, you have to be able to ask for it. Why? Because in a marketing sense, she’s your ideal customer. She is the person with which you want to exchange offerings. And while you may never fully understand her recipe, it’s key that you identify your favorite flavors and whether or not you can live without them.

This idea goes beyond your palate. In order for friends to be on the lookout on your behalf, they have to know who they’re looking for. And as we discussed in Part 1, in relationship to our value, the best way to do that is to tell them. Since your love life is likely not the main focus of your friends, you may have to tell them several times.  Hey, that’s okay. It’ll be worth it.

Remember, when conjuring up the avatar for your new dream girl to leave some room for the magic to happen. Which is to say, this list is not hard and fast. You may meet someone that has a few of the qualities from your “dream list”, but comes outfitted with an entire host of those you didn’t know were possible. A skeet-shooting, rocket scientist that watches Bob’s Burgers actually exists?!

She may. Stranger things have happened. 

Know Who To Ask

The key factor to remember is, and will always be, the exchange of value. You each need to feel as though you’re getting the better end of the deal. Life as you know it, as you emerge back onto the dating scene, is going to be comprised of many first dates.  And life with a new partner, when you find her, is going to be a string of many more dates.  You’ve identified, albeit loosely, who you are looking for. Knowing this will improve your odds of rock the first date. When done properly, better initial matches save everyone time.

But does one find ideal matches when they have exhausted their immediate resource of friends and family? The answer lies in knowing who to ask.  In his New York Times best selling book The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell describes the three archetypes of people, including Mavens, Salespeople and Connectors.

You, my friend, need to identify the connectors within your circle.  Then you, my friend, need to pick up the phone, invite them to lunch, send them a card or a singing telegram. You need their attention. And you need their help.

The awesome thing about Connectors, is that if they believe you to be a person of integrity they will be your best ally. Why? Because Connectors are individuals who have a gift for bringing people together. Connectors love playing matchmaker.  And lucky for you, they are more interested in people than money.  Avoid yourself a Hitch-utation and find yourself a connector that will be just as effective and hopefully not have an allergy to shellfish. 

ABC’s of Cupcakery

Now that you understand how better to speak on your own behalf, empowered those around you and have an idea of the qualities of your match, it’s important to review your ABC’s. Now you may be thinking, why go back to the basics at this point?  And the reason is simple.

In the now-famous scene from Glengarry Glenn Ross, Alec Baldwin’s character breaks down the ABC’s of sales.  We’ll save you the pressure and simply emphasize that one must Always Be Closing.  What does this mean to you? It means you must always be asking for a sale.

If you ask your friend to talk to the girl at the gym, follow up with him.  If he didn’t approach her yet, go with him next time.  If playing wingman helps close the deal, so be it.  If you asked your Mom to perform recon with the woman at her volunteer gig, remind her.  Ask her. Follow up. It’s okay to be Alec Baldwin-y if a white board and inspirational pep talk gets the job done for you. Until you get momentum and the hang of pitching yourself, it’s a numbers game and this is all part of the process.

Should you start to feel bad, or worry about imposing on too many folks, remember that a big part of a successful marketing campaign is the benefit and value an ideal exchange of offerings brings society at large.  It’s for the greater good! We want you to be happy.  When you’re happy, it has this amazing ripple effect of positivity in your life that the rest of us get to enjoy. You’re a nicer guy to be around when you’re in a relationship that’s doing well.

Lastly, keep the faith.  If being in a successful relationship seems too much to fathom when you are freshly back on the market, remember that there is value in the hope of reciprocity, that the feelings of a potential interest may be mutual. Many people have accomplished a great deal in life running solely on the fumes of hope.

Back On The Market Is a Great Place To Be

So keep your chin up, and continue to envision what’s possible with the right person in your corner. And you in hers.  Take that smile with you to work. Take it home to your kids. Share it with the elderly woman you hold the door open for.  We feel better when you feel better.  And you may feel so much better that you might want to stop at the store on your way to work and surprise the office with cupcakes. 


Did your friends help you get back into the dating scene? Give them kudos in the comments below!

If you like cupcakes, share this article on your social media.


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Divide Your Assets: Real Estate and Divorce Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

Divide Your Assets: Real Estate and Divorce Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

Anyone who has headed down the road to divorce will agree that the entire journey is full of emotionally charged issues. Aside from the children and the associated custody decision, the real estate decision about what to do with family home is usually one of the top issues fighting for second place.

In terms of divorce advice for men, Guyvorce always recommends that as much as you need a qualified attorney to help you through the legal process of divorce, you need a qualified real estate professional to help you through the decisions surrounding the family home.

Options for Dividing the Family Home

In simple terms, there are normally three options for how to divide and settle the family home.

  1. One spouse keeps the house, the other moves out. This option is usually the one that we see in the movies. It generates great visions of drama, with the potential for a lawn full of clothing and stuff. However, in reality, it can make sense. One spouse may clearly be able to continue owning and managing the house and associated payments or they may be the obvious choice for primary custody of the children. If the kids have spent years in the family home, you both may agree their best interest is served by continuing their residence in that home for stability. No matter the reason, the other spouse usually is entitled to some other property as a tangible asset of equitable value to their portion of the home’s value at the time of divorce. Your attorney will provide you the best options for this offset.
  2. Sell the house and divide the proceeds. For many, especially the dual income families, the cost of the mortgage, utilities, and home maintenance was managed through both incomes. Once the marriage goes away, and there is a need for two residences, the old family home becomes unaffordable for one. This is especially true for those households that managed the family home on a single income.
  3. Continue to own the home jointly, then sell and settle the profit division later. This option is becoming much more common as a result of the housing bubble rupture a decade ago. For many families, selling the family home is not an option if the house is underwater, meaning the couple owes more on the home than it is worth. For many, they become landlords, renting the home for a period of time while the rent helps buy down the debt as the property value recovers. At a certain point, the financial situation resolves and the home can be sold.

Making Informed Decisions

Take a look around your home. You see the familiarity, feel the sense of security, and understand the relief that comes when you arrive home from work. With those feelings, you can understand why choosing your path from the options above can be emotionally charged and difficult. That’s the main way a realtor can help you make the best decision. Don’t continue to fight it out between the two of you. Bring in a qualified realtor to give you the best advice for you both. Remember, if you can’t decide together, the court will decide for you. That path will come with a sizable legal bill and time, so you should try to reach a common agreement, even if between your attorneys, without handing the decision to the judge.

Even when selling a home while happily married, the process is lengthy and full of potential slip ups if you try to do it on your own. Missing a few key steps could keep you legally tied to that property, negatively impacting your ability to buy another home later on.

Financial Reasons for Hiring a Pro

During divorce, one poor decision can easily lead to another, making it even more vital you bring in a professional to make sure you have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. While not all inclusive, here are four important financial reasons you need a hire a professional to guide you through the real property division:

  • Closing the mortgage for both spouses. After divorce, you both will likely want to own another home. If you aren’t removed from the current mortgage correctly, you will have that debt on your credit report. The best case outcome will be you will have to find your ex, hire an attorney, and show through much paperwork that you do not have any financial ties to that home. The worst case outcome is you will be denied the loan for your new home. Save yourself the pain and get a realtor to help.
  • Clearing the deed. Just as the mortgage, there is a separate process to making sure you are clear of the title and not legally tied to the property. If this action is not handled correctly, you may find yourself owing taxes on a home you thought was off your books, or potentially liable for another’s injury that occurred on this property. Why set yourself up for this nightmare when a qualified realtor can clear it for you?
  • Capital gains exclusion protection. This one is huge and often overlooked. When you sell your home, and make money, you may owe capital gains tax. Then again, if you lived there long enough, you may not. And if divorcing, how do you divide the gains and the exclusion? Not sure of the answer? You aren’t alone. But your real estate professional will help you identify the documentation you may need during tax preparation to satisfy the IRS.
  • You can also check with the IRS and try to figure it out yourself, but that is NOT recommended!

Added Benefits of Hiring a Realtor

Beyond the financial protection advantages of bringing a real estate professional onto your divorce team, they also will be able to provide you guidance and support relative to your current sale and future property decisions.

  • Emotion-free sale price establishment. Setting the sale price for your home is loaded with emotion, even when married. Add divorce to the equation and you can quickly see the arguments starting. A professional takes away that problem. They know your area, know the nuances that affect pricing, and will tell you what the right price is to sell your home. You don’t want it on the market forever, you need it gone and off the books. They will get you to closing.
  • Sheltering you from quick sale temptation. There are two dangers here. First, is from one of the spouses, the one that wants a quick divorce and doesn’t care about the bottom line. They just want it sold. The other is from buyers who learned about the divorce and think they can low ball the offer. In either case, the realtor adds the unbiased layer to negotiate a fair price.
  • Understanding of the area to help you find your next home. When your home sells, where are you going to live? What is your budget? Your professional isn’t just there to sell your home, but they can guide you to the right area and home for your needs when you make a fresh start. On your own, you may miss a neighborhood or an option that would have been perfect.

About That Commission

Some sellers shy away from realtors because of the commission. These commissions are usually between 5-6% of the home sale. During divorce, though, keep in mind that the commission is applied to the final sale price, so the division of the profit occurs after all expenses, including the commission.

If you’re still worried about the commission, many real estate professionals cite studies that show homes sell for far more than the commission when listed and worked by a realtor.  Others suggest that it depends on the type of property and location, and the Realtor vs. FSBO numbers are skewed by  lower-priced sales of mobile homes and condos.

In a divorce, the benefits of using a realtor outweigh the small percentage of commission on the sale. The professional will sell your home at the right price and handle the details. You paid for that service. You got sound advice, a fair price for your home, and are able to focus your energy on the myriad of other divorce issues on your plate. You will be free to live your new life without real estate worries hanging over your head.

Tips for Choosing Your Real Estate Agent

A quick internet search will show you tons of qualified professionals from which to choose. In your effort to narrow the search, you may get frustrated, or tempted to go with a recommendation from family or friends. Don’t jump to a conclusion too fast. The circumstances are different now, so you need to pick based on a focus on your upcoming divorce. Stick to these characteristics and you will be on the right path with the right professional.

  1. There are two facets to experience. The first is overall experience as a real estate professional. Secondly, you are looking for experience working with divorce situations. Some realtors have this listed on their website. You can narrow your search via the web by including divorce in your search.
  2. Divorce training. Similar to experience, there are specific seminars or training sessions that realtors can attend to help them work with divorcing couples and their property. If you find a large field of realtors that cite divorce experience, see if any cite relevant training to narrow the search further.
  3. Sales record. You want a realtor that knows how to make money selling houses. Sales record is really what counts. Look for someone who has a proven track record of sales, including sales in your neighborhood’s price range.
  4. Knowledge of the area. Remember, you are hiring this professional to help you sell your current marital home, but you may also want them to help you find that next home for your new life. Both areas require a solid understanding of the local market.
  5. Demonstrates no bias. More than likely, your professional will be working with both you and your ex to sell the home. You have a right to expect neutrality from your realtor, and so does your ex. So don’t plan to let your cousin’s husband handle the sale.
  6. Rapport. Just as with your lawyer, you need to be concerned about whether your realtor “fits” with you. You will be working with them often, reviewing many details about your home, and seeking a common approach to moving the home on the market. If the realtor doesn’t “fit” with you, the relationship and result will be unfavorable and stressful for you.

Emotions are going to wrap their way around so many decisions during divorce. Don’t let the headache of dividing the family home unnecessarily consume precious energy. Hire a realtor, get that burden off your shoulders and move on to the next issue.

What happened to the family home in your divorce? Tell us in the comments below.


If you are a Real Estate Agent who is interested in providing services to clients facing divorce, we’d like to help you by connecting you with the Guyvorce Community. Because every little bit helps. We know. We’ve been there.

Join the Guyvorce Ultimate Resource Directory now and SAVE 50% on our Premium Listing when you use code: GVCMAR

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(c) Can Stock Photo / Feverpitched

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7 Commonly Missed Tax Deductions Easy Tax Hacks for Last-Minute Filers

7 Commonly Missed Tax Deductions Easy Tax Hacks for Last-Minute Filers

It’s that time again! The tax filing deadline is fast approaching. Before you file, take a look at this list of some commonly lost and forgotten tax deductions to make sure you’re not paying more than your fair share to Uncle Sam.If you haven’t filed yet, it’s time to get serious about gathering up your documents to prepare your return or request an extension of time to file.

Dig through your documents from last year, and let’s see what we can find. If you have any of these, you might be able to use it for a tax deduction.

1. The Sales Agreement for Your New Car (or Boat or Airplane)

You are allowed to deduct either the amounts you paid for state and local income tax or state and local sales tax. While the deduction for sales tax usually makes sense primarily for those who live in states that do not impose an income tax, in some cases your sales tax deduction may be higher.

The IRS has an online calculator to help residents of states that impose a sales tax calculate how much you can deduct based on the sales tax rates in your area and your income level. However, if you made a large purchase, such as a vehicle, boat or airplane, you can add the sales tax paid for those items to the amount calculated by the IRS.

The same goes for purchases of home building materials, so if you constructed a home or performed a major remodel, dig out those receipts.

2. Receipts for Charitable Contributions

Are you generous? Don’t miss out on these tax deductions. You probably won’t forget about large charitable gifts you made during the year by check or payroll deduction, but there’s been a big increase in online giving in the past few years and many people forget to save online receipts for tax time. Before you file, search your email inbox for keywords such as “gift” or “donation.” Even small donations here and there can add up to big tax savings at year end.

You are also allowed a deduction for miles driven for charity. Whether you’re delivering meals or driving to drop off donations, keep track of the miles you drive for charity.

3. Child and Dependent Care Expenses

Parents are often eligible for a variety of tax deductions. If your child or dependent is under the age of 13 and you paid for daycare expenses while you worked, or actively looked for work, you may be able to claim a tax credit for those expenses. The amount of the credit is a percentage of the daycare expenses you paid. The percentage depends on your Adjusted Gross Income.

Even if your child is in school during the day and you’re not paying for full-time daycare, you may be paying for before or after-school care or day camps during the summer months. Those expenses are eligible as well.

If you don’t know how much you paid for daycare during 2016, before you start combing through bank statements, ask your daycare provider. They can often print out a summary of the expenses you paid during the year.

You’ll also need your daycare provider’s name, address, and Social Security or tax ID number to complete Form 2441 for the credit.

4. Closing Documents for Purchases or Refinancing Your Home Mortgage

Whether you bought a home or just refinanced your existing mortgage, you’ll want to take a look at the closing statement before you file your return to take advantage of these tax deductions.

When you buy a house, you can deduct the points paid to obtain the mortgage in the year of purchase. When you refinance, you can deduct the points over the life of the loan. For example, you can deduct 1/30th of the points each year for a 30-year mortgage. The points are often referred to on the closing statement as loan origination fees.

When you pay off the loan, whether you sell the property or refinance again, you can deduct the remainder of the points not yet deducted.

While you’re reviewing the closing statement, look for any real estate taxes paid out of closing funds. You may be able to add these to the deductible real estate taxes reported on the Form 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement by your mortgage lender.

5. Job-Related Costs

If you are looking for work in the same area of work that you had in the past, you can deduct job-hunting expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions.

Eligible costs include cab fares or parking fees, employment agency fees, fees for printing resumes, and the cost of postage. You can also deduct any food, transportation, and lodging expenses if you have to go out of town for a job interview.

If you pay for work-related expenses that aren’t reimbursed by your employer, you can deduct those expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions as well. Eligible expenses may include license fees, continuing education, union dues, or uniforms.

6. Health Insurance Premiums

If you pay for your own health insurance, you may be eligible for a tax break. Normally, medical expenses have to exceed 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income for you to receive a benefit as an itemized deduction. If you are self-employed, you can deduct 100% of your premiums as an “above the line” deduction, meaning you don’t have to itemize to receive a benefit.

Self-employed people can also take an above-the-line deduction for any Long Term Care Insurance premiums paid.

7. Investment Expenses

If you itemize, you may be able to deduct fees for financial planning, investment advice, subscriptions to investment publications, and other costs related to your investments. You’ll need to exceed a percentage of your Adjusted Gross Income to get a tax benefit from miscellaneous itemized deductions, but you can add investment expenses to other miscellaneous expenses such as job-related costs, safe deposit box rental fees, and tax preparation fees. The more you find, the more likely it will be that you’ll be able to get a benefit for the deduction.

Are You Missing Important Documents to Support Tax Deductions?

Missing documents are not uncommon. Fortunately, most tax-related documents are easily replaceable.

If you lost a W-2, 1099, or K-1, call the issuer and request a replacement. Most banks, investment brokers, and student loan servicers now have 1099s available to download online.

If you are concerned you’ve forgotten something, the IRS is able to provide transcripts for prior year returns, account transcripts showing estimated payments made on your account, and Wage & Income transcripts showing all of the income reported to your Social Security number. You can request these transcripts by calling the IRS, or sign Form 2848 authorizing your CPA or tax preparer to request that information on your behalf.

When You Need More Time

If all else fails, you can request a six-month extension of time to file a complete and accurate return. Remember that the extension is only an extension of time to file, not an extension to pay. If you anticipate owing money, you may want to work with your tax advisor to estimate the amount due and pay it with your extension to avoid interest and underpayment penalties.

If you do request an extension, do yourself a favor and try to gather the information to file soon. October will be here before you know it and you don’t want to be scrambling to gather your information all over again in a few months.

Are you able to itemize tax deductions this year? Tell us in the comments below.


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Back On The Market After Divorce: Part 1 The Recipe for Making Self Promotion a Cakewalk

Back On The Market After Divorce: Part 1 The Recipe for Making Self Promotion a Cakewalk

What’s a divorced guy to do when it’s time to start dating again? You’re back on the market, but most people aren’t a fan of talking about themselves and what makes them awesome. It falls somewhere along the spectrum between shameless self-promotion and self-absorbed windbag. Neither hold the attention of a non-captive audience for very long.

But let’s take a frank look at reality. Whether you’re looking to date casually or find a life partner, there is a certain level of effort required to let it be known you’re available. One could venture to say this effort looks a lot like marketing. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as the process of “creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” And if you’re pushing the latest widget, this is fairly straightforward.

But what if the offering… is you?

Preparing to Put Yourself Back On The Market

Not to worry, marketing yourself is completely within your ability. Think of it as baking a batch of cupcakes. We’re taking a selected group of your secret ingredients and combining them into tasty morsels to share.

Unlike a full – fledged cake which is too much for one person to fully enjoy, cupcakes are short, sweet and to the point. Manageable, easy to share, and can be enjoyed in one or two bites.

Don’t believe me?  Let’s take a closer look at the recipe.

Step 1: Assemble Ingredients

Before we can create or even communicate our offering, we need to assemble the ingredients.  Let’s start with the foundation, the base and substance of who you are at this point in your life. 

Before panic sets in, know this: you are in a better position now than you were at your previous attempt at a relationship. While seemingly difficult to swallow, understand that you know yourself better now than you did 5, 10 and especially 15 years ago. Your limits have been tested. You’ve made mistakes and persevered. You’ve enjoyed your great choices and learned from the choices you’d rather not repeat. Mostly.

That old adage of ‘that which did not kill me, made me stronger’ applies when it comes to your assessing what you bring to table at this point in your life. That which you’ve overcome and accomplished are now your assets. So sit down and start listing character strengths, Mister. You’ve earned it.

And remember, truth in advertising is subjective. And while honesty is the best policy when you are back on the market, over-share is not on our list of ingredients.

For example, your initial attempt at describing yourself may sound something like this: Divorced, two kids, child support up the wazoo, only see my kids every other weekend. Lost half my business in the divorce.

No one likes a bitter cupcake.

So let’s sweeten the pot. With a positive attitude and proper spin, the same situation could read a little something like this: Proud father of two awesome kids, their success is my priority, shared custody. Managing partner in business.

Goes down a bit easier, no?

Now let’s fold in your interests. Why interests, you ask?  Simple. Remember that camping trip you always wanted to take but didn’t or couldn’t while you were married? Well, you can now. But if you want to do it with someone, they need to know these interests exists. And that doing them with you, specifically, is an option.

Allow yourself to think big. All the experiences you want to have in life, all the things you already like to do, these make up the flavor of your appeal. And guess what? Somewhere out there is a woman complaining to her girlfriend over happy hour that she wishes she could meet someone that loved to camp. Or fly fish Or shoot things. Or whatever.

Step 2: Bake at 350. Let cool.

Now, let’s frost these bad boys with some characteristics. Are you the funniest guy in the room? Are you the guy your friends call for help in the middle of the night? Maybe you’re the guy that mom’s love. Or that they warn their daughters about. A sweet appeal in either case, for the right woman.

Scraping the bowl for ideas here? Ask your friends. They’ll remind you of the time you talked your way out of a speeding ticket.  Bam, add persuasion to your list.  Ask your dog. He may remind you that it’s time to go for your daily run together. Boom, you’re outdoorsy and an animal lover. Still searching? Ask your mom. I guarantee you she’ll rattle of 101 reasons why you’re special. Just don’t accidentally throw in “My mom says I’m” as it’s like forgetting to take the wrapper off the butter.

Feel free to sprinkle the top with some eye-catching humor. Ladies love humor, but just a sprinkle.

Step 3: Share

By the time you’re done, you’ll have created something that represents you, and is of value, an enticing morsel that will be your offering. Easily, and confidently shared with your friends so they, in turn, can share with theirs. Which is an uber-simplified version of how marketing works.

Remember that when you are back on the market, you are offering value not only to your future date or partner, you’re also offering value to your friends, clients and society at large. Your friends likely want to see you happily matched. Your friends want you to check the “plus 1” box when they send you invitations.

A well-partnered you is a happier you. Your friends dig that. A happier you does better business. Your clients want in on that.  And a happier, more successful you benefits society on the whole.

Keep that in mind when sharing your treats, and hold your head high. You are someone of value, with values. And while the natural inclination at this point may be to take a breather, remember time is of the essence. In his historic best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill writes “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” You’ve come this far, take actions while these cupcakes are still fresh.

Oftentimes starting where you stand means mobilizing family and friends. And although your friends want to help get you back on the market, they may be working with blunt conversational tools. And a coaching chat may be in order, which could sound something like this:

You: “Isn’t Molly’s friend Ann single?”

Your friend: “I think so, I’d have to ask Molly. She’d know.”

You: “Find out would you? She’s beautiful.”

Your friend: “Yeah, okay. Dude, what would I say?”

You: “Just ask if she’d be interested in a guy that has his act together, does right by his kids and camps like Bear Grylls, only without the pesky camera crew. If she’d be interested in a guy that knows random movie trivia and digs live bands. We can drink pina coladas and get lost in the rain if she’s into it. If she is, let me know.”

Now, your friend may paraphrase and deviate from the non-existent script. And if he does, that actually great news. That’s what we want. Your message delivered in the words of someone that already believes in you is a marketer’s dream. This, my friends, is the personal referral that goes a long way towards promoting your efforts.

Keep an eye out for the second half of Back On The Market After Divorce, where you’ll get the ABC’s of distributing your tasty cupcake.

How has marriage and divorce changed you? Tell us in the comments below.


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(c) Can Stock Photo / RuthBlack

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Getting Through Divorce: Bootcamp Part 3 Creating a Budget for Your New Life

Getting Through Divorce: Bootcamp Part 3 Creating a Budget for Your New Life

One of the most stressful parts of getting through divorce is dealing with all of the financial implications. Parts 1 and 2 in this series looked at finding a new place to live, and permanently separating your finances from your ex. Today we’re looking at budgeting for your newly single lifestyle.

When you were married, there were a lot of expenses that you shared with your wife. For example, you shared one mortgage. Now, you are on your own with mortgage or rent to pay. But it doesn’t end there. Let’s dive right into the kinds of expenses you can expect now that you’re divorced.

Working out a budget from the beginning, will help you make informed decisions as you begin your life after divorce.

Alimony and Child Support

These are hefty expenses that you may not be able to avoid. As part of the divorce decree and custody arrangements, you may be required to pay a periodic (usually monthly) amount for alimony and/or child support. Unless you go back to court and have the amount changed, consider this a fixed expense every month for the ordered duration.

Shelter and Utilities

Unless you land in jail for not paying alimony or child support, your living expenses for housing and utilities will consume a significant portion of your income each month. Creating a budget will help you choose a house or apartment that you can afford.

Remember that even if you have kids, you don’t necessarily need all the space you had in your marital home. A small house or a two-bedroom apartment may be enough for the time being. Your new housing isn’t permanent and it’s okay to rent instead of jumping into a new mortgage.

You’re going to have basic expenses to factor in regardless of where you choose to live. To start with, you’ve got a mortgage or rental payment every month. If you’re in an apartment complex, you may also have to pay for a parking space.

If you will be responsible for your own utilities, be sure you know which ones and approximately how much they will be. Gas, electric, cable, water & sewer, and trash removal are common utilities. For things like gas and electric, the utility company may be able to tell you the average cost for service at that address. The basic cost of rent may be cheap, but if the utilities will suck you dry, that rental house is no bargain.

Food, Clothing, and Other Stuff

If you aren’t sure of the amount you need to budget, keep track of what you are spending on food. Not just the grocery store bills. Include those daily large coffees and the carryout pizzas. It all adds up, and this number will help you out later.

You can create a separate line for pet food and supplies, too. We know you would starve before you let Old Blue go hungry.

Any other expenses for clothing or anything else you can think of, needs an expense line. Try looking at your bank records from the last couple months for point of service debits if you need to refresh your memory.

Your budget isn’t just about alimony and household bills. There’s still more to factor into the equation.

Be Prepared for Child Care Costs

Depending on your arrangement with your ex, you may have the kids even when you have to work. In that case you’ll probably need childcare. The cheapest option is to ask friends and family to help out. Grandparents usually love spending time with their grandkids but they may resent being used as a free babysitting service. If you call on family and friends, make sure you don’t do it too often and offer some kind of gift or gesture in return.

If the kids are already in a care situation they are comfortable with, try to work out a proportionate sharing of the cost so you can keep them with a familiar caretaker.

Transportation Expenses

Your budget should include line items for gasoline, maintenance (oil changes, tires), registration and inspection fees, and auto insurance.

Be realistic about your gasoline expenses. If your kids live just down the road, that’s great. However, some guys aren’t so lucky. Travel costs can quickly become a huge chunk of your budget. Whether you drive 45 minutes to pick up and drop off your kids several days a week, or upward of an hour to see the kids twice a month, it still adds up. Pro tip: It’s better to estimate high on your monthly gas expenses, in case of rising gas prices. What is the highest price-per-gallon you’ve paid in the last year? Don’t think it can’t go back there.

Pro tip: It’s better to estimate high on your monthly gas expense, in case of rising gas prices.

If you’re on speaking terms with your ex, work on a compromise. Maybe you can arrange to meet half-way between your two houses or maybe you alternate pick-up/drop-off duties. If the kids are old enough you can look into getting them public transport passes. Most cities offer student discounts. This option could save you money, and has the added benefit of teaching the kids responsibility and independence.

If you’ve moved out of state, you’ll have to budget for long-distance travel. When flights are your only option, make sure you plan ahead and check out online discount sites. Keep track of frequent flyer miles that may help offset some travel costs later on.

Debt Payments and Insurance

Your budget will need to include monthly expenses for credit cards, car payments, and any other recurring payment, like medical and dental bills for you or your kids.

Make sure you budget for your car insurance, and any other insurance you may require. Does your divorce decree obligate you to carry a life insurance policy for the benefit of your children? Do you have health insurance premiums to pay that aren’t already coming out of your paycheck? Make a budget line for each one.

The Who Are You Kidding Expenses

If you buy a 30 pack of beer every Friday, or smoke two cartons a week, make sure you have a budget line that accounts for those repeating expenses. Include it under “recreation” but don’t kid yourself that it isn’t showing up on your bottom line.

Want to join the local skeet club or plan to spend every other summer weekend river rafting?

Whatever it is, own it, enjoy it and put it on your budget. It’s your budget.

Creating a Basic Budget While Getting Through Divorce

The first step to creating your budget is to get it down in black and white. has come up with some very useful budget templates you can download to help create a budget that works for you.  Either download a free template or create your own spreadsheet. Old school? Get out your pencil, paper and calculator.


Make sure you have a line on your budget for every one of your expenses, even if you don’t pay the bill every month. For example, if you pay your car insurance quarterly, take that amount and divide by three to break it down to a monthly amount.

You won’t spend this, you’ll put it in the bank and only spend it when the payment is due. If you have any variable expenses (bills), budget monthly for the higher amount of the bill.


Next, account for your income. For budgeting, use your net income, also called take-home pay. The net income is what you will use to pay the rest of your bills. Don’t include income from seasonal or occasional jobs since it’s not reliable. If you are paid hourly or on any kind of variable contract, use the minimum income you’d expect to create your budget. Try not to rely on overtime pay to balance your budget. As we’ve learned from the recent recession, overtime is the first thing to get cut when the economy is slowing down.

It sounds like you’re cheating yourself but you’ll be grateful for it when your budget is covered by your base pay, and you can save any extra income from a good month.

When Your Expenses Are More Than Your Income

If you get a negative number when you subtract your expenses from your income, you’ve got some work to do. Getting through a divorce has taught you to be resourceful, right? Take a look at your draft budget and decide where you can make some cuts. If at all possible, you want a positive figure so that you can allocate some money to a savings account or to paying off outstanding debt. If that’s not possible, just make sure you get to zero. No negative balance!

Look over your expenses line by line. Do you need a land line and a cell phone or can you get by with just your cell? Do you need home internet, or is your data package large enough that you can use that in emergencies and use the library or a coffee shop to get wi-fi? Do you really need the super-amazing sports package the cable guy wants to sell you, or can you watch the game with a buddy if you really want to see it?

Remember that budget line for groceries? If a chunk of that was fast food, you can start using a travel mug for coffee and stocking up on frozen pizza to save some bucks.

Adjusting Your Income

Your income is your income,  right? It won’t change unless you get a raise at work? Not necessarily true. Are there optional amounts deducted from your pay each period? Take a hard look at what you are purchasing. Some fancy optional insurances, like cancer policies, might have seemed affordable when you were part of a two-income household, but is it appropriate for you now that you are in the midst of getting through divorce?

This is a tough one, but consider your contributions to a 401K, or other retirement plan. If you are swamped with debt that needs to be paid off, you may need to dial back those contributions for a year or more, until you are more financially stable.

Those athletic shoes your kid outgrew in two weeks? Wash them and sell them online. You may not get what you paid for them but every penny helps.

Do you have a particular talent or skill? See if you can turn it into a job. For example, if you love playing guitar you could look into teaching lessons in the evenings or on Saturdays. It will give you some extra cash but also keep you busy when the kids are with their mom.

Extra Budgeting Resources

There are thousands of tools online that can help you create a comprehensive budget for getting through divorce. Creating and living by a budget is a part of your new lifestyle, and just like getting on with life after divorce, it will take time to adjust.

If your budget isn’t working, it’s okay to revise it. Your life is changing, and so will your budget.  Just keep tracking your spending and fine-tuning your budget until you get it right. It won’t take as long as you think!

Tell us in the comments how your budget fared while getting through divorce.  


If you are a Financial Advisor who is interested in providing services to men facing divorce, we’d like to help by connecting you with the Guyvorce Community. Because every little bit helps. We know. We’ve been there.

Join the Guyvorce Ultimate Resource Directory now and SAVE 50% on our Premium Listing when you use code: GVCMAR


The Guyvorce Ultimate Resource Directory is part of – The Man’s Ultimate Source For Everything Divorce. We’re the fasting growing men’s divorce site, with over 43,000 Facebook fans, 3,600 Twitter followers, and thousands of website visitors per day.



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