Helpful Tips For Sticking To Your Budget In A Bankruptcy
Part of your requirements in a bankruptcy is to plan a budget and stick to it. You've already cut back on your spending, you've reduced your cell phone plan to the basic one, and you've disconnected your cable and internet services… you may feel like there's nothing else you can cut. But, there is. Here are a few tricks that can help you save money.
Control your spending by using envelopes or prepaid debit cards
Your budget plan includes specific amounts that you are to use for various purchases that you make throughout the month for things like groceries, toiletries and gas. Take the allotted amounts of cash for each category and put them in separate envelopes or into prepaid debit cards.
If your budget is a monthly one, separate the cash into manageable amounts for each 10 day group. That way, you be less likely to run out of money at the end of the month like you would if you grouped the cash into weeks, because four weeks equals 28 days and there would still be about half of a week left in the month. If your budget plan is based on your bi-weekly income, separate them into individual weeks.
Run appliances at night when electricity rates are lower
Some electricity companies charge as much as a 40% difference in rates depending on what time of day you use electricity. Find out if your electric company charges different rates for off-peak periods, which includes nights, weekends and holidays. This information may be listed on your electric bill or on the company's website. If you can't easily find the information, give them a call to ask.
If they do charge less, run your dishwasher and wash your clothing during those hours. If the hours aren't too late in the evening, you may want to wait to prepare dinner until the reduced rate time period. Conversely, you can wake up earlier in the morning before the rate increases to prepare breakfast.
Shop at grocery stores that offer per-gallon savings on gasoline purchases
Some grocery stores offer savings on gasoline purchases. They may have requirements you'll need to meet to get the savings. For example, they may require you to purchase a specific dollar amount in groceries within a specific period, and give you a reduced per-gallon rate at the gas pump based on how much you spent on groceries.
Typically, the more you purchase in groceries, the more cents per gallon you can save when you fill up your gas tank. Usually, grocery stores that offer these savings require you to sign up for a discount card. They may offer special discounts that are only available to customers who have the discount card. Since the savings on gasoline are generally only good for one fill-up, you'll want to plan your fill-up wisely.
Get gas for your vehicle when it's the lowest temperature of the day
Gasoline expands when it is warm. The industry uses 60 degrees Fahrenheit as the standard when measuring a gallon of gas. At this temperature, there are 231 cubic inches of gas in a gallon. The same amount of gas expands to 235.8 cubic inches at 90 degrees.
During the summer, this could mean fewer gallons from the gas pump when you fill up. When you use your per-gallon savings on gas purchases through your grocery store, you can get more gas in your tank when the temperature is cooler. Try to fill your gas tank up first thing in the morning after the gas has contracted overnight and before it expands as temperatures increase through the day.
Going through a chapter 7 bankruptcy is already challenging enough. Even though you might feel like there are no other expenses you can cut, there are. With a little strategic planning, you can stick with your bankruptcy budget.