Budgeting & Bankruptcy

Budgeting is a big part of bankruptcy.  You have to set your monthly expenses and stick to them, with a bankruptcy trustee to oversee your every monetary move. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world, but it is not necessarily the only resolution to your financial problems.  Depending on your situation, you may have other legal choices available which could bring you a better benefit.  You are not going to see those possibilities if you file bankruptcy yourself or pay a non-attorney service to fill out the forms for you. There are long-term consequences you need to know and understand before you file, plus there may be a better option for you, depending on your circumstances.  You would not take chemo if you did not need it.  Why file bankruptcy if another resolution will bring you a better outcome?  Seek competent legal counsel to discuss your specific situation and to help you decide if bankruptcy is the right choice for you. In the meantime, if you are trying to get a head start on your new year’s resolution towards better wealth management, the Federal Trade Commission has a free online budget calculator to help you balance your monthly expenses […] Read More

Baby Budget

Having a baby?  Congratulations.  Budgeting for a baby?  Good luck.  Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has a free online calculator to help you find a ballpark figure of expenses for your little bundle of joy.  Remember, what you fail to budget for now, a Bankruptcy Trustee may help you budget for in the future, but that might not be your ideal future. You do not necessarily have to go broke caring for a baby.  Here is a link to CFO Atwater’s free online baby budget calculator: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/YMM/Calculators/BabyBudget.aspx If you are having trouble balancing your new bundle of expenses with your income, talk to an attorney before you file bankruptcy.  There are long-term consequences you need to know and understand before you file.  An attorney can review the specifics of your situation to help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you in the big picture as well as the small one.   Read More

Credit-Building New Year’s Resolutions

The spin cycle of revolving credit goes something like this:  you spend what you do not have on items you cannot afford, so you charge purchases on a credit card where your debt racks up large interest fees.  You can break the cycle and build better credit with these simple New Year’s resolutions: Pay your bills on time every time No new credit – do not open new credit accounts or take out new loans Pay down large balances Make a budget and stick to it – you can use the free online budget provided by the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-1020-make-budget-worksheet.pdf May you have a prosperous new year! Read More

Budgeting & Bankruptcy – Online Budget Calculator

Make your own budget (before a Bankruptcy Trustee makes it for you).  If you have not already filed bankruptcy and hope not to, a budget can help you stay on track for your spending and saving goals (it does the same thing after you file for bankruptcy as well).  The Federal Trade Commission has a free online budget calculator to help you balance your monthly expenses with your monthly income: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-1020-make-budget-worksheet.pdf. Bankruptcy is all about budgeting—it is your monthly expenses times your future.  While Bankruptcy has gained popularity in these economic times, there are long-term consequences to know and consider.  Seek competent legal counsel to discuss your specific situation.     Read More

Just Starting Out? Build Credit from Your Budget

Fresh out of high school and on your own?  Mom is not going to cut up your meat any more, and she might not be in charge of your finances either.  That is your job.  Time to build your credit from your budget up. Credit is important. Your credit determines your purchasing power to buy items like a car, a student loan, and maybe a house one day.  Credit also may affect your ability to get or keep a job.  Now is the time to start building your credit history so that lenders and employers have something to look at when they are deciding whether or not to give you a loan (and at what interest rate) and whether or not to hire you or give you a promotion. Build your credit from your budget up.  Pay your bills on time every time – from rent to credit card bills and all other bills, make sure you have paid by the due date.  The Federal Trade Commission has a free online budget calculator to help you balance your monthly expenses with your monthly income, go to http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-1020-make-budget-worksheet.pdf. Be a credit to yourself!     Read More

Budget for Better Credit

All pestilence of fraud aside, are you your own worst enemy when it comes to credit?  Do you dive into debt in the season’s greeting of sales?  There is hope.  If you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can improve your credit score…even during the holidays. Make a budget for holiday shopping.  A budget can help you stay on track for your spending and saving goals (it does the same thing in bankruptcy).  The State of Florida has a free online holiday budget calculator at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/YMM/Calculators/Holiday.aspx. Pay your bills.  When the holidays are over, pay your bills on time every time.  Then may the hope of a more prosperous New Year rise with your credit score!   Read More

Budget for 2013

New Year’s Resolution:  Make a Budget.  Everybody wants to be thinner and wealthier.  What you cannot bring about in diet and exercise could be affected by your Bankruptcy Trustee. You can take the first step:  make your own budget (before a Bankruptcy Trustee makes it for you).  If you have not already filed bankruptcy and hope not to, a budget can help you stay on track for your spending and saving goals (it does the same thing after you file for bankruptcy as well). If you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can make a budget.  For online budget calculators and financial considerations, go to http://www.myfloridacfo.com/YMM/Calculators/default.aspx. Read More