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Rebuilding savings after personal bankruptcy

Once a bankruptcy proceeding is complete, many in California feel a huge wave of relief. Having the majority of unsecured debt eliminated through the discharge process can take a great deal of weight off of an individual's monthly budget, and most people emerge from personal bankruptcy ready to dive into a fresh financial start. Establishing a savings buffer is a top priority for many, but it can be difficult to know where to begin.

One of the easiest ways to set aside money for savings is to reduce the amount of money that is spent on food. For most Americans, food costs represent a significant portion of our monthly expenses, and there is almost always room for improvement when it comes to spending and saving money. As with any change, the first step is creating a workable plan.

For most families, this means planning out meals in advance. By knowing the menu for the coming weeks, it is possible to assess the ingredients one has on hand and make a shopping list for what is needed. This also makes it easier to scan for sales on items that will be needed in the near future.

Other ways to cut down on food costs involve purchasing meat in bulk, then taking it home to be divided into the proper portion size and frozen for later use. A related tip is to stock up on staple items when they are on sale. In this way, there will always be groceries on hand for putting together a quick meal, which cuts down on having to run out and pick up food that could be prepared less expensively and more healthfully at home.

By taking this advice and creating a structured plan, individuals and families in California can take control over one of the largest items within their monthly budget. In the months and years that follow a successful personal bankruptcy, establishing a savings buffer can make a world of difference in protecting against future financial difficulties. Managing food costs is a great way to find "extra" money to put toward attaining that goal.

Source:, "Feeding a family of 4 on a budget", Michelle Misiaszek, Feb. 3, 2015

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Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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