Filing for bankruptcy relief eliminates debt, but it does not get rid of your monthly living expenses. For some individuals, cutting costs after bankruptcy is a necessary step to make the most of the fresh start received by filing a bankruptcy case. A Georgia bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the process of filing for debt relief. Once you complete your bankruptcy case, the tips below can help you cut costs as you begin rebuilding your finances and your credit rating after bankruptcy.
Life After Bankruptcy — Seven Tips for Reducing Your Costs and Expenses
1. Creating and Using a Budget
Budgets can help you control spending and cut costs. You can identify the areas in which you are overspending and need to cut costs when you track your spending to prepare and maintain a budget. Your bankruptcy courses provided some information about creating and living within a budget. Free budgeting tools from online sources like Mint and PocketGuard can make budgeting simple and quick. These services also offer really cool apps so you can keep an eye on your budget while you’re on the go.
2. Stop Buying Name Brands at the Grocery Store
In many cases, it is difficult to tell the difference between a store brand and a name brand item. You can significantly reduce costs for groceries and household items by switching to store brands. Also, always shop with a list to reduce impulse buying. If you are tempted to add an item, go home and think about it first. You may find that you really do not need or want the extra item. If you really need a name brand, discount stores like T.J. Maxx and Ross often have name brands at big discounts.
3. Pack To-Go Meals and Snacks
Eating out can be very expensive. Packing to-go meals and carrying snacks with you can save a tremendous amount of money each month. Something as simple as taking a bottle of water and a granola bar with you each morning or keeping a few snacks in your desk drawer can help reduce monthly expenses by helping you fight the urge to use the drive-thru or grab something from the vending machine.
4. Cut the Cable Bill
Cable television can be very expensive. The average cable bill can be $120 or more each month. With services like Netflix and Hulu, you can reduce the cost of television significantly each month. Local news and weather are often available on the internet at no charge. Check out my blog on cutting your cable. I cut my cable and switched to Hulu (with the live TV add-on) and don’t miss cable at all. For the sports minded, I still get everything I want. The Golf Channel, four ESPN channels, BTN, and SEC Networks, plus all the sports on ABC, CBS, and NBC! Hulu also has a really cool app so I can stream anywhere.
5. Unsubscribe From Catalogs and Email Newsletters
Store catalogs and emails may appear to save you money by sending you coupons and sale notices. However, these solicitations may entice you to spend more money on things that you do not really need. Cancel the automatic delivery of these items. Instead, search for coupons and sales for items that you need when you need them to avoid spending extra money on impulse purchases.
6. Start a Mandatory Waiting Period for Unnecessary Items
If you want an item, but you do not need the item right now, give yourself two or three days to think about the purchase. Weigh the cost of the item over several days, including deciding what you want to give up to fund the cash purchase of the item. In many cases, you may find that you do not need or want the item.
7. Find Free Things to Do.
Cutting expenses does not mean you need to sit home each weekend and do nothing. Search for free activities in your area or plan a day in the park. Georgia is home to 13 units of the National Park Service. Many parks offer free days and other events that are free to the public.
Contact a Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney to Discuss Debt Relief
A Georgia bankruptcy attorney can explain your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options for getting out of debt so that you can get the fresh start you need to recover from a financial crisis. Schedule a consult with a skilled South Atlanta bankruptcy attorney today for a free consultation to discuss your debt relief options.
Posted in: Bankruptcy