After going through a bankruptcy, one of the most important priorities should be coming back stronger with regard to your finances. As a chapter 13 lawyer will tell you, it is crucial to make all of your payments on time so that your credit can eventually recover. While the simplest tip to saving money and paying debt is having a solid budget, there are some specific, practical tips you can implement today to help save you loads of money right away. Here are some of the best tips for saving and managing your money after going through a bankruptcy:
Move to a Cash-Only System
One of the best ways to know when you are low on money is to physically see it leave your pocket each time you spend it. This is why a cash-only budget is so helpful. It can be too tempting to spend money if you are only using debit or credit cards because you do not see the money leaving your hands. With cash, once it is gone, it is gone for good until your next paycheck. There is something to be said about handing cash over for your needs; it can certainly curtail any splurges you may endure while out shopping.
Have a Full Inventory Before Shopping
Before you go out on a shopping excursion for anything, from groceries to school clothes, do a quick inventory of what you already have on hand. For instance, if you know you need five pairs of jeans for your children for the upcoming school year, take a quick look in all the closets to see what you already have that can still be used. Can any of the jeans you have be passed down to other kids? You may not need as much as you think.
This is even more useful for groceries. Meal planning is a great way to manage your grocery budget. Before going to the grocery store, take a look at your meal plan and make sure you are not purchasing ingredients that you may have forgotten about. Not only will you spend more money on groceries, but you are also risking your food spoiling if you have too much that you will not use within a reasonable time frame.
This may sound counterintuitive, but do not underspend on the most important things that you use regularly. It is important that, while you are saving money, you also purchase quality items for the things that you want to use often. Items that fall into this category include power and hand tools, shoes, outerwear, and the like. Spending on quality will help your items last longer, resulting in less money spent on replacing the cheaper things that wear out faster. One way to still purchase quality items while saving money is buying gently used items. These can be found on social media garage sale sites or in thrift stores.