After filing for bankruptcy your number one goal should be getting your finances in order. This requires devising a common-sense budget, which will help ensure your bills are paid and that you’re able to rebuild your savings. Forbes recommends the following tips to help you create a budget you can depend on.
Keep Track of Spending
People sometimes develop poor spending habits without even realizing it. In this case, tracking spending for a week will help you determine any problem areas. Once you identify problem spending areas (such as that daily $5 coffee), take steps to remedy these expenses to improve your bottom line. While weekly spending is a good starting point, you can also track expenses throughout the month to gain a deeper perspective on just how your spending habits are affecting your finances.
Establish a Goal
Ultimately, what is it you’d like to do with your money? Do you want to buy a home? Are you planning for retirement? Would you like to take a trip around the world? By establishing a goal for your money, you can have a concrete idea of how much you’ll need to get there. This can also provide a bit of motivation (unlike the amorphous ‘saving just to save’ approach that many people take).
Save Money First
When getting paid, put money aside for savings first. That doesn’t mean you should neglect your bills (because paying those on time is the key to rebuilding credit). Instead, consider saving as another type of bill and put away an allotted amount before using your disposable income on items you don’t really need (such as eating out).