How to Navigate the Holidays While Going Through a Bankruptcy

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Kwanzaa. The excitement is building as these holidays approach. Unfortunately, the joy of gathering with family often comes with hefty price tags, and that’s particularly hard if you’re going through bankruptcy.  If you’ve already filed or you’ve made the decision to do so, you’ve already done a lot of the heavy lifting, but that doesn’t eliminate the challenge of keeping your spending to a minimum during the most expensive time of the year. Here are some tips for how you can navigate the holidays without getting yourself into further financial trouble.

The best way to avoid backsliding on spending is through careful planning and a commitment to being disciplined. Start by creating a realistic budget that prioritizes essential expenses. Gifts are great, but not as important as food, housing, and keeping the lights on. Only after you’ve allocated money for those things can you think about extras like gifts.

Once you’ve identified your priorities, take a look at what you’re spending on non-essentials and see where you can cut back. By eliminating spending on things like dining out or entertainment, you can put money aside to buy gifts for the people who are most important. This is usually immediate family, and particularly children. It’s also a good idea to make good use of holiday sales, coupons, and promotion codes to minimize your costs.

For other family members and friends, now is the time to be honest about your financial situation, explain why you can’t give them expensive items this year, and tell them that you appreciate your understanding. Of course, not being able to purchase gifts doesn’t mean that you have to forego showing how much people mean to you. Writing a personal note or using your talents to create homemade gifts is a thoughtful way to do so without having to spend money that you simply don’t have.

Finally, make sure that you don’t get yourself into further financial trouble or debt by using credit cards. Sticking to cash or debit cards for your purchases is the best way to make sure that you stick to your plan and stay within your budget.

If you’re unsure of how to move forward or how spending during a bankruptcy might affect your filing, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can help. Contact us today to set up a time for us to talk.