Opening a Separate Banking Account. From personal experience, I believe women should keep separate bank accounts but have a joint account for household finances. Aside from that, women should only contribute to the same percentage that men are. For instance, 50% of your income may be lower than 50% of his income.
While living with my boyfriend, I did not follow the above, so it was harder for me financially when we stopped living together. Being that I was dependent on my boyfriend, I chose to not have a roommate. I needed to learn how to be out on my own without added assistance. Deciding to have a roommate is a personal decision as certain responsibilities are not shared between roommates.
As part of our series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce Or Breakup”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Imani Francies who writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, USInsuranceAgents.com. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media and specializes in various forms of media marketing.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to ‘get to know you’. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?
Hello, my name is Imani Francies, and I grew up in a dominant female household. I was born in Bakersfield, California but relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, with my parents during my younger years. For as far as I can remember, my home life as a child consisted of arguments and fighting even after my parents divorced. There was abuse (verbal and emotional) that I experienced and observed from my parents.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Writing inspirational or wellness-based stories is my way of helping those who find themselves in an unhealthy relationship. So my upbringing is what led me to this career path.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Though my childhood led me to promote wellness through writing, my writing career started because I feared dying during labor with my first and only child. I was in a high-risk pregnancy after being told I would never be able to have children. I always wanted to write a book and I wanted to leave something behind if the worst happened. I finished the book in time, and despite not being my best-written work, many found the story enticing. The story is something that I love to share.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I agreed to a ghostwriting contract where I was to complete an entire novella within a week. At first, I was confident that I could complete the book, but when it came to the last 36 hours, I was downing caffeine and did not sleep. At the time, it was not funny because I had a meltdown, was hyperventilating, and was so scared about not meeting the deadline. This was my first big contract.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?
“Eventually, you will end up where you need to be” is a quote that keeps my anxiety in check and correlates directly with the story I shared above about writing my first book. I had no intention of becoming a writer before that incident, but everything fell into place the way it was supposed to. I ended up right where I am supposed to be and where I am the happiest.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, I have been interviewing entrepreneurs (mainly women) and plan on starting a series highlighting what each individual went through to get where they are as a business owner. This will start on my personal blog, and it will not stray away from talking about the personal obstacles that many had to overcome, not just professional obstacles.
Ok. Thank you for that. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell us a bit about your experience going through a divorce or helping someone who was going through a divorce? What did you learn about yourself during and after the experience? Do you feel comfortable sharing a story?
Almost all of the women on my mother’s side of the family has been through a divorce. Though I did not help them through the process, I witnessed the majority of them first-hand. From it, I have learned that children see and are affected by everything (good and bad), so for the upkeep of the family, it’s best to seek outside help with the process of divorce and mediating visitation.
In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes people make after they go through a divorce? What can be done to avoid that?
The biggest mistake people make is not preparing their children for divorce. Practicing how you will tell your children about your divorce is truly the most sensitive step of the whole process. Parents must recognize that how they share this news with their children can establish a nurturing environment for them or the exact opposite during the separation.
Anything but a nurturing environment during this trying time can make the process of a divorce ten times more challenging. It can also be traumatizing for the kids, which can extend beyond the finalization of the divorce. Here are some additional tips for preparing your children for your divorce:
- Make scheduling family events (doctor appointments, performances, etc.) your top priority.
- Be expressive about your feelings towards your children.
- Consistently tell them they don’t have to pick a parent.
- Keep them in the loop on what will be happening next.
- Stress the fact that both parents are still on the same team and the family will always be intact
People generally label “divorce” as being “negative”. And yes, while there are downsides, there can also be a lot of positive that comes out of it as well. What would you say that they are? Can you share an example or share a story?
Deciding to divorce is not a bad thing, especially if the relationship was not satisfying for both people. It only turns negative when those individuals confuse the overwhelming emotions associated with divorce as anger. Being able to walk away from one another, so both parties can find the happiness they deserve is an ultimate sign of love. When the fact of this is recognized, a beautiful friendship can manifest itself between the two. It can even build a strong family bond if kids are involved.
Some people are scared to ‘get back out there’ and date again after being with their former spouse for many years and hearing dating horror stories. What would you say to motivate someone to get back out there and start a new beginning?
Dating can fall on the back burner when you have a business, work, and/or have a family, and may not prioritize dating. Using a dating app, like coffee meets bagel, you can receive a daily alert of new matches. The match is a quality match and is not a random user who swiped right on you. This app provides online security and lets people set up their specific preferences in a romantic partner.
What is the one thing people going through a divorce should be open to changing?
Going from living in a two-income household or a two-parent household to a single-income or parent household is a significant shift for finances and household routines. Naturally, people are hesitant to change the way they have lived. In most cases, changing how you spend money, your time, and organize your home is not an option. When people push back on the idea of changing, it is usually when a divorce or post-divorce becomes too overwhelming.
Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. If you had a close friend come to you for advice after a divorce, what are 5 things you would advise in order to survive and thrive after the divorce? Can you please give a story or example for each?
#1 — Opening a Separate Banking Account
From personal experience, I believe women should keep separate bank accounts but have a joint account for household finances. Aside from that, women should only contribute to the same percentage that men are. For instance, 50% of your income may be lower than 50% of his income.
While living with my boyfriend, I did not follow the above, so it was harder for me financially when we stopped living together.
Being that I was dependent on my boyfriend, I chose to not have a roommate. I needed to learn how to be out on my own without added assistance. Deciding to have a roommate is a personal decision as certain responsibilities are not shared between roommates.
#2 — Use Online Banking Apps
Downloading banking apps with your bank is beneficial because they allow you to set up notifications for transactions that come through your account and notifies you of daily or even hourly transactions.
This helps keep track of your checkbook but is not always reliable because the apps can lag or omit transactions– banking apps are merely a tool to help with your checkbook.
#3 — Follow Your Credit with Credit Karma
The first place I used was Credit Karma. An excellent place to get your feet wet when initially understanding it all. It is free, updates every seven days, and is easily accessible. You’re able to see everything that is on your credit report, but sometimes the site scores are lower than what they truly are.
#4 — Start Back Dating or Atleast Start Playing with the idea of Dating.
Dating and meeting new people is a form of self-care. One of the best dating apps I’ve used is Coffee meets bagel. It has been the most inclusive dating app I have experienced because it lets you choose your dating race preference without making you feel bad for having a taste.
As a black woman, I have realized that I receive more degrading implications, like one-night-stands, nude pictures, or sexual passes, from men outside of my race.
#5 — A Spa day Once a Week.
This spa day does not have to be at an actual spa. It can be you taking a long hot bath with candles and essential oils filling the air, relaxing you. It is a great way to stay mentally healthy as you navigate through a divorce. Your choice of essential oils depends on personal needs. Here are some benefits of different essential oils:
- Lavender: relaxation, inflammation, headaches, nausea
- Wintergreen: refreshing, warming, stimulating
- Chamomile: soothing, supports the immune system
- Rosemary: helps reduce tension and fatigue
- Spearmint: Minty, helps digestion and upset stomach.
- Peppermint: minty, promotes respiratory and digestive health
The stress of a divorce can take a toll on both one’s mental and emotional health. In your opinion or experience, what are a few things people going through a divorce can do to alleviate this pain and anguish?
The main thing I have witnessed between divorced individuals is how easily they are sucked into negativity. When one or both partners are angry, it can be easy for them to lure the opposite person into being negative. Instead of doing this, people should find a mediator to handle communication. Going through a divorce is hard enough, so adding malicious behavior and attitudes on top of that makes things worse.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources related to this topic that you would recommend to our readers?
“Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis is my favorite motivational book.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I have challenged myself to a “50 a month” lifestyle where I spend at least 50 dollars on a product or service provided by an entrepreneur. I want to support but sometimes I forget, so doing it this way ensures I am helping people consistently. Those 50 dollars could be me paying someone’s light bill.
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have breakfast or lunch with Shonda Rhimes. When she was still acting as the head writer for her shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, there were always multiple storylines transpiring at the same time and were so diverse. Those shows kept me company and provided me with comfort while my parents went through their divorce.
Thank you for these great insights and for the time you spent with this interview. We wish you only continued success!