Each household is different in how the finances are managed. Some households the men will be in charge while other times it is the women and then there are the times it is a combination of both. However it worked before, there is going to be a transition to being in complete charge of the finances. You not only are responsible for the budget, but also what is coming in. It will take some time to being responsible for all of it. If this is a transition, then realize it will take some time, but don’t run from it, face it head on and see what happens.
When you are completely responsible for all the money that comes in and goes out it is important to understand what is going on and keep an eye on it. There may be bills that you are still paying with your ex and there are those that you will take over completely. Having a conversation with your ex about the bills that you still pay together will be important. Also if insurance is being covered by them, knowing who is responsible for what will be important, along with making sure if you are going to be either taking the children to the doctor and picking up the medicine, you need to make sure you have a copy of the insurance card as well.
Also, if child support is suppose to be coming in it will be important to know when it will be coming in, if it is coming in regularly, so you know how to budget. If it doesn’t come in regularly don’t be afraid to take the necessary steps to get that to happen. Your children deserve having it come in so that you can provide for them. If it is not something that comes in regularly, then make your budget without it so that you know you can pay your bills, then when it does come in you will be able to provide the little extras for the children when it comes in.
Also part of transitioning to the new role of head of finances will be to look at what you are doing to bring in money. Do you need to get a different job that will pay more? What about asking for a raise? Or, maybe you need to pick up more hours if you were working part-time. Maybe it is a matter of adding more to your schedule if you work for yourself, whether it is as a consultant for a home based business or if it being a freelancer. If there is a way that you control what comes in, then find a way to increase that amount, this is one of the best ways to help with the budget.
Also take a look at what is actually being used. Are there things that can be cut back on? Can you change the way you do things to help save money? Are they creative ideas that you wanted to do before but didn’t, whether it is because others didn’t think it was possible or didn’t like? Maybe it is spending a Saturday making some food and freezing it ahead so you can pull something out the night before to thaw and set the timer on the oven to start cooking or baking it while you are gone. Or maybe it is getting some things ready to put in your crock pot/slow cooker to start cooking in the morning so when you get home it is ready to eat.
It is all a matter of trying new things or trying something a different way. Maybe it is cutting back the number of minutes on the cell phone. Maybe you don’t need as many channels on cable. Maybe you set the heat back a little bit. There are many different ways you can be in charge of the finances so that you end up coming out ahead. You may learn or find new tips all the time. It is a matter of looking around and seeing what you can do or do without. When you want to, you can take the bull by the horns and really do something good about it.