How to Create a Bankruptcy Budget

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Creating a bankruptcy budget can help you to get back on track during this financially straining time. When filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court may require a budget to be provided that outlines expenses, income and a plan for making the monthly bankruptcy payment. Keeping this budget can ensure that you have the necessary funds to meet all financial obligations you have. Planning how to spend money can help you to meet your long-term financial goals, too.

  • Spend at least one month tracking all expenses and purchases made including meals out, quick stops for coffee, and standard monthly expenses. Tracking spending like this is a revelation to where money goes and works as a tool to creating a budget.

  • Plan your budget first to pay all of the major fixed expenses including mortgage or rent, car payments and then utilities. Since these do not fluctuate often, they are the easiest to add to the monthly bankruptcy budget.

  • Calculate other expenses including food, entertainment, lunches, savings, gas money and other expenses. Use the month of spending tracking to get an idea of where money is being spent and accommodate accordingly.

  • Add income together, including all funds received from employment and other benefits. Add together all expenses thus far and subtract from the income brought in. A negative balance means more money needs to increase or some budget items need cut.

  • Work with your bankruptcy caseworker to ensure the monthly budget is acceptable to the terms of your bankruptcy. For example, if you must make a monthly payment of $400 to the bankruptcy court, your budget should reflect your ability to do this.

  • Maintain the budget monthly by keeping expenses within the allotted amount. Track all purchases made to ensure you stay within your monthly goal.

  • Keep paying towards the Chapter 13 bankruptcy until settlement occurs, according to your bankruptcy court's ruling. Meet with your bankruptcy caseworker anytime you cannot maintain your budget.

Tips & Warnings

  • Talk with your bankruptcy caseworker about special circumstances before they change. When filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must make every payment on time to stay in the program. If changes do occur to your budget, show the caseworker how you plan to overcome any shortages.
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