I met with Stuart around a year ago after losing my job of 14 years. My situation was not typical one and Stuart explained all my options and helped me select the one that best addressed all of my concerns. The overall process was pretty painless and relieved me of a ton of stress. Everyone from the office is very responsive and does their...
Credit cards can be useful financial instruments, especially if you are looking to build favorable credit after filing for bankruptcy. But the key to smart credit card use is carrying a balance that you can actually pay back. If you charge the wrong items to your credit card, you may face substantial interest rates that trap you in a cycle of debt. Here is a look at common expenses that should never be charged to your credit card:
More people have grown concerned about student loan debt, but charging college tuition to credit cards can be a dangerous financial decision. Low-interest student loans, scholarships, and grants are all better alternatives for financing a college education. The interest rates on credit card debt are simply too high for most college graduates to reasonably pay back, especially when interest rates are compounded.
If you find yourself owing an unexpectedly large amount in taxes, the IRS allows you to use a credit card to make payments. Even though this option may be tempting, the payment processors can collect fees between 1.88% and 2.35%. Instead, you should set up a payment plan with the IRS, as these plans offer more competitive interest rates. Currently, the IRS underpayment interest rates are 3%, which is much better than a credit card company’s standard interest rate.
The point of taking a vacation is to relax and get away from the stress of everyday life. If you charge a vacation you cannot afford to your credit card, financial problems will follow you long after your vacation is over. As you plan your family vacation, make sure to travel within your financial means, even if this means opting for camping trips or staying in budget hotels instead of large, expensive resorts.
If you are facing financial issues, the bankruptcy attorneys at Cutler & Associates can help. We have provided quality legal representation to thousands in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a meeting at our Aurora office, give us a call at (847) 868-2265.
I was very nervous and scared to even think about filing bankruptcy, I met with Stewart Swanson and his firm...the experience was incredible! They took the time to not only help me understand what it was all about, explained everything entailed in bankruptcy. Even drew pictures and graphs... The firm and staff was very helpful in helping me...
One night while I was searching for a lawyer I found Stuart. He met with me very next day personally to discuss my case. He was very knowledgeable, caring and professional. I was very afraid and nervous about filing Bankruptcy but when I left his office after talking to him I was stress free. Stuart handled my case with such a dignity and made...
Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitioners, Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitioners still have to pay back a portion of their debts for several years. This means that Chapter 13 petitioners must limit their spending habits to ensure they can meet their priority debt obligations each month. In order to accomplish this goal, it is wise to make a monthly budget.
Identify How You Are Spending Money
The first step in controlling your spending habits is learning how you are currently spending your money. This means gathering as many financial statements as you can, including recent utility bills and bank statements. The more information you gather, the easier it will be to calculate your average monthly expenses. Once you have these documents, make a list of necessary monthly expenses like rent or mortgage payments, car payments, utilities, and groceries.
Divide Expenses into Categories
Your monthly expenses should fall into one of two categories: fixed and variable. Fixed expenses don’t change from month to month, and are typically considered cost-of-living expenses. Examples of fixed expenses include car payments and rent. Variable expenses can change each month and include entertainment, gasoline, and food expenses.
Make Spending Adjustments
Categorizing your expenses will help you see where you can afford to cut back each month. While you can’t change certain expenses like rent or insurance, you can adjust how much you are spending on entertainment or food. If it seems that you are spending too much of your monthly income on entertainment or groceries, begin looking for ways to cut back in those categories. Be sure to review your budget every month to make sure you are staying on track.
Call (847) 868-2265 to schedule an appointment with the bankruptcy attorneys of Cutler & Associates. We have more than 25 years of experience representing consumer bankruptcy cases in the Chicagoland area, including Aurora and Schaumburg.