Once you get your spending under control, the next step in your life after filing for bankruptcy is to create and stay within a budget. Seems obvious, but many of us just aren't budgeting our money.
Living within a budget doesn't mean you have to live an existence of never getting what you want. In fact, you may not be getting what you really want because you're spending money on items you don't really need or that don't make you happy.
So a budget can actually help you get the things you want by keeping you focused on where your money is going. Don't think of a budget as a way to deny yourself things; think of it as a way to empower yourself to make intelligent financial decisions
Make the most our your bankruptcy filing. Create a budget and stick to it.
Creating a budget and living within it are obviously two different things. Creating a budget is relatively easy to do; the hard part is sticking to it. You can use several methods, however, to keep yourself within your budget.
The most important thing to do is to keep reminding yourself why you're doing this.
Remind yourself that you established a budget to break habits that got you into financial trouble in the first place and that your goal is to free up money that you can use to buy necessities or to save for the things that make you truly happy.
The next thing you need to do is keep a close watch on your spending. Many people think they've done all the work they need when they set up the budget and then they forget about following it.
You may well be tempted to forget this five dollar expense here and that ten dollar one there. But all these small amounts add up, causing you to fall short on your monthly budget and to overextend yourself on any credit cards you may still have, thereby landing back in the hot water you're trying to get out of.
You should also think about adjusting your budget if necessary. Be realistic. If you're finding that you simply cannot live without certain expenses, then consider reducing your expenses in other areas. Your specific budget need not be fixed in stone; but your determination to live within it should be.
If you haven't tried all of these techniques, what are you waiting for?
Many of these techniques are easy ways to free up some cash, which will allow you to live more easily within your budget. You probably will think of many more ways to save money on necessities and the other items you regularly purchase once you start getting in the habit of living this way.