Saving money can be one of the best things you do to avoid further problems as you recover from bankruptcy. There is no denying things must chance after you file, but it is still possible to move in the right direction with your finances despite previous missteps. These five savings tips will help you get things back on track and ensure your bankruptcy was worth the effort.
1. Create a Plan
Moving forward after bankruptcy is nearly impossible without a plan in place. If you file for Chapter 13, you will be following a repayment plan arranged by the court. Make sure you have something set up after that expires. And if you file for Chapter 7, you need to create your own plan. Set goals, be realistic, and re-evaluate your situation every six to nine months. The more you save the better, even if it means drastically changing your lifestyle.
Need ideas for creating a personalized savings plan? Check out these tips from Bankrate.com.
2. Be Smart about Access to Money
The more ways you have to access your money the more likely you are to spend it. Ideally, you your paycheck can be directly deposited into your account so you are less tempted to spend too much. Also make sure you are not tempted to use debit cards to access your account.
3. Schedule Automatic Payments
Another way to limit access to your money is to set up automatic payments for bills. This guarantees bills are paid on time, so you do not fall behind and accumulate late fees. It also means you handle your money less.
4. Reach a Mutual Agreement with Anyone Involved in Your Finances
In most cases this will be a spouse. Any time there is more than one person involved in a financial arrangement, they must agree on priorities and on money management. Otherwise things get out of hand quickly.
5. Lighten Up
As important as it is to be strict with your finances after your bankruptcy, you cannot punish yourself forever. And trying to stick to too strict a schedule can backfire. The smarter thing to do is to set a savings goal when you want something unnecessary. If you are currently saving $100 per month toward emergencies, bump that number up to $125. After four months you will have an extra $100 to put toward something fun and it will not affect your bills or your pre-established savings goal.
Do you have questions about bankruptcy? Are you facing financial struggles that just seem to spiral more and more out of control with each month? We can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 for more information.