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How to Start Over When You Need Money

Here’s what to do when you need money to start over, inspired by the parable of Midas – and a reader’s comment on getting money to start her life over again.

How to Start Over When You Need Money How To Make Any Divorce Better: Specific Steps to Make Things Smoother, Faster, Less Painful and Save You a Lot of Money by lawyer Ed Sherman will show you that even though divorce is a difficult milestone, there are practical things you can do to make it easier. Securing the money you need to start over is one step – and you need to be aware of the other issues that divorce brings.

“Ladies, planning is a must,” says Kim on 13 Ways to Get Money to Leave Your Husband. “It may seem wrong, but really it’s not. It’s never too late to figure out what to do when you need money to start over. YOU ARE VALUABLE AND IMPORTANT, so plan ahead like I did! Also I found a great life coach at church, who I saw two to three times a week to keep me motivated. BE GOOD TO YOU! This life is short. Don’t waste it in an unhappy marriage and/or in danger from abuse. Good luck to you all. If I can do you can too.”

Below are a few ideas on how to start over when you need money after a breakup, separation, or divorce. First, though, I want to share the parable of King Midas.

The Midas Touch – A Parable

“He’s got the Midas touch”…or so we say about people who seem to be good at making money. The story of King Midas comes to us from ancient Greek mythology.

King Midas once found Silenus, the tutor of the god Bacchus, and showed the lost Silenus the way back to his pupil. Excited at the return of Silenus Bacchus promised Midas any reward he wished. Midas’ wish was the wish shared by many – unbelievable wealth.

midas parable

“The Parable of Midas” image by rubberduckie

Midas asked that everything he touched might be changed to gold. Bacchus immediately granted his wish and Midas returned to his palace with his newfound talent. True to Bacchus’ promise, everything Midas touched turned to gold. Midas could take a stick and with a touch turn it into a stick of gold. He could take a mud brick and with a touch turn it into a brick of gold.

But this talent was not the blessing it first appeared to be. Elated at his new talent, Midas had his servants prepare a sumptuous feast. The choice dishes were placed before him, but the moment Midas touched anything it turned to gold. The cloth, the plates, the cups, the food, all turned to gold as soon as they touched his fingers or his lips.

In the end Midas found enormous wealth could not satisfy his most basic need. Desperately hungry, he returned to Bacchus and begged him to remove the gift, which Bacchus did.


How to Start Over When You Need Money

The lesson that stands out to me is the idea that money won’t solve all your problems. Money can create new problems and make existing weaknesses grow even bigger. If you think money is all you need to start over after a relationship ends, then you’ll be unpleasantly surprised to find that money doesn’t offer as much freedom as you think.

These tips for financial planning are from a guide that was developed to assist survivors of domestic violence, by Click to Empower. For a more comprehensive look at financial planning when you need money to start over, contact your local domestic violence program, state domestic violence coalition or download the complete “Moving Ahead Through Financial Management” Curriculum at Click to Empower.

Secure a bank account in your name only

The first step in assessing your financial state is to look at your joint bank account. If you leave your husband, he may withdraw all your cash and find ways to hide money. This is a deliberate attempt to regain control over you and your children, and it can be a very powerful way to manipulate you. Whether or not you need money to start over, consider securing at least half of the money in your joint accounts in another account under your name only, as soon as possible.

Protect yourself financially and physically

It may be too late to start learning how to save money for a divorce, but it’s not too late to learn how to protect yourself financially! You need to ensure you have the means to take care of yourself and your children. You may be asked to account for how the money was spent at a later date by the court, so it’s a good idea to track how you spend money.

Be aware that gathering your financial documents and opening bank accounts may put your safety at risk. Talk to an advocate to create a safety plan and help you learn how to start over when you need money.

Take stock of your current financial assets and liabilities

When you need money to start over, it’s important to know what you currently have access to so you can plan and protect it. Do you have savings and/or checking accounts at the bank? Is the car in your name? Do you have a mortgage, student loans, credit card debt? It’s time to start thinking about your living expenses, even if you think you’ll never have enough money to start over. Do you have expenses that are critical to your daily life, such as medications, transportation expenses, childcare costs, food, etc? It’s important to start planning now so that you optimize the resources.

Learn what documents you need to start over

The following list of documents will help you stay safe and rebuild your financial life. In some cases, you may also need to obtain these documents for your children as well. Don’t be discouraged if you are unable to obtain all of these documents – knowing how to start over when you need money is about being resourceful and clever! You can find other ways to move ahead with your life.

Legal Documents You Need to Start Over

  • Birth Certificate(s)
  • Marriage Certificate Divorce
  • Custody Decree(s)
  • Passport/Immigration Paperwork
  • Social Security Card(s)
  • Will/Trust Documents
  • Records of Pending Legal Actions
  • Protection/Retraining Orders
  • Driver’s License/ID Card

Those are the legal documents to take with you when you leave; they’ll help you learn how to start over when you need money.

Financial Documents You Need to Start Over

  • Bank Statements
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Pay Stubs
  • Tax Records
  • Public Benefits Documents
  • Money Order Receipts
  • Lease/Mortgage Documents
  • Titles (Car, Home, etc.)
  • Vehicle Registration Insurance Policies
  • Pictures of Property/Furnishings/Collectables

Knowing how to start over when you need money is about being organized and disciplined when you leave your marriage.

Health Documents You Need to Start Over

  • Insurance Cards
  • Medical Records and Prescriptions
  • List of Doctors
When You Need Money to Start Over

How to Start Over When You Need Money

Starting over after your marriage ends is hard. You have a lot of things to take care of, and it may seem like money is all you need to start over. But, it’s important to remember that money is only half the battle. The other half is finding the emotional and spiritual strength to take care of yourself, and to ask people for help.

When you need money to start over, you have to keep telling yourself that there ARE resources, people, organizations, and places that will help you! The key is to keep knocking on doors, and keep asking for the help you need. Now is not the time to be proud. Now is the time to accept all the help you can get…and know that you’ll be in a position to help someone else in the future.

If you’re worried about starting over, read How to Make a Life After Divorce.

I welcome your thoughts on when you need money to start over. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share what you’re going through.

Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.

Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me!

My prayer is that you find the money, resources, and help you need to start over. May you find God in all of this, and renew your connection to Him.

1 thought on “How to Start Over When You Need Money”

  1. In reading a few of the comments, I have suggestions. I left an abusive man I’d spent 18yrs with. Through trial & error & 3 serious attempts at leaving. I stayed with family the first time. No money, no job & no assets. BIG mistake! The 2nd time I had managed to save $682 & took my 3 young children to stay with friends. Another HUGE mistake! 10 years later with all 3 of my children, I found ways to make it happen.
    First of all, the money. Ok cans & all that stuff will only work if you have a car or live near by.
    In all the 18 years I was with that jackass I never had access to ANY finances or VEHICLES!
    The only thing I had was a cellphone that he would only pay if I had sex with him… Yeah. Repulsive BUT I needed that phone on every month. So once a month I got that phone payed & for a year, I plotted.
    I posted & sold anything not nailed down!! Get on your phone & start taking pictures of anything & EVERYTHING in your house. Start with his stuff. Tools, bikes, Building supplies, helmets, specialty items, antiques, clothes, fishing gear, camping equipment, hunting gear, literally EVERYTHING you can get your hands on. Post it on Craigslist, offerup, Facebook sale sites, etc. Get it posted & make sure you update your ads! Don’t forget to post your stuff & your kid’s things too. You’d be surprised what people are willing to buy & you can’t escape with a uhaul & movers. You need to lighten the load!
    If your husband is home, meet the people to sell. If your husband works, make that the time frame for pick up, so he won’t see or know what you’re doing.
    Here’s another thing I did, I went into DSHS & got on food stamps. You CANNOT get money while living with your husband without breaking the law. But you CAN go in & get food stamps for you & your children if you’re not working & do not have access to finances. If your husband gives you food money, take it & pocket it! Stay on food stamps because believe me, you WILL need the assistance when you’re on your own. And food benefits stay on for 6 months without meetings or anything. It will also help you when you do finally leave & need to apply for TANF (cash benefits) if you’re caring for children. Because you’re already in the system.
    Once you have some money, you can either do the bank account thing or do what I did, I bought a fireproof Safe from Amazon (Free delivery) & I screwed it to the underneath part of my bed where I was the ONLY one who had access to it & the only one with the code. Keep important papers in there too. Social security cards, birth certificates, receipts, anything you may need later. All of those things cost money later & you do not need any extra expenditures once you go!
    Now, find the Domestic violence laws in your state. This is VERY IMPORTANT! Some states, like mine, immediately remove the abuser from the home & a 14 day temporary protection order goes into place. Which means you have 14 days in your own home with your children to figure out your next step & your abuser CANNOT stop by, call you, watch you, etc. If he does, you call the police, get it documented! Because at the end of that 14 day period you both go back to court & the judge hears both sides. During those 14 days if you didn’t already sign up for food stamps, do! Go to food banks too. Get ALL the recourses you can. YWCA Domestic violence advocates can point you to legal assistance, shelters & transportation.
    If you need a place to stay call the YWCA Domestic violence shelter in your area. They will screen your call & decide whether or not your situation requires immediate action. This is important for you to know. DV shelters are not the same as homeless shelters. These shelters are set up to help women & children get to safety!!! And they’ll help you get on your feet.
    I know they helped me. In fact, they don’t need any financial information from you while you’re there. They’ll give you 90 days to get a place. 3 MONTHS! And while you’re there, you can apply for housing. They’ll help you with that too. They’ll also give you gas vouchers if you have a car & bus passes, if you don’t. Keep in mind that they will NOT babysit you! If you’re not going to go after your freedom & make the most of those 3 months, they’re happy to let you stay but they’re not going to get you a place or give you assistance if your just in your room all day or hanging out. I worked my ass off saving, applying for jobs, going to interviews, applying for housing & helping out at the shelter & they see that. They want to help you! But they’re not going to do it for you. And they will NEVER ask you for money! You could have thousands saved & it’s nobody’s business. However, get a bank account or keep your cash secure because the people staying there aren’t always good people & plenty of them “shelter hop”.
    While you’re there, you can also apply for TANF & collect it. You’re homeless in a DV shelter, they won’t make you do all those classes when what you need is DV assistance (typically a once a week 2hr class with other victims)
    There are a LOT of places that will offer you recourses, take advantage of this! Think of every place you’ve donated to or have seen & ask them for their services. Like, school supplies, clothes, Goodwill, Churches, the people who ask for junk cars for charity-they’re supposed to donate them! Sign up!
    PLEASE plan ahead if you can. Like I said, I thought I had planned the 1st & 2nd time only to have it blow up in my face.
    By the 3rd time I had plotted so seriously & without ANY help from friends & family that I knew we’d be ok & you will too!

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