How To Improve Your Spending Habits
Bankruptcy can seem like one of the most difficult things to get through in life. All of the confusion, pressure and uncertainty of what to do and how to do it can be really daunting. You should always turn to experienced bankruptcy attorneys. At Nikolaus & Hohenadel, our attorneys have been helping clients in Lancaster, PA and the surrounding areas get their lives back on track and our attorneys can help you too!
So, what do you do after bankruptcy? First, understand, the battle isn’t over! Breaking bad habits and making good ones will help you continue stay on the right path.
In this blog, we’re going to go over some ways to improve your spending habits to help you after you’ve gone through bankruptcy.
- Come Up With A Budget – It might seem like such a mundane thing to do but creating a budget might be the absolute best way to help you improve your spending habits. While there are many different ways to come up with a budget, they all have the same principle in mind. Keep track of your income and keep track of your spending. While that may be an over simplification on budgeting, it really boils down to that. The hard part about budgeting is making the conscious effort to decide whether or not something is a want or a need. Needs are things that you have to spend money on and have consequences if you don’t. Needs can come in the form of things like your rent or mortgage, utility bills, groceries, putting money in savings, etc. Wants are things like that new pair of shoes, going out with friends or that trip to an exotic place. Wants aren’t always a bad thing, but needs should always be the priority when budgeting. You have pick and choose when they are important. More on that later.
- Don’t Spend Money That Doesn’t Belong To You – This one is almost as important as budgeting and can go hand in hand with it. Spending money by using credit cards or taking unnecessary loans is one of the biggest things that gets people to the point that they need to file for bankruptcy. With any luck, you’ve already hired the great personal bankruptcy attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel to help you through bankruptcy. Now you’ve got to break the cycle! Don’t get back in to using a credit card, even to pay for needs, if you don’t have a proper budget and plan in place. Obviously, there are going to be some times when loans are necessary. For instance, when buying a house, most people will need to take out a loan. But loans should never be used frivolously on things that aren’t absolutely necessary. Once you’ve come up with your budget, stick to it. Don’t spend the money you don’t have. When using a credit card, you should only spend what you know you can pay off in full when the statement comes in the mail.
- Take A Night To Sleep On It – If you are having a hard time trying to decide whether or not you should spend money on something, sleep on it. Don’t be impulsive and spend money without taking time to really think about whether or not you should. Sometimes you’ll find that putting that item back on the shelf and going home to take the night and rest will actually put things in perspective. Take a day to think about small purchases and whether or not they fit in your budget. If it’s a bigger purchase, take a month to think about it. What may happen is that you’ll realize that if you’ve already gone a day, or a month for those big purchases, you may not need that item. Time might be your biggest ally when it comes to spending if you think about it from the right perspective.
- Make Room For Fun – We know we’ve been preaching about breaking bad habits and making sure you are being responsible with your money. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have any fun though! The important thing to remember is to have fun with what you have! That doesn’t have to mean the things you already own, though that isn’t a bad idea. Essentially, you want to make sure that you are living within your means. Having a budget in place can really help you prioritize your money and where it goes. You obviously need to take care of your needs first, but then you can start thinking about your wants. After you’ve taken care of all of the bills you have, the groceries are bought and you’ve put money in savings for a rainy day or an emergency, the money you have left over can be used for fun! Buy that new shirt you’ve been eyeing at the store! Go to dinner at that nice restaurant! Spend that weekend away with a loved one! If the money you have at the end of your budget for the week or the month isn’t enough for that thing you want, put it aside and combine it with the money you’ll have left over in next week or next month’s budget. This is easier said than done but once you’ve gotten in to a rhythm, it won’t be long before you’ve reached that goal you’ve set for yourself.
The lawyers at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP don’t want to just see you succeed with bankruptcy; we want to see you succeed at life! If you live in or around Lancaster, PA or the surrounding area and you find yourself against the ropes financially, let us help you!
Contact us today to see if we can assist you with legal matters like bankruptcy, foreclosure and creditor’s rights.