Common Financial Mistakes Made During Divorce with Amy Holewa | RU017

Learn about some of the most common financial mistakes made during divorce. Understand the importance of thinking about life going forward after divorce and especially about your housing options. Learn how to create a budget and use it to plan your cash flow for day-to-day expenses…including savings for the expected and unexpected! 


Ask yourself:

What do I want my future to look like?

What factors can help me decide whether I will stay where I’m living now or move?

What “expected” things do I want to save for?

About the Guest:

Amy Holewa, Certified Financial Planner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst with over 20 years of financial services expertise, Amy works with clients in the areas of retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, and wealth transfer strategies. Being a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst allows her to partner with clients during unique financial situations. Her goal is to work closely with clients to develop an outline that aligns with their goals while maximizing their financial position.

Holewa Divorce Services

11272 86th Avenue N. Suite B

Maple Grove MN 55369


Securities offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. (RAA) member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Financial Dimensions Group, Inc. RAA and Financial Dimensions Group, Inc. are not affiliated.

About the Host:

Divorced after many years of marriage, Barb Greenberg founded Rediscovering U, a company that provides education, support, and resources for women transitioning through divorce and into a new life. She and her company have been recognized for “…creating equality, justice and self-determination for women…” She is an award winning author of 3 books, Hope Grew Round Me, After the Ball: A Woman’s Tale of Happily Ever After, and The Seasons of Divorce: Insights for Women in Transition. Her books are available at a special price for you at Barb would like to thank Joey Greenberg for his technical expertise and creativity. Without him, she’d still be thinking about starting podcast!

Visit to learn more!

You can also find Barb at:

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Barb Greenberg:

Hello, and welcome to rediscovering you where you will find valuable insights, support and education to help you move through the difficult and often painful process of divorce with grace and courage and hope, and find the ultimate gift of rediscovering yourself. I'm your host, Barb Greenberg, award winning author and founder of rediscovering you. If I'd had access to a resource like this during my divorce, I would have not felt so isolated, I would have made much better decisions, I still would have breathed for that for so hard for so long. And I wouldn't have eaten so many boxes of macaroni and cheese. When women heal, families heal, when families heal communities heal. When communities heal, the possibilities are endless. Let's get started.

Barb Greenberg:

I'm really excited to introduce once again, the amazing Amy Holewa. And I'm going to share a little bit about her with you before I give her even a chance to talk. She has over 20 years of experience in financial expertise. She works with her clients in all sorts of areas retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, wealth transfer strategies. And in addition to being a Certified Financial Planner, she's also a certified divorce financial analyst, which is awesome, because I told her that I didn't even know there was such a thing when I got divorced. And it would have made a huge difference for me a big difference. And I love that she stays with her clients, she closely pays attention to their goals, what they want to do. And so she plans everything around that. And she walks them through step by step to reach their goals, which i i love that to start to finish. She's there. And she's also part of the Collaborative Law Institute, which I think says a lot about the fact that she likes to collaborate, she wants to collaborate with people to help people resolve financial issues, the best they can. So welcome, Amy. Thank you. It's great to hear. This is our second conversation. And I just like we found so many other things to talk about. So just for people that maybe didn't hear the first, the first episode that you were talking about, or talking in, just share a little bit about your background and how you got into and then we'll do some more juicy stuff. Nothing bad. It's juicy.

Amy Holewa:

Yeah, so I, I loved finances when I was in junior high in high school, and I became, I went to college, I was a finance major. I thought I wanted to be a stockbroker, when I got out of college, but my aunt who works for financial planning company, or she did at the time, said, no, no, no, Amy, you want to be a financial advisor. And that has been where I've been since college because it a financial adviser looks at the whole picture. What what does it all mean? You might be saving, you might be spending. But you may have goals, financial goals in the financial planning is looking at the whole picture and how does it all work together. And that's what I love about what I do. And divorce, I got specialized as a certified divorce financial analyst, because I would find was clients coming to me after the divorce, that they maybe were still intertwined financially, or they had caused themselves some tax issues by how they did the property split. Or, you know, just from a cash flow standpoint, maybe a little short, so I got certified because when I'm working with clients before the divorce, that makes a huge difference. Because once you sign that decree the divorce decree, then that's, that's what it is. And it's harder to go back and fix things that might have been not correct or not your intent, or you know, cause yourself some tax issues and may not be fixable. So knowing before you sign and understanding that pieces is more cost efficient than trying to fix it later. So that's where I got certified now the financial planning piece and transitions after so I do have some clients that work with me for the divorce during and then after, and that's that you know I'm moving forward, and how do you go forward financially for yourself. And that's the other part of what I do.

Barb Greenberg:

So we're a full service, full service, I love it, I wish I, again, I wish I would have had that resource that I would have even known that there was such a thing. So you are doing a huge, huge, you're a huge gift to a lot of people I know. And we talked last time about all sorts of goodies. And I thought, this time, we would talk about the most common mistakes women make, or things that are maybe overlooked as they're figuring out this process.

Amy Holewa:

I think, I think sometimes what it, it can be, this may not be a mistake, but just more of it can be hard when you're in divorce, like you just are in it, right. And sometimes it's hard to look past what life like might be like afterwards. So I think that's it's important to think about, and give some thought to what you want your financial life to be like after the divorce. And in particular, I think when it comes to housing, because you know, whether or not you keep the house or you want to buy a house, having some thought around that will make a difference on number one, should you be planning budget wise, there's that budget word again, we talked about that last time. But cash flow wise, can you afford the house? And or can you refinance, so that your name is on the house? Or do you want to move? And what does that possibility look like? And, and the reason that's important to think about those things, because as you're going through a property settlement, if you want if you're going to buy a new house, and you need a downpayment, and maybe that downpayment has to come from retirement money, there's very strategic things that can be done, to get that money out of a retirement asset, and, and freed up so that you can use it for a down payment of the house. And there's some tax implications to think about. But those those types of things, you have to think forward in order to make informed decisions about what you're going to do now, as far as a property settlement. So that that's sort of like can be very stressful. Like, I don't know what I'm gonna be like, after this, I don't know. But just having some of those scenarios was what if possibilities, can help you see some of the financial decisions a little differently, like, oh, you know, I think I may need that particular asset because of, you know, I need to go back to school, or I'm, I might need to buy a house. So when it comes to the asset split piece, the, you know, not all assets are created equal, as far as the taxation of things, or even the accessibility of those investments, because, you know, if you're looking to take money out of your spouse's retirement account after the divorce, the timing of that is not immediate. And so sometimes you have to think about what what am I going to do in the interim period, because I don't want to buy a house or I need that money for a specific purpose. So that's probably I don't know if that's a mistake. It's more of a, it can be you make decisions, and then you get done with it. You're like, Oh, but I wanted to do this. So if you're giving it thought ahead of time, that can help save you money, and some heartache, you know, because if you know, the tax consequences of something going in the end, it's easier to deal with, you know, that piece of it, rather than than finding out later. Oh, I'm an old what? In taxes. Like, that's, that's never a fun conversation. Right? So those are the things that I think are important to think about is what are your goals? Or how do you want life to, you know, what are you thinking about for your life going forward to sell so that hopefully that answers your question was a

Barb Greenberg:

really good answer. Because you're right, you're in the midst of divorce, and you're, at least for me, I was like a deer in headlights and I was just trying to survive, and, you know, make the best decisions that I could but I didn't have the information often to make the best decisions that I could and I was scrambling and you don't know who to trust and you don't know who to ask and you don't even know the questions you should ask. So having somebody in your corner that can go Like you said, here's a wadiya. And then here's another one. And you don't have to make a decision right now. But here, look at this option. That's a huge gift. That's wonderful. That's a big deal. And, oh, since you are the, well, there's the B word again, budgeting queen.

Amy Holewa:

I don't know if I want that title Barb, but

Barb Greenberg:

the cash flow? What instead of Queen, what would be a better word, the cash flow, maybe the cash flow girl. I like that I like hell us words of wisdom from the guru about cash flowing, how to keep your cash flowing, and that end up in a dry riverbed with no cash flowing anyplace? So it's yes, yes, yes, you feel like I think, injured by divorce. And I said, I feel like I'm gonna end up in a box under a bridge. And she said, every woman no matter how successful they are, almost all of them feel the same way. Like, oh, my God, I'm going to end up in a box under a bridge, which is it's not funny. But there's that fear. There's one big fear. So if you can help us flow through that river a little bit more smoothly, that would be awesome.

Amy Holewa:

Yes. So I think I think last time, we talked a little bit about understanding where you you've been spending, and then your attorney will generally ask you to create the budget. And you use that historical data as the basis for what what is what couldn't my budget, what my budget might look like, right. And, and one of the nuggets, I will say, for going forward. So let's say you get through the conversations, the reason it's important to have a budget is because in the state of Minnesota anyway, you're one of the big factors is do you have a need for spousal support? If you're in that conversation? And does the other person have the ability to pay? Well, if you have to show a need, you have to have a good understanding of what your budget is, right? So that's kind of step one. But then after the divorce, what do you do with that budget going forward? Because then real life happens, right. And one of the things that I would say, is that you want to look at cash flow, budgeting is more of what happens in the past, we've based our budget on it now, is that really how things are working. So looking forward, so I do have a cash flow forecasting spreadsheet that I work with clients on. So understanding that as money comes in what's going out in real time, or what's what's coming forward, right, because the house payment might happen at the first of the month, but the credit card payment might happen on the 20th. And balancing what happens in between there is important from a day to day cash flow perspective. And the other piece, I would say that if you've put in your budget, that you plan to travel, and maybe you know, put $100 a month for travel or whatever that number is for you. I always recommend setting up an account so that you save that $100 a month into your travel fund so that it is there, when you go to book a vacation or plan a trip, because what can happen is for not intentionally putting that money aside. It can lead to oh, they're going on a trip or Oh, the fridge went out, right? I need a new fridge or whatever that might be. If you have home maintenance as a line item in your budget, set that money aside into an account, like transfer it to a bank that takes a couple days for it to get back to you because it's out of sight out of mind, right? It's there, if you have an emergency or the fridge goes out. And the reason for that is then you're not going to turn to debt in order to pay for those things that might unexpectedly or expectedly come up like vacation. Or you have the freedom when it comes to vacation. I like using vacation as an example because it's you know, feels good to one vacation and get out of town and get out get away right? But if you're turning to debt to do that, then there's that little bit of oh, I don't know, should I do that? But if you have the account, you have freedom to make that decision and that and that can feel more liberating, if you will, right. It's Yes, I've put this money aside For this specific purpose, and I'm going to use it. And instead of putting it on the credit card and praying that that will get paid off, right. So that the that would be my words of wisdom, if you will, on

Barb Greenberg:

cash flow. So you know how long it took me to learn to do that. But I have a part of my savings is for home improvements. And part is for personal, whatever comes up a trip, or, you know, the unexpected. Oh, I owe that much in taxes. I thought I owed something else in taxes. But it feels it's very calming to me. reassuring to me, I feel like I have a little more control. And I'm not so using up so much energy worried. It's just there to do something, believe it or not, I'm in New Mexico. And it hardly ever rains. But it rained really hard this summer. And part of the sunroom flooded. And I called the roofer he goes, What's nice about being in the desert is you don't have to worry about mold. We'll be fine. But I had to call and figure out what we needed to do. It wasn't a huge change. We didn't have to do like a whole roof. But we had to adjust some gutters and things and and just to know that that money was there set aside. Oh, my gosh, it made a huge, huge difference for me. So I it's a very wise thing to do. Thank you very much for sharing this.

Amy Holewa:

Yes, it's one of those things that's so simple. But I find you know, we find that most people don't do it. It's like diet and exercise, right? It's we know it, intuitively we know it, we have to put it in practice. And maybe it's you start with a small amount and build to that big cash, you know, pool in the savings account safety net. But that is that happens in all income levels at all stages of life where I see that over and over, were just putting that money aside, systematically. You'll be glad you did.

Barb Greenberg:

Because if it wasn't put aside, I would have spent it. And I had and I had a friend who was that she said, you know, even if it's $10 a month, just start with $10 a month, don't scare yourself just then it'll be 20 then it'll be 50. And then it will be you know, just so just practice with the little like little steps, like you mentioned before about in your other talk about just little steps. And but it adds up. So this is so wonderful. You did more nuggets again, this time. Thank you so much. And how share again, how people can connect with you. Number one, that's the first thing and we will put this information also in the Podcast, episode notes.

Amy Holewa:

Excellent. So my website is Amy a MYHOLEW And on there appears will be my contact information my phone number, you can also reach me through the websites send me an email. And that comes straight to my inbox.

Barb Greenberg:

Yay. And then this is a fun one. I just loved sharing this. You have a YouTube channel now. Can you share a little bit about your YouTube channel so people can see you more? Hear you more?

Amy Holewa:

Yeah, so is Amy hola my YouTube channel. If you plug in me, however, my channel will come up and it's just different. I just talk about different topics that that I have come to me, you know, throughout the, throughout the day, really I have legal ongoing pattern of things that I want to talk about my channel and and on my blog. So series, keep checking in, you never know what will be on the channel so

Barb Greenberg:

well and that just popped into my head that you also keep a gratitude journal. So one of the things you can be grateful for is that Amy has all sorts of goodies that she can share with you. Absolutely, yes, but I love that you do that too. You know, that's, that's wonderful. Thank you again so much. I really appreciate that you were here. It was just this was a joy. Thank you.

Amy Holewa:

It's great to be here.

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