Silent Preparation Series- Part III – Early Steps When Considering Divorce

Silent Preparation Series- Part III – Early Steps When Considering Divorce

Silent Preparation Series Early Steps When Considering Divorce

Silent Preparation Series- Part III – Early Steps When Considering Divorce

Who You Gone Call?

 

If your answer was “Ghostbusters” you’re definitely “my people.” However, if you’re preparing for a divorce, unfortunately the Ghostbusters can’t help you.

Sawry 😔

Next option…

“Call your attorney.”

All too often, we hear that when someone is considering a divorce, their first phone call should be to an attorney. And quite honestly, in some situations, that step might be too early.

Guess what? You may not need to do that… or at least not yet.

We’ve heard the stories of nasty divorces that get dragged out in court, or the constant fighting after the divorce is final.

We’ve also heard the stories of relatively peaceful divorces that still come with a hefty price tag.

And let’s be honest, if we’ve never been through the process, all of these horror stories scare the bejeezus out of us!

I honestly believe that, if you and your soon-to-be-ex truly have good intentions, then divorce doesn’t have to be nasty, and attorneys don’t have to be your first phone call.

Plus, if your husband has no idea you plan on divorcing him, it’s OK to prepare in silence. 🤐

 

 
 
 

 

 

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Consider what you really need

 

Notice I didn’t say what you want.

One of the early steps in the FIIRM Approach Framework is about declaring your intentions in a tangible way.

Key word – intentions.

While there are some things that will be a priority for you, if you are dead set on “taking him for everything he’s got” or “limiting time with his kids” merely to stick it to him, this blog probably isn’t meant for you, and we shouldn’t waste each other’s time (respectfully speaking).

On the other hand, if you want to strategically get things in order and divorce as amicably as possible — then you’re aligned with the mission of The FIIRM Approach.

Note: we recognize that things may not end amicably, but it’s your intention to start that way.

During the initial phase, you’re considering what you want and need… the nice-to-haves and the need-to-haves.

Additionally, you’re considering what & whom you need to through the process.

 

Understand what divorce options are available 

 

There are some powerful forces that can help you get through your divorce process, most of which you may have never heard of.

By the way, I have absolutely NOTHING against attorneys. They are necessary to the industry, and can be extremely vital assets to the divorce process!

However, the divorce industry is changing.

FINALLY!!  

The laws still haven’t really caught up yet to modern times & technology, but we will take the wins where we can get them!

Some divorce industry professionals are helping to change things.

I love it and want more of it… 😉😉

Plus, technology is playing a bigger role in divorce, too, especially since COVID-19.

Divorce pros that weren’t always at the table before now not only have a seat – they have a voice.

Some may even be divorce professionals that you have never heard of.

50 years ago, becoming an Uber driver or social media manager wasn’t a thing.

Yet here we are.

Allow me to introduce you to divorce in the 21st century. 

Oh wait… let me clarify something quickly.

There is a difference in preparation versus being ready, and if you’re waiting to be ready, you might as well wait for Vanna White & Pat Sajak to leave Wheel of Fortune (I’m just saying…)  

I know you’re used to carrying the weight, I just want you to remind/inform you that you don’t have to do this alone.

 

Learn about divorce professionals you need to know

 

Divorce Coach

Divorce Coaches can help with strategic decisions, understanding your state laws, managing your expectations, and providing useful information that can get you through the divorce process more smoothly.

 

Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Collaborative Divorce Attorneys’ primary focus is fair negotiations and keeping you OUT of court.

 

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts can help you understand the financial decisions made today and the impact on your financial future (property divisions, tax issues, earning capabilities, etc). Yep, I’m one of them. 

 

Divorce Mortgage Specialist

Divorce Mortgage Specialists understand how to evaluate income, child support, and alimony during the mortgage underwriting process, and sometimes provide education that is helpful in negotiations.

 

Learn about these divorce support professionals & more, where to start in your divorce process, and how to keep your divorce costs down in our digital on demand offering The Silent Preparation Series.

Get the help you need to feel more confident and powerful on your divorce preparation journey. 

 

 
Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ®, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

What If Someone Made a Movie About Your Divorce

What If Someone Made a Movie About Your Divorce

What If Someone Made a Movie About Your Divorce

What If Someone Made a Movie About Your Divorce

Movies, Love & Marriage

 

I love LOVE!

I am the quintessential rom-com and romantic movie lover. Love Jones (my absolute favorite), Maid in Manhattan, Brown Sugar, The Choice, Sixteen Candles, and Dirty Dancing are definitely at the top of my list.

 

Download our Ultimate financial resource guide to get started on finding the right resources to work on your financial game plan or share this with someone who may need it.

 

I’m a sucker for one-liners too!

“You had me at Hello” (Jerry Maguire)

“ I love you and that’s urgent like a mf’er” (Love Jones)

“…you get the buddy and the booty” (Brown Sugar)

Ok, I digress.

Contrary to what people may believe, considering The FIIRM Approach helps women prepare their finances for divorce or separation, I also believe in marriage.

However, I am not going to act like our ability to marry isn’t oversimplified and our ability to divorce isn’t overcomplicated.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: most people don’t go into a marriage with the intention of getting a divorce.

The reality is that it still happens, and it’s too damn hard to do sometimes.

 

 

 

 

A Fact About Marriage:

 

Marriage is a contract. A legal contract.

It’s an odd contract that has very few pre-qualifiers, but it’s definitely one of the most serious contracts we’ll ever enter into.

So, what’s my issue? US divorce laws are archaic, and there’s not enough time spent on preparing people for the “legal contract” they are signing.

There’s way more emphasis on the “romantic contract,” and the downside is that the legal part has lots of invisible fine print.

 

I get it… researching the fine print just doesn’t feel romantic.

 

 

A Bit of Fiction:

 

Kim and Chris decide they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together on April 10th, after 6 months of dating.

They live in Chicago. Both are in their 30’s, and neither wants a big wedding.

Next, they make a quick visit to the City Clerk’s office to get a license on April 12th.

Married on April 13th, 3 days after the decision!

(The waiting period is only a day.)

Fast forward – 2 years later, they’ve loved, fought, and loved some more, but the love fizzled out and now both of them want out. Let’s call it irreconcilable differences, a.k.a, they want a divorce.

Obviously that divorce won’t happen 3 days after that decision!

Does your dating period determine the length of your marriage?

Of course, but…

Divorce is a major decision, they say!

Isn’t marriage?

People shouldn’t enter into contract (e.g. a marriage) lightly, they say!

I couldn’t agree more.

So, this is why it’s nonsensical that you basically only need a pulse to enter into said “contract,” but you need to draw pints of blood, sweat, tears, and maybe even a restraining order to exit the contract.

It’s what movies are made of 😉😉 though.

A little bit of fact and a little bit of fiction:

Enter the movie, Marriage Story (spoiler alert).

 

 

The Marriage Story Is About A Marriage Ending

 

Before I watched the movie Marriage Story, I didn’t quite know what to expect.

Admittedly, movies that have Oscar worthy storylines are usually movies that I DON’T fall in love with but sometimes I’m willing to give them a shot anyway.

My cousin BJ and I sat down to watch it after eating some amazing tacos.

I should note that BJ is an unmarried male who is also an actor.

Needless to say, watching Oscar nominated movies with a thespian is always interesting.

Without going into full detail and spoiling the end of the movie, I have two main takeaways.

 

(1) There was a seemingly normal couple going through the divorce process in a way that was so depressing and uncomfortable to watch that I quickly understood why it was nominated.

 

This was the type of movie that prompts real emotions/reactions from the audience (think yelling, eye rolling, anger, mouth on the damn floor)

That aside, the fact that this marriage story has been, or will be, the story for so many of us, flat out pisses me off. Some scenes were traumatizing and downright maddening.

After watching the movie, I wouldn’t ever want to get divorced.

Actually, I wouldn’t even want to get married (again)!

While the Marriage Story may have depicted a very accurate story for some real-life divorce experiences – IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.

Which leads me to my other takeaway.

 

(2) Divorce does not have to be this complicated, nasty, or expensive.

 

While divorce is never a one size fits all situation, it’s absolutely possible for you to go through the process in a way that’s healthier than the dysfunction in Marriage Story.

Again, good movie, albeit a bit traumatizing for a newly, lol… but also a good opportunity to think about your divorce as if it was going to be turned into a movie.

How would you want your relationship portrayed on screen?

I encourage you to watch the Marriage Story followed by a documentary called Divorce Corp (I found it on Amazon Prime in 2020) and use both as motivation to do everything in your power to make your divorce process simpler.

If you are strongly considering divorce, I also invite you to join our Hero Newsletter Community  as we can help you make the first few baby steps in your divorce preparation journey.

 

 

 
 
 
 
Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ®, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime V1.3

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime V1.3

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime V1.3

ARSL Story w/Candice Escobar

 

 

Introduction: Have you ever heard the phrase, some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? While I didn’t create the phrase, it makes perfect sense to me. A divorce doesn’t make you a failure or a quitter. It’s quite the opposite, in most cases. These “love” stories will focus on the courage, lessons, & perspectives of everyday women (and some celebrities), to help you on your journey. Join me while we get in their business a bit.

Guest: Candice Escobar is a proud Millennial, residing in Texas and focused on homeschooling her kids while working from home. She prides herself on her vulnerability and radical honesty, and can be found hanging out on Instagram @_candice.escobar_

Listen to her divorce journey.

Share your real divorce story.

 

 
Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ®, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime V1.2

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime V1.2

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime V1.2

 

AReal Life Divorce Story w/ Brandie Olson

 

 

Introduction: Have you ever heard the phrase some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? While I didn’t create the phrase, it makes perfect sense to me. A divorce doesn’t make you a failure or a quitter. It’s quite the opposite, in most cases. These “love” stories will focus on the courage, lessons, & perspectives of everyday women (and some celebrities), to help you on your journey. Join me while we get in their business a bit. Listen to the real-life divorce story of Brandie Olson.

Guest: Brandie Olson resides in Minnesota and is focused on being happy and raising well rounded kids. She prides herself on her determination and letting nothing stand in her way. She is currently finishing up her BA in Criminal Justice. She already has a couple of two-year degrees, works full time, and has a side business doing photography. She just bought a home for her kiddos to grow up in and is finally focusing on herself.  She can be found hanging out on Instagram @brandie.nicole1619 

 

Nikki: I like to start these interviews by asking a simple question to help the audience connect with you. What’s your favorite movie?

Brandie: Wow – interesting question. Hmmm… can we come back to that?

Nikki: Of course! Let’s dive right in then. When did you start your divorce process and when did you finish?

Brandie: I’ve had 2 divorces. 

I married my high school sweetheart. We were married for 5 years. Got divorced in 2017. It took about 3 months – no arguing – no attorneys – no fighting in court. 

For the last one I filed with the court in Jan 2020. Originally we agreed on everything. We didn’t have attorneys at first. 

Then he changed his mind. The judge rescheduled our court dates when we couldn’t agree, so I got an attorney and he represented himself. My attorney worked as a mediator so she redrafted our agreement and went back to the court in June 2020. 

I guess 6 months isn’t too bad. It could have been worse, but it was stressful because he was manipulative. My stress levels reduced after my attorney got involved. I knew I needed someone to step in because I carry my heart on my sleeve and can’t always hide my emotions. He cheated on me and there was just a lot going on. 

Nikki: So you felt better having an attorney?

Brandie: Because my attorney was speaking for me, I felt 100% more confident. I knew I could focus on taking care of the kids. 

Nikki: How old are your kids?

Brandie: I have a 4 year old boy and a 1 year old girl.

Nikki: What state were you in when you divorced?

Brandie: Minnesota – Ramsey county. 

Nikki: Did you consider another divorce method?

Brandie: We were planning to go to a mediator but never got around to going to one. It’s important to note that I had a judge that was only with the county for 6 months and disagreed with what had been decided. The judge was pro dad and I’m pro dad too, but I wasn’t prepared for that! 

I was utterly shocked at how he responded, and you don’t realize how dependent you are on the judge you don’t even know to make decisions for you and your kids. I just wasn’t expecting that. One minute he agreed to our terms and then the ex changed everything in court and the judge agreed with him. It’s not like I was a danger to the kids. I think I may have a speeding ticket but that’s about it – so I definitely wasn’t putting them at risk. It was shocking though.

Nikki: What are your thoughts on alimony & child support?

Brandie: I think child support is fair based on how the state calculates it.

 

“Different experiences with both divorces but I’m the one who lost money with both divorces.” 

In the last one, we had only been married for a year.  I was marrying a doctor and last year he was in school and his salary is totally different now. I gave up my entire savings because he was going to be a doctor, so I used my money to buy our house. I saw it as an investment then. 

The judge wouldn’t consider alimony because we weren’t married for a year. Having the time frame should not be there when you’ve spent money like I did. I lost my entire savings putting it in the house. But I was mainly fighting for the kids. 

There was no money there in my first marriage. We just went our separate ways. 

Nikki: So do you think your settlement was fair?

Brandie: Not fair at all. My ex is emotionally draining. I just needed him to go away. My sanity over money was worth it to me. My lawyer was willing to go to bat for me, but because of the length of the marriage and the judge, I would have spent more money with the attorney and it didn’t seem worth it. 

Nikki: Good point. That’s a lot to deal with. What was your biggest learning lesson?

Brandie: Get an attorney for peace of mind. It’s just less stressful. 

I’m currently learning more about self love – get yourself some counseling to love yourself and know what you deserve.

“Women end up in shitty situations because they think less of themselves than what they should… less than what they are.” 

It’s part of the reason I am where I am and I’m only 29. 

Nikki: Would you remarry? Would you ask for someone to sign a prenup?

Brandie: I’m old fashioned when it comes to love. I don’t think I would marry someone if I had to ask them for a prenup. I’m not against marriage because I believe in love. I don’t have a lot of money right now so my idea could change. 

But I guess I never thought about it. I guess it’s something I might do. I struggle with thinking about divorce – looking back, a prenup would have helped me. 

Nikki: Yes a prenup could have helped you get your fair share. How were your kids impacted?

Brandie: My youngest was 6 months when I moved out. 

I made sure in the beginning until we could establish a routine, to use Facetime. When she was away at each other’s houses we were Facetiming every day. Now we may only do it once a week with her. 

For my son, it was harder. It hurt because my second husband became my son’s best friend, and when we separated it became difficult. My son is an emotional kid, and now it’s kind of amplified and he’s acted out a little bit. 

We’ve been separated since last November but my son still asks for him. His biological dad is still in his life though. I asked my ex-husband to sit down with him and talk to him. He told him that my feelings were hurt and mommy was sad, and we aren’t going to be together anymore. Kids are smart. It can be hard when my ex is Facetiming with our daughter and not my son. 

Nikki: Tell me about your new house purchase.

Brandie: I’m a very determined person. I come from a background where I’m used to being disappointed by people I love, but my past and childhood have prepared me for heartache.

When I decided to leave, I was a stay-at-home mom and in school (I quit my job last year to take care of my daughter). When I found out about him cheating, I packed up my stuff and I applied for 80 jobs in one week!

I look at it like this  – what would I tell my daughter to do? If her heart is broken and she wants to leave – I’m going to help her pack and leave. We had to move into my friend’s basement… I didn’t care. 

“Two months after finding out he was having affairs, I found a house near my grandparents, got a new job, and am finishing school” 

2 months after finding out he was having affairs, I found a house near my grandparents, got a new job, and am finishing school. 

Nikki: That’s awesome. What are you majoring in?

Brandie: My first degree is in photography (I actually do photography on the side). I have an associate in Criminal Justice & Crime Analysis and will have a Bachelors in Criminal Justice. 

Nikki: That’s pretty amazing! You should be very proud of yourself!

Brandie: It’s hard some days but I keep going forward.

Nikki:  Do you think your ex was in your life for a reason, season or a lifetime? Here’s how I look at it . A celebrity like Gwyneth Paltrow would probably say “lifetime”. She will always be friends with her ex and they plan to be present in each other’s lives.

However, Tina Turner might say “reason”. When it’s for a reason it’s usually because you learned meaningful lessons, experienced growth or have bonds that tie you together. The relationship is definitely unforgettable.

Kim Kardasshian might say “season”. Short term relationship with her 1st husband and there’s nothing that ties them together. You probably learned some lessons but you’re really no longer connected.

So based on that where do you think you fall?

Brandie: I would say they were there for a reason.

 

“I wish they were relationships and not marriages, but they were there to toughen me up.”

In my 1st marriage we both came from bad household situations and were together for 11 years. We used each other to comfort and support each other. He was there when I needed him – I was struggling and we leaned on each other. No regrets.

In the last one, he showed me how I deserved to be treated – love letters, gifts, taking care of the kids… if you take away the cheating, he was like a cookie-cutter Lifetime-movie husband. 

I didn’t know that existed and that people were capable of treating you like that.

I needed to see that and be shown that someone can treat me that way if I find that right person.

I wish I would have waited and not gotten married and didn’t get cheated on, though. 

I wrote a poem about my life and I’m hoping it helps women realize that even when we get dealt shitty cards they can make it. It’s kind of long. I’ll read it to you. 

*Brandie reads her poem to me and I love it. Super personal and powerful.* 

I have that movie now – Silver Linings Playbook – I’m obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence. 

Nikki: Cool! Definitely not your traditional romantic movie. 

Brandie: Yes – that’s why I love it!

Nikki: It’s been awesome talking to you and hearing your story. Your poem is so powerful and vulnerable. I’m going to share it with the readers. 

End of Interview

If you want to be featured in our Reason, Season or Lifetime series click on the link HERE to share a little bit about yourself. We want to share different types of love stories to help as many women as possible. We want to share your real-life love / divorce story. 

 

 

 

Brandie’s Poem

We all have our problems,

perfection doesn’t exist.

Normal isn’t a thing,

just listen to this.

Born 6 weeks early,

Dad, 19, mom 17,

didn’t last long, they were only kids.

Love you dad, see you on the weekend,

Mom and I are on a whirlwind.

Now I have a stepdad, 

yeah I care about him.

He gave me a brother and sister,

but I’m still a little bitter around him.

Smash, crack, pop, things are breaking,

holes in the wall, legs are shaking.

Glass on floor,

take my brother and sister, 

shut the bathroom door.

We all know I can’t sing, 

but they didn’t care. 

Sitting on the bathroom floor,

living on a prayer.

It’s morning, 

everything’s fine.

Mom says don’t worry kid, 

go to school and shine.

At the bus stop, 

no kids in sight.

He’s coming closer, 

asked me where I live,

I’m too little to fight.

The bus comes around,

and now he is on the run.

Grandpa finds out, 

grabs a shotgun, 

puts it in the car.

We drive in circles,

can’t find him,

 but he left a scar.

We all have our problems,

perfection doesn’t exist.

Normal isn’t a thing,

just listen to this.

In the 4th grade, 

got a call,

Mom caught on fire and isn’t doing well at all.

3rd degree burns, 

living with grandma and grandpa.

10 years later found out she did it to herself, 

God mom, 

the pain you must have felt.

Let’s run away to a new town,

only for the problems to come back around.

Me, my brother and sister building a snowman, 

I hear the bang,

tell them to stay,

I knew nothing had changed.

Walked in, hands around her neck,

Screaming, 

ran to the neighbors,

called 911, 

thought I was dreaming.

Mom said, 

it’s your fault he is not here on Christmas,

man, I don’t miss this.

Grandparents are a blessing, 

no more stressing

Fast forward, 

in Jr. High. 

We loved each other,

both lost, no eye for another.

He is a drunk, 

he will get better,

I believe in you, 

let’s grow together.

Graduated, 

started college,

he’s falling behind.

I bought a house at 20, 

working on my second degree,

didn’t realize what was going on right in front of me.

I’m doing everything, 

stressing, 

but still progressing.

In a marriage all alone, 

scared of the unknown.

March 22nd, 2015, 11pm, 

house is burning down.

He keeps running back in,

here I am saving him again.

Sitting in the ambulance asking for hug,

but he doesn’t even budge.

We all have our problems,

perfection doesn’t exist.

Normal isn’t a thing,

just listen to this.

4 weeks later, 

found out I was pregnant.

I always wanted kids, 

but not like this.

January 3rd, 2016, 

you are the most amazing thing I ever seen.

I have a new outlook on life,

for you have restored my drive.

Love you kid, 

let’s thrive.

God grandpa, 

You’re stronger than this.

You’re my person,

had too much to drink,

in a coma for weeks, 

and now you’re weak. 

Still drinking, 

lots n lots grandpa,

but I can’t deal with this. 

Now I’m ready,

here’s to changes.

Sorry kid, 

your dad and I are separated. 

But two happy homes are better than one,

that’s hated. 

Here’s to new beginnings,

to a smile that’s real and all mine. 

You and me kid, 

we are going to shine. 

Yes, 

I’m a big dreamer, 

but I’m also a goal hitter. 

It took all of this for me to turn out this way,

for that I wouldn’t change,

I would keep it all the same. 

Don’t worry kid, 

I will always be your gateway.

He came in,

swept me off my feet,

Hallmark moments I didn’t think existed.

Is this too fast? 

Will you marry me? 

I said yes.

Butterflies in my stomach,

so happy.

Had a baby, 

got married, 

stay at home momma and loving it. 

What is respect, honesty and trust? 

In a marriage, 

it’s a must. 

Not this one. 

No! 

Cheating on me the whole time, 

I should have paid attention to the small signs. 

We all have our problems,

perfection doesn’t exist.

Normal isn’t a thing,

just listen to this.

Here I am, 

twice divorced,

with twos kids. 

I feel like a failure,

like I did something wrong.

Children deserve so much more, 

and for that I’m building my wall. 

I’m locking that door, 

until someone deserves that key.

I am doing this for me.

Here’s to my future,

my future with my babies.

Traveling, 

exploring. 

Adventures, 

and no more mourning.

 

Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ®, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime

Love: Reason, Season or Lifetime

AReal Life Divorce Story w/ Kemberli Stephenson

Introduction: Have you ever heard the phrase some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? While I didn’t create the phrase, it makes perfect sense to me. A divorce doesn’t make you a failure or a quitter. It’s quite the opposite, in most cases. These “love” stories will focus on the courage, lessons, & perspectives of everyday women (and some celebrities), to help you on your journey. Join me while we get in their business a bit.

Guest: Kemberli Stephenson is a proud Gen X’er, residing in North Carolina and focused on Freedom & Fun. She prides herself on her natural integration skills and can be found hanging out on Facebook & IG @SparkHustleFlow. You can also learn more by visiting her website @ www.SparkHustleFlow.com.

Referenced in the interview: Silent Preparation Series

Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ®, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

Silent Preparation Series – Part 1

Silent Preparation Series – Part 1

Silent Preparation Series – Part 1

Prepare Your Finances for Divorce By Earning Money on the Side

 

I took a trip in 2019 to New Mexico with my business besties, Latasha Booth & Kemberli Stephenson. We had a great time in a rented VRBO with an amazing view, eating amazing meals and engaging in great girl talk while watching Brene Brown. The picture at the top of this post was taken on the balcony of our vacation property!

It was a fun but relaxing trip that I used my Freedom Funds to pay for. We planned the trip months prior so when it was time to go, I was more than ready, mentally & financially! 

What are Freedom Funds you ask?

Our money serves various functions in our life but it all can fall into 3 categories. Fixed Expenses, Flexible Expenses, and Freedom Funds. Freedom Funds are the dollars set aside to live life as you see fit. This may mean traveling, fine dining, indulgent self-care, or other fun ways to do WHATEVER you want. 

As you prepare for divorce, the freedom funds account becomes partially repurposed. It doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun, but it does mean that you may need these funds for “not-so-fun” things as a result of your pending divorce. 

In order to build your freedom funds quickly, it might be a good idea to earn some side/pocket money. 

In our Ultimate Financial Resource Guide, we’ve included income-earning opportunities for you to choose from depending on your situation. Most of the options are non-committal. We’re not suggesting you pick up a formal part-time gig (unless that’s what you need) just opening your eyes to simple ways to earn money to gain your “freedom” quicker!

 

Earn Side Money With Market Research Surveys

I used to participate in market research studies in person, but ever since COVID-19 hit all the invitations have been for online surveys. 

I get market research survey invitations multiple times a week that pay anywhere from $50 to $250 depending on the length of time needed and the subject matter. In July 2020 my son and I participated in a market research study that paid $250 for sharing our opinion. It took about an hour a day over 3 days to answer all the questions. 

While you won’t qualify for every survey and it’s purely optional which ones you decide to apply for it can be a simple way to increase your pocket change and build your freedom funds as you plan for your exit. In the same way that people fight over money while they’re married, I often hear people saying they can’t afford to leave.

Within the Ultimate Financial Resource Guide, I only recommend companies that I am personally signed up for or I know to be reputable. No one wants to participate in a study that they never actually get paid for.

Signing up with multiple research companies increases your chances of being invited and qualifying. If you decide to pause participating in studies (which I’ve totally done), it’s as simple as not responding to the survey invitation. 

Most pay in hard dollars, but some offer a points program or gift cards. I’ve never had to provide any bank account information for direct deposits – they just mail me a good old fashioned check. 

Popular market research companies include Precision Research, Schlesinger Associates, and Focuscope. 

Happy opinion giving!

 

Earn Side Money By Selling Your Stuff

One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. Not only do I have clothes in my closet with the tags still on them but I also have shoes that I never wear and purses that I rarely carry. As you prepare your life for your new future, purging items that you no longer need or want can be a win-win situation.

First, it gives you the opportunity to declutter, and 2nd you may be able to earn cold hard cash from the items that you get rid of.

You can earn side money by selling your stuff on websites such as Threadup, Poshmark, and Letgo just to name a few.  Here’s an important note in that statement – I said your stuff.

Selling your own personal items or what may be deemed in the divorce world as separate property is typically fine. Selling items that may be classified as “marital property” makes things a bit messier.

Before you decide to sell anything, I invite you to browse the sites listed within the Ultimate Financial Resource Guide. It may trigger ideas about all the good stuff in your home just waiting to help you earn more money.

Happy selling!

 

Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ®, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

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