Although filing for bankruptcy can seem extreme, for many Americans it’s the only viable option. Are you struggling to pay your living expenses? The process of staying on top of neverending bills can seem endless, especially when it appears as though there is no end in sight. Many bankruptcy filings begin with people who struggle to keep to their budget, or fail to even put one together form the start. As a result, a person may find themselves in over their heads fairly quickly.
Being able to appropriately manage finances and carefully follow a budget may be able to prevent problems, or at least mitigate them. Whether you are concerned with your debt load, pursuing bankruptcy or in the process of rebuilding your credit after a bankruptcy, here are some tips that may assist you in keeping to your budget:
Tip #1 Ditch the Credit Cards
Stop using your credit cards, especially for unplanned purchases or for things you are unable to pay off each month. Resisting from the urge to use credit cards all together can help prevent financial problems down the road, and in same cases, help to get you back on track. Switch to using cash only. Once you have spent your allotted amount of cash set aside each month, it’s important to stop spending.
Tip #2 Resist the Finer Things
Being able to purchase nice things is a luxury that many people would love to be able to experience. For someone who has found themselves in debt, they may have become accustomed to treating themselves with nice items. Resist the urge to purchase things that you are unable to afford. For many, this may mean turning down the recent vacation you had planned or the new car you’ve set your sights on.
Tip #3 Remove All Accounts from Online Sites
Online shopping has become more than easy. With the push of a button consumers have the ability to purchase goods with credit card information that has been pre programmed into websites. This can be dangerous as it can help to encourage impulsive behavior. Taking the time to remove all accounts from online websites can help to curb spending; and require you to think over a purchase before making it.
Tip #4 Figure Out Your Monthly Expenses
Chronicle your monthly expenses and begin putting together a budget. Failing to follow a budget can equate to a bad financial situation. Begin putting together your budget by:
- Determining how much money you bring in each month
- Writing down all of your monthly expenses
- Determine what you will put in savings
- Determine how much you will set aside to pay off your debts
- Assign a number to ancillary spending
It can be difficult to stop yourself from overspending, especially for someone who has become accustomed with doing so. Although each month you may look to start anew, it can be much easier said than done. However, it’s important to bear in mind that out of control spending can quickly lead to mountainous amounts of debt that you are unable to recover from. If you are facing possible bankruptcy, consider speaking with a bankruptcy lawyer Bloomington, IL offers who can help assist you with the best course of action based on your needs.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into bankruptcy and tips for creating and sticking to a budget.