November 24, 2017

Free Budgeting Resources to Help You Recover from Bankruptcy

post bankruptcy family budgetOne of the issues that many of my bankruptcy clients have in common has to do with lack of budgeting. Most of us have a general idea about our income and expenses but very few people sit down and write out a formal budget.

When preparing a bankruptcy petition, I use my petition preparation software to create a budget, which, of course, I discuss with my clients. Many of my clients are surprised or even shocked to discover how much they spend each month and how far in the red they are.

In many cases, bankruptcy can help solve this problem by consolidating payments in a Chapter 13, or by eliminating debt (and sometime surrendering property) in a Chapter 7.

Obviously bankruptcy can function to solve an immediate problem but filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 won’t help you if you revert back to the same old bad spending and savings habits after receiving your bankruptcy discharge.

Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and pre-discharge financial management courses – now both mandatory – are designed to help you avoid a repeat trip to bankruptcy court but a 45 minute online course is not going to do much for you unless you make some real changes.

One tool that can be incredibly helpful in helping you better manage money is a spreadsheet. Most computers come with a basic spreadsheet program installed – and there are free downloads if your computer is not equipped.

I recently ran across an interesting article on the Makeuseof blog that references ten free spreadsheet templates that will help you stay on budget, and can help you plan for Christmas and vacations.  The link to this article is here and the spreadsheet templates are courtesy of vertex42.com.

Pre-made spreadsheet templates will save you a lot of time because all of the categories and formulas are already set up for you. Even if you have never used a spreadsheet before, I urge you to give one of these templates a try – you will be surprised at how easy they are to use.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Ginsberg represents honest, hardworking men and women in the Atlanta area who need personal bankruptcy protection. In practice for over 25 years, Jonathan teaches bankruptcy law and practice at legal continuing education seminars and he is a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network. Jonathan lives with his wife and children in Atlanta.

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