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Where Did All the Money Go?

Hi there and welcome to my column! I’m Scarlette, Legal Administrative Assistant for Colorado Springs divorce and child custody attorney, Sabra Janko.

Today’s topic is one that is relevant to many; money. It may or may not buy happiness. It can be the root of all evil. But it can also be used for good. Since this is a huge topic, my focus today are the lessons that I learned from receiving money in the form of alimony.

Woman opening an envelope  I received alimony for one year. It was temporary to help me during the first year of not having that second income. In retrospect, I honestly wish I was better at managing it. When I added things up at the end of receiving my last payment recently, I was like, ‘where did it all go?’ It was an eye opener for me. So I’m going to share what I realized happened. And if you’re about to receive these types of payments or still are, see if your situation is comparable to mine because then I can perhaps help you not make the same mistakes I made.

Realization #1

Having two incomes was great. Sometimes it was one, depending on the situation, like being a stay at home mom, running my own massage business, then eventually restarting my legal career. My ex loved his computer items. I would be the one he’d ask, ‘can I get this?’ ‘Sure, charge away!’ I loved my spa and beauty treatments. Hair, nails, facials, as well as the latest celebrity skin care line. I also bought books and programs on the latest nutrition and exercise programs. We also loved having our son take flight lessons too! We had a good balance of spending and saving. Here’s the thing though. I continued to spend money as if those two incomes were still there. Sadly, it wasn’t.

Realization #2

Yes, I was receiving those alimony payments, but no, I didn’t manage the money as well as I should have. I was struggling financially but in essence, I didn’t have to. It took me this entire time to figure out how I could have done things differently. The biggest thing for me next to spa and beauty was dining out. I was still spending money on that. Partly because it was what I was accustomed to and also because I’m an emotional eater (something I’m currently working on). I have done self-audits each month to see where my money was going. There were a few months in a row where I spent $400 on dining out alone!

Realization #3

Everything has gone up in price: rentals, home prices, gas and groceries. I realized I was spending like it was the year 2000! One million dollars might as well be pocket change. That’s an exaggeration but you know what I mean. So it was best that I adjusted my spending accordingly. Small changes made a big difference. I stopped going to Starbucks and got coffee from home or 7-11! I changed jobs so I wasn’t driving 80 miles round trip five days a week! I stopped going to the spa. Hello three dollar box of hair dye! I stopped going to King Soopers, Safeway, even Target. I only go to Walmart. Although they’re getting pricey too, Walmart is still way less than the other places. Honestly, I’m kicking myself because it’s been only recently I made these changes and wish I would have done them from day one. But it’s ok. Lesson learned.

Realization # 4

I’m better now financially than I was a year ago from the lessons I learned. I can continue on with them from here on in. Better late than never! Here’s my motto when it comes to spending money: Do I need it?

If you need a top-notch team to assist you with your journey, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation about Colorado Springs divorce, child custody and family law at 719-344-5523.

Client Reviews
Excellent service! Sabra and her team work diligently while looking for all the little details that impact the case. Im so grateful to have found this firm. Great communication from start to finish. Also they were very patient with my lack of understanding the court process. Highly recommend! Chris Faucett
As an active duty service member I can definitely say that at Janko Family Law Solutions I was served with the utmost professionalism, in a timely and efficient manner. Very glad I discovered these experienced professionals to assist me in my legal circumstances, and I will certainly be recommending them to people in the future. Rebecca Cody
Sabra and her office are wonderful to work with! ... very knowledgeable, supportive, and compassionate during the entire process. The experience and legal expertise are evident. Tim Halladay
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