how to organize your finances after the loss of a spouse

Written by the Own Your Destiny Team

Your finances don’t have to overwhelm you. Tackling your financial obligations one at a time with sound advice and a clear mind can help you manage your finances after the loss of a spouse. These simple tips will help you keep your feet on solid ground and begin moving forward with your finances.

1. Get Dependable Help

 

It’s not your imagination; things do become more complicated at times like these. It’s wise to seek dependable help for guidance. Look for a professional who has a reputation of trustworthiness and competency. Having a money coach who can guide you through the process of making the right decisions is a good way to ensure the decisions you make will be the best ones. They can help you with debt counselling, budgeting, saving, and setting money goals that work for you.

2. Keep First Things First

 

financial tips for widowsYou may have just set bills aside during your spouse’s last days and during the funeral process. Get basic things like utilities, the mortgage, and other monthly bills caught up to avoid problems in the future. However, keep a close eye on the bills as you pay them. Unscrupulous people may try to take advantage of this time to send convincing fake bills. Do you recognize the company? What service are they providing? If you still have doubts, your financial coach or a trusted friend may help you get to the bottom of it.

3. Delay Major Decisions

 

It may be tempting right now to sell the house and move to a smaller one or even move in with family. Selling might be a good decision, but for most people, it takes several months after a traumatic event before they feel confident that they are making the best decisions. With so much changing for you at this time, adding more upheaval may not be your best option right now. Unless you have urgent financial or life reasons to make that big decision, it may be in your best interest to delay until you get a handle on your new situation.

4. Plan a Budget

 

Planning a budget, putting some money in savings, and managing the details well is still good financial planning. Funerals are expensive, and it can take time for death benefits to arrive. Plan a simple budget, not only so that your money is being spent wisely, but also to give you a space where you are in control of things. Your world has dramatically changed, and it can create a sense that nothing is safe. The simple act of formulating a budget can give you a sense of control and the feeling that the world still makes sense.

Additional Resources:
https://www.incharge.org/debt-relief/financial-help-widows/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/06/19/money-advice-for-wives-whose-husbands-die-suddenly/#5a7a41e726ec
https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/alpha-consumer/2011/02/22/money-tips-for-widows-and-widowers
https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/10/27/4-money-mistakes-people-often-make-after-a-spouse-dies
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/your-money/4-money-pitfalls-every-widow-should-avoid.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2013/09/30/recent-widows-are-in-need-of-financial-guidance-following-the-loss-of-a-spouse.html