I cannot believe how much stress I’ve endured since my separation almost a year ago. My friends and family have been a constant support through this difficult time. I would not be where I am today without their love. I’ve also unexpectedly found some free and cheap tools that have helped me navigate divorce while keeping my sanity and happiness (mostly) in tact. Below are those tools. I hope they help you through your divorce as well.
Going through a separation and divorce on top of all the other normal daily things I had to deal with my life got pretty crazy, pretty quickly. I had to deal with an unexpected move, finding a job, scheduling meetings with lawyers and take care of a 14 month old. And on top of all this were the, what seemed like, hundreds of unplanned “discussions” with my ex. There was also this new visitation arrangement to plan. Needless to say, I needed to get uber organized, quickly.
I had been using Google Calendar loosely for a while and when the shit hit the fan it became my lifeline to sanity. The second any event, change in event, task, discussion, appointment, meeting or gathering is mentioned I pull out my phone and tap the details into my calendar. I love how simple Google Calendar functions and being able to create different calendars and color code them and share them makes it extremely efficient. I have a calendar for my business and projects. I have a calendar of everything that relates to my daughter (visitation, babysitting, doctors appointments etc.) and I’ve shared it with my ex so he can make changes and additions to the calendar as well. This has saved us from having to constantly text each other to double check our schedules (which we were doing in the beginning.)
Anything that saves you headache and stress from dealing with your ex (especially if you have children) is a lifesaver.
My ex was the one who managed our finances. So, when we separated I was freaking out about budgeting and what the heck I was going to do. Budgeting intimidates me on a good day so I was entering panic mode when I realized it was all up to me now. A friend told me about Mint.com and that was probably the best advice I could have gotten in those early weeks of separation.
Mint is extremely easy and refreshing to use. It basically an envelope-style budgeting system that you can use on your computer or mobile devices. You just enter in the information for your online bank and any other financial account you have like a student loan or investment and Mint does the rest. It looks back at your spending history and creates budgets. It’s pretty accurate too. You can remove or add budgets and bills. Then you are able to see where you stand financially on any given day.
Say you are at the store and you see a cute top. You think, “I wonder if I have enough money for this.” Just flip out your phone, tap on Mint and voila it tells you how much (or how little) you have left in your “cute top” budget.
You are also able to set up bill reminders so you never miss another due date again. I also have a bill calendar in Google as a back up 🙂
Minecraft Pocket Edition
You might think this is a weird item to have listed for things that have helped me through my divorce but hear me out. Separation and divorce are so insanely stressful you need time to unwind and get your mind off of things. Minecraft has been my getaway. I’m able to use my creativity to build things and I get to go on adventures and fight monsters (which I imagine are my ex, tee hee) and I can take a break anywhere since its on my phone and iPad. If Minecraft isn’t your thing that’s fine. Just find a fun game that you can conveniently play on your phone. Take some time every day to get away from all the pain, stress and sadness.
What tools have unexpectedly helped you through your separation and divorce?