Lisa Conway-Hughes is a financial advisor who was recommended to me by my friend Viv.
She’s written a book called Money Lessons. I met her when I was in midst of my split, when I was broken and getting out of bed was a big enough challenge. I resisted meeting her because I thought a) financial advisors were only for rich people and b) that they were going to rip me off. Turns out a) that isn’t true and b) well, that’s why you go for a personal recommendation.
I didn’t want to address my finances, I didn’t want to address the reality of my new situation. For almost a year I had a pathological fear of the joint account. Each time I saw my ex made a withdrawal in his new town it felt like a dagger to the heart.
But taking control of your finances is important.
YOU JUST NEED TO DO IT. It will give you peace of mind, security and is empowering.
Here is some great advice from Lisa.
- Recruit a friend to help and work out how to get by in the short term. Do you have any savings? What money is available to you? Do you need to borrow from friends or family? Keep a document of what you borrow and from whom.
- Remember legally you are not allowed to look at your ex’s finances without their permission. Steer clear of looking at their personal accounts.
- Don’t seek emotional help from your financial advisor. I see a lot of women who seek financial advice from their solicitor and emotional advice from their financial advisor. That’s not cost effective. I always suggest my clients see a therapist or divorce coach. They generally cost less per hour and they can help get your head in the right place to look at money matters with more clarity.
- If you are in crisis look up Christians Against Poverty. They can help people (not just Christians) who are struggling for money. Click here for more information.
- Check your financial advisor is FCA registered and is ‘independent’ rather than ’tied.’ This means they will look for the best deals for you across the market.
- Try and keep an open mind about financial arrangements. Women often want to keep the house, but sometimes it makes more sense not to. Or you could keep it for five years then reassess.
I really hope you find this is helpful, you can visit Lisa’s website here.