Before you create your marital settlement agreement you and your spouse will need to disclose and discuss critical financial details. These details include information about your income, assets, debts and expenses. This post focuses on expenses. When you look at your expenses consider the following six expense categories. Typically, many living expenses are fixed while others vary and can - at best - only be estimated. Creating a snapshot of your monthly costs will help you (a) determine if alimony should be a part of your future financial arrangements and (b) create a budget. Having a budget will help you live within your means. And, living within your means is an important component of divorce recovery. What do you currently spend on each of these expenses? What do you estimate you will spend on each of these expenses once you are divorced?
Home and Utilities
Mortgage, Rent, Home equity loan, Property taxes, Home insurance, HOA/Condo fees and/or assessments, Home insurance, Electric, Gas/Oil, Propane, Water, Sewer, Garbage, Alarm system, Septic, Land-line Telephone, Cell-phone, Cable/Satellite TV, Internet access, Cleaning service, Lawn care, Pool care, Tree/Shrub care, Chimney sweep, Window cleaning, Gutter cleaning, Carpet cleaning, Air Duct cleaning, Exterminator, Interior repairs, Exterior repairs, Weatherizing, and Appliance repair contracts.
Appliances, Furniture, Renovations, Extended warranties, and Computers and computer equipment/supplies.
Car payments, Car lease, License/tags, Repairs, Gas, Oil Changes, Insurance, Inspections, Tolls, Parking, Rental car, Public transportation.
Food and household supplies, Eating out, Clothing, Shoes, Dry cleaning, Health insurance, Medical care, Dental insurance, Dental care, Orthodontia, Vision insurance, Glasses/Contacts, Beauty/Barber shop, Nail salon, Jewelry, Over-the-counter medications and vitamins/suppliments, Prescriptions, Cosmetics, Massage, Health club, Hobbies, Entertainment, Sport/Exercise activities and equipment, Club dues, Entertaining, Vacation, School expenses (tuition, fees, books, etc.), Special needs expenses, Psychological counseling, Pet expenses (veterinarian, food, grooming, boarding, equipment), Professional services (lawyers, accountant, financial planner, investment advisor, stock broker), Political contributions, Charity, Tithes, Donations, Birthdays/Anniversary gifts and cards, Linens, Kitchen supplies, Bathroom supplies, Cleaning supplies, Buying club fee, Paper, Computer and printer supplies, Subscriptions, Magazines, Books, Newspapers, Music, Holiday decorations, gifts, and cards.
School tuition, Uniforms, School lunches, Room and board, Books, Supplies, Fees, Club dues, School pictures and other mementos, Religious education, Tutors, Day care, Baby-sitter, Before/after school care, Summer camp, Tutor, Clothes, Shoes, Toys, Gifts from children to others, Allowances, Entertainment, Health insurance, Medical expenses, Dental expenses, Orthodontia, Psychological/counseling, Vitamins, Grooming, Computer equipment and supplies, Travel expenses - to see the other parent and otherwise.
Financial - Debt, Taxes, Insurance, ETC.
Federal, State, City, Personal Property, and Self Employment Taxes; Interest, Payments on credit card balances, Personal loans, Unpaid bills, Penalties, Consumer loans, Delinquent taxes, Bank/credit card fees, Retirement account contributions, Fines, Umbrella policy, Life insurance, Disability insurance, Child support, Alimony, Judgments, College funds, Savings account deposits, Employment related costs - such as Union dues.