I don’t want to insult the men that are better than I. Some men are very good on there own. I wasn’t to start with.
Ok this is some of the practical things I learned. And this is for mostly men. Coz I am one and its men that usually get the marching orders. For one reason or another. Ok women also leave. But I must say that women on the whole survive better on there own.
Ok so your divorcing. And you have to leave or supposed to leave. So what do you do?
Buy or rent somewhere….
If you have the cash then buy. There is no substitute for your own place. But usually you don’t have the cash because you are paying (in effect) for 2 places until the divorce comes thru and all the financials are sorted. So in reality I would rent.
In case you didn’t know, renting somewhere is reasonable easy. Buying (now) is hard. For one thing, if the mortgage company cotton on that yr married they will want the STBX on the mortgage. This will place a ticking bomb in yr lap that will explode in your face and you maybe homeless when the financials get sorted. So my advice is rent.
Its also a mistake to make yourself poor. By this I mean make your outgoings more than you should if you was living alone. The courts and solicitors are not stupid and they will see straight thru this tactic in a heartbeat. So will the ex. So stay on the sensible side.
As I said renting is easy. Because you are a home owner you will pass the credit check with flying colours. Rent agreements come in a number of flavours. But mostly they are 6 month and 12 month agreements. It costs to extend the agreement. In other words if you want to stay on after your agreement ends then you have to pay to stay. Its not usually a lot. But you need to factor it in to your sums. Also remember that you will need a deposit (usually about the same as a months rent) and a months rent up front.
Flat or bedsit? Bedsits are a no no realy. If you have kids then you will turn instantly into a MaccyD dad. I am sure you don’t want to spend all your contact time sat in a fast food restaurant and the kids need to be able to sleep over. So this means minimum 2 beds flat. Its ok for the kids to share a room. As its only temporary. But with 2 bed flats one could sleep on a put you up in the front room. Ok so not ideal but hey. 2 bed flats are ideal because the second bedroom can be used as a Chinese laundry.
Divorces usually take a year or more before its all sorted out. So I would sign for a year. That way you know your gona be ok for a year at least. And in theory the house or savings or debts or what ever are settled by then. If its not then its not gona be quick. So stay for another year. Not many divorces take 2 years or more. If it does then your in a bit of bother.
What do you need?
A lost depends on where you live. If you end up near a Uni then chances are there is a launderette to hand. If you end up in a flat with no washing machine then this is your best bet until you can get one sorted. But most flats come with White goods (washing machines, fridge freezers etc) and so you will be OK. But if you don’t get these white goods then you will have to buy new or second hand. Your choice. Don’t get a tumble dryer. I did and it was a waste of money. I never used it. I got one cos we had one. It also costs a fortune to run. And having a second bedroom means that you have plenty of time to let things dry.
For cooking all you realy need is a microwave. But if its boil in the bag stuff you cant use it. So you will need a cooker. But having a cooker is a good plan anyway as it lets you cook lots of other things like soups etc.
When I was married I earned the money and was the benefactor. The ex’s job was to turn this cash into stuff. And I didn’t know anything about the stuff. Now that your on your own you need to deal with stuff. The best person to show you stuff is our old friend womenkind. We are talking supermarket shopping guys. Go to your local supermarket and select a women about yr age and follow her. Ok from a distance. We are not talking stalking here. But see what she buys. Pound to a penny she will pick the special offers and the BOGOF’s (google it if you don’t know what it means). She will probably have kids so ignore the nappies and Farleys rusks and cheese strings.
Women know how to shop. I don’t mean handbags. But most of them are used to running house and they (generally) do a good job.
The reason why I say this about shopping is because you are thrown in the deep end and usually you wont have a lot of spare cash. I got by for a while on a fiver a week for grub. Its do able. Its Iceland and Lidls based and its mega bland (we are talking boil in the bag here) and veg. I wont bore you with it. I suspect you can guess.
And there is a very neat role reversal to be had here. I know the ropes now. But one thing I do is if a women is standing near me I pick up say a melon and squeeze it and smell the end. I bet you the women will do the same. Cracks me up every time. Revenge is sweet haha.
I never realy liked soup that much. It was a starter when you had a meal in a restaurant. But soup is a life saver. And it costs almost nothing to make. It’s a crime to buy soup. All you realy need is left over veg and an onion. And if you can some potatoes. I call this soup zero soup. And the realy great thing about soup is you can cook up a batch and put in the freezer. Like it or not you are not always gona be able to cook a meal when you get home. For what ever reason. You could be in realy late from work or ill. And coupled with some bread makes a great quick meal. And you can eat it in bed. Finish and turn the light off. The sealed beakers that you find in pound shops are great for freezing soup. But leave a bit of a gap at the top as its mostly water it expands when frozen. Ask me how I know dohh.
I could cook. I just didn’t know I could. In fact we can all cook. I went on a cooking course when I first seperated. And I am glad I did. I learned how to chop food properly and avoid waste. And what I could do with the leftovers etc. It was the best 20 quid I ever spent.
Most people don’t realise how important good food is. Ready meals look (on the picture) good but when you warm them up in the microwave or boil in the bag they are just mush. And they have almost no goodness in them at all. So if you can afford it, cook from basic foodstuffs like eggs, veg and meat.
I live like a king now. My original budget was a fiver. That was a bit grim but after a while I managed to improve this to 25 notes a week. Now I could eat realy well. And I saved a little bit and once a month I had steak. Rib eye. There is nothing like a hearty meal to make you feel a lot better. Try to time it when life looks bad. We forget that food affects our whole being. You cant perform in a 5 star way on 1 star food.
I never the paid bills when I was married. My ex did. And I couldn’t tell you how much a telly licence was or how much was a good price for carrots. But you have to learn all this stuff. And a good place to start is with yr current bills. Some people pay things quarterly. I don’t subscribe to this view. Pay it all monthly. And at the start or end of the month. That way when all the bills have gone out you can see what you have. I used to draw the lot out in cash and put so much in jars. I had a jar for petrol for the car and one for food. That way I could see at a glance how much I had. Its all to easy to pay for things on plastic and get into debt. Many have huge debts after divorce that they didn’t need to have. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
When I was in the army we had a saying. It was the 7 P’s. I wont describe what it means (google). It just means that good planning results in a good performance. So plan. Plan what you need for the 1st week and so on. Plan the money. Start with your income and work backwards. How much you need for food, rent council tax gas and leccy. Then see how much you have left over. You will be surprised how little there is. But the idea of these writings is survival. So that means savings. And they start with the family home. SKY TV mega sports pack? Gone. 50mb broadband? Gone. Monthly subs to the Gym? You guessed it. Get rid off all the costs that cost you over and above to function. It has to be this way and you have to be brutal. You cant be paying for a monthly Prima, womens own, budgies weekly and starve. So you have to get the family home down to size. Once this is done you can start again and see what you can afford. This is course will please the ex no end. But it has to be done if you are gona pay for 2 homes.
Mistakes (Going a bit bonkers).
You will make mistakes. The biggest mistake is suddenly think “I am on the market I am single (your not) and I am willing (maybe) and I am up for it (defo yes) and you hit the town, pull and go a bit bonkers. This is a very bad idea for lots of reasons with the mates. This will look like you planned it this way and will defo p*** off the ex. Now that’s not a bad thing in itself but its not using the Mk 1 ear ole separator. You need to get yr divorce and finacials sorted. And you don’t need (ex)her in doors going for your privates big style in a court room. So don’t placate. But don’t hand out invitations to place you knackers in the walnut crackers. Use the noddle.
Don’t buy things that you don’t need. I am not joking when I say this. Take a list with you when you shop and stick to it. I often buy “this is cheap” – or – I could do with that. Isnt that a nice ironing board cover? Don’t do it. Stick to the list and you will stick to the budget. Remember this is survival.
One of the things that I did was list all the contents that I put in box’s. I had to buy all new (don’t ask). You may or may not have to. But listing what’s in what box can save you a lot of time. I moved in stages. Over 2 days. And on day 1 I only had the car and I didn’t want to pop back for something essential that I forgot. So I listed it all in a book (my secret planning book ) and I took what box’s I needed to survive until L day (Luton day). When I could get the rest of my kit.
I know this all sounds a bit grim. When you think back to what you had. But this phase of your life is just a transition to a better one. You will learn lots and will laugh now and again. But it don’t last long. Perhaps 2 years tops. And mostly less than a year. But one thing I have learned, is that when you lose one thing you gain another.
This isn’t a word realy. I mean thrive. In other words when this is all done and dusted you go past survival and your into thrive mode. This means that you have a new life and perhaps move into something a bit better or meet someone new and set up home together. Remember what you learned. We all learn something. Some guys are realy good at looking after themselves and some not so. But you will have taken something on board. So put it into practice. And never never never forget what happened to you and why. C.
Excellent Marshy ...
Can I add one ...
This can be found in Auction houses - Good quality stuff as well. Dont go modern as that is expensive but the type of furniture your Gran had is there in bucket loads and a lick of paint works wonders ....
Toys for the kids
Their toys are at home ...
car boots are great. And if you ahve a box in the corner that you add something to they have theor own space treat from Dad and you can pack it up tidily!!
when you do bring the special new someone home please note .... we are anal we do look at the skirting boards ... but as long as the bathroom and kitchen are clean we will forgive most things ... just ensure the sheets are too
well, that made up my mind about the 6 month or 12 month lease. What thinkest thou about using a rental to test out moving to a new area for a complete fresh start. I'm very tempted to do so - though also quite scared. (Children grown up so no problem with contact!)
Its all true marshy, I was there, if you remember. I agree with the 12 months rent think they charged me £45 to send a letter and carry on living there after 6 months. So i should have done the 12 months.
Furniture and stuff, heart foundation shops, brilliant and they deliver, then they can take it all back when you move in with new love....
Checkout the www.BBCGoodFood.com website, video lessons for the beginner (how to chop an onion level) and some great recipes, quite a good selection of soups and ideas for cheap cuts/leftovers etc.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry or give you a cuddle (the later I think most appropriate).
I know your list is a serious survival guide for men, but also tongue in cheek on somethings, you have a great way to tell it how it is - Loved it!
Maybe there is a money making idea for youby writing a book on the subject, and then maybe I could write the sequel from the females persepective.....I'll start how I conquered the sit-on lawnmower this week, but thought I had blown the motor after 3 hours...saves buying a goat.
Actually my stbx always moaned about how much time and effort the grass cutting took, made it sound a right chore....I found it very theraputic especially as he wasn't there to criticise or tell me how to do it (supposedly) better!!!
Can you men come up with any more tips or is it only the fairer sex who can multi task!! (don't crucify me here, just extending the thread!!)