Financial Stability is a big challenge for victims of domestic violence, especially if they experienced economic abuse. There are tips and resources to help victims in all stages of their journey, from still with their abuser through crisis to transition, with the ultimate goal of being a self-sufficient survivor. In addition to the Legal Program services offered by MSCFV to help victims overcome some forms of financial abuse, MSCFV offers other services to assist victims achieve their long-term financial goals.

Financial Strength While With Abuser

When you are still with your abuser, the thought of needing money for when you leave may be overwhelming. Your safety, and the safety of your children and pets, always comes first. So if you need to leave your abuser without preparing, please do so. If you are still in the process of considering if you are going to leave or not, there are things you can do to get your finances in order and to save money. Here are a few tips to help you. For more financial safety planning and savings suggestions specifically for victims of domestic violence, please contact MSCFV anytime at 1-800-927-4673 or use the chat on this website and connect with an MSCFV case manager.

Saving Money While With An Abuser

  • Use Coupons (Some stores let you use coupons in a way that will let you get cash for them)
  • Sell clothes at a Consignment Shop
  • Rent out baby gear
  • Join loyalty programs to earn cash back, discounts, or points for travel, food., etc. One survivor shared that they use the “shop and earn” option at the end of the month to buy non-food items, like diapers and personal hygiene items. Consider your safety when signing up for loyalty programs as they may send information to your house or email that can show how much you spend and the types of things you are buying

Things You Can Do Before You Leave Your Abuser to Help Your Finances

Look at your financial situation now and for when you leave:

  1. How much savings do you have?
  2. How much money are you getting monthly (paycheck, social security, child support, ...)
  3. What expenses will you continue to have when you leave? What new expenses will you have?
  4. What assets will you have once you leave? Examples include:
  5. Affordable place to live
  6. Car
  7. Computer
  8. Job

Financial Considerations when Planning to Leave

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. If you are ready to leave, there are a few things you may be able to do to help with financial safety planning. Your safety comes first, so don't worry about these things if you can't do them safely.

Documents you may want to have (or have copies of):

  • Social Security Numbers (for yourself, children, and your partner)
  • Copies of marriage and birth certificates
  • Copies of bank and credit card statements
  • Copies of any benefits (public assistance, retirement) or insurance coverage (auto, life, etc.)

from the Allstate Foundation and National Network to End Domestic Violence Moving Ahead Curriculum

Allstate Moving Ahead - Financial Literacy Program at MSCFV

Through the Allstate Foundation Moving Ahead Program, MSCFV provides financial literacy training to help domestic violence survivors achieve financial independence and rebuild their lives. The trainings cover topics including budgeting, managing debt, and understanding and improving credit, and has been proven to help survivors move from short-term safety to long-term security.

If you are interested in taking the trainings, contact your MSCFV case manager. 

Downloadable resources from the trainings:

Spending Leak Excel (Module 2): Use this to figure out how much that daily splurge on coffee (or any other expense) really costs you and how your spending decisions can impact your financial strength.

English: /static/images/Spending-Leak--blank.xlsx

Spanish: /static/images/Spending-Leak-Spanish--blank.xlsx

Sample Budget (module 2): This excel sheet can help you make and track your budget. 

English: /static/images/Mod-2-Budget-Spreadsheet--2.xlsx

Spanish: /static/images/Budget-Spreadsheet-Spanish.xlsx