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How to Create a Budget

Creating a budget is the foundation for a solid financial plan. You can’t make long-term financial decisions until you understand how your income is being spent each month, and how you can reallocate your spending to reach your goals.

 

Budgeting is also a necessary part of the bankruptcy process. Before you file for bankruptcy, you will have to list all of your income and expenses to determine if a bankruptcy is truly necessary and how much disposal income you have to pay off your creditors.

 

Assess Your Financial Situation

 

You can only spend as much as you make, so you’ll need to know your income (after taxes) to get started on your budget. Then, you can plug in fixed monthly expense like rent or mortgage payments, car payments, and other payment that’s the same every month.

 

Expenses like food or entertainment are a bit more difficult to estimate. You might think you know what you’re spending, but it’s a good idea to create a spending journal or use a budgeting app to track these expenses and get accurate information on your expenses.

 

Once you’ve tracked your income and expenses, there may not be much or any room left over if you are experiencing financial difficulties. Everyone should be setting aside money for an emergency fund, but how can you if you aren’t even keeping up with your debt payments? The next step will help you figure out what you need to be doing, even if you aren’t doing it yet.

 

Understand Your Financial Goals

 

If you want to pay off your debt within five years or retire in 20 years, you have a clear goal that you base on financial decisions on. If you know how big you want your nest egg to be, you can work backwards to figure out how much you need to save each month to reach your goal.

 

Some people may have difficulty figuring out their goals or prioritizing which goal is most important. A budget consultant can help you with this process.

 

Create a Budget That Takes You Towards Your Goals

 

Once you know where you are and where you want to be, you can create a budget that puts you on the right path. However, this process can be quite challenging because you may need to make significant changes to your lifestyle.

 

You may need to cut expenses in some areas to make your plan work. You may also find that your goals are unrealistic, or that you will need more time or extra income to reach them.

 

For some people, eliminating some of their debt through bankruptcy will be the only way to create a realistic and sustainable budget. Once you’ve received a discharge, you’ll be able to stick to a sustainable budget that keeps on track to reach your goals.

 

Bankruptcy is a complex and nuanced area of law. Contact the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel to talk about your unique financial situation and how a bankruptcy could help you.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

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What Is the Purpose of Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a complex, and often misunderstood area of law. Bankruptcy law in the united states serves two main purposes:

  • To give a debtor a fresh financial start.
  • To give equal treatment to the creditors.

 

At first blush it may seem that these two main purposes are at odds with each other, but in fact they are not. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code regulates who is eligible for bankruptcy relief and when they are eligible. The Bankruptcy Code also regulates the treatment of creditors by protecting certain creditor rights before and after a person files for bankruptcy. The law prohibits preferential treatment of one creditor over another. This means that debtors cannot pay back one creditor over another right before filing for bankruptcy. Also, in bankruptcy cases where all or some of the debts are paid back, the law mandates that each creditor be paid their fair share.

Bankruptcy is a legal remedy to get out of debt. Bankruptcy is not a courtroom battle.

Bankruptcy Can Give You A Fresh Financial Start

Bankruptcy is a powerful legal tool that can help you erase all or most of your debt. Bankruptcy can:

  • Erase credit card debt.
  • Erase medical debt.
  • Erase collection agency debts.
  • Stop collection action by your creditors, including putting an end to collection phone calls.
  • Eliminate most civil court judgments (unless based on fraud).
  • Eliminate certain tax debts (older income tax liabilities may be erased).

 

There are two chapters of bankruptcy that individuals can file: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Which chapter is best for you will depend on your specific situation. Chapter 7 is generally the quickest and simplest chapter of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 erases all of most  of your debts, without a repayment plan, and in general allows you to keep most or all  of your belongings. Chapter 13 bankruptcy creates a three to five-year repayment plan that allows you to repay some or all of your debts, and also allows you to keep most or all of your belongings.

Debts that are discharged (erased) in bankruptcy are erased forever and you are no longer obligated to pay them back. To learn more about how bankruptcy can give you a fresh financial start, read our articles:

 

All of us here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel are here to help you end your financial struggle and gain financial freedom. Contact us or call (912) 351-9000 to schedule a free consultation today!

We proudly serve the people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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