Summer used to mean sun and fun. Cold drinks, the beach, maybe even a vacation with kids.
But things went wrong. You lost your job, got sick, divorced? Now all the expectation of summer is just making an already tough financial situation that much more overwhelming.
Outside of the holidays there isn’t a worse time to be struggling financially than the summer. The pressure to go on an expensive vacation and entertain kids who are home and BORED is a lot to handle. So how do you survive?
First, Breathe. You will get through this.
Second, get an evaluation from a bankruptcy attorney. My goal in every consultation is for you to leave my office with a game plan. It may not be pretty, but I promise that if you know what is going to happen, the pressure starts to release almost immediately. So what happens in a bankruptcy consultation: We will sit down with you and go over your whole financial picture and tell you your options. We will review the BEST option for you. This may not be the one you want, but our job is to guide you down the BEST road for you. If you think it is something you want to do, we will do a retainer and get started right away.
If you are in a Chapter 7 case in the summer, this will be quick and clean.
If you are in a Chapter 13 filing your summer is going to require a bit more planning. We are going to put you on a budget that is fairly strict and you will have a can’t miss payment to the Trustee each month. It will be important that you budget your summer around that.
Which leads me to the third way to survive the summer while cash strapped:
PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.
The easiest way to cut costs in your budget is eating in. This is great news in the summer. Fire up the grill! Who doesn’t love to sit on the back porch and eat? Get a warehouse store membership, buy your meat in bulk, and spend the summer on pinterest trying new marinade recipes. This is probably one of my favorite things to do in the summer. I have relatives that want us to eat out every Sunday. No. Neither my waistline or my budget wants that. I would much rather grill every Sunday at half the cost and with the bonus of DELICIOUS leftovers for lunches for the week. Do you know what is better than leftover bbq ribs on a monday at lunchtime? Nothing. Nothing is.
Vacation? THIS IS NEW JERSEY! We have everything right here. No plane rides or hotels required. You can go to the beach, Sandy Hook charges per car, not per person. The mountains are north and at the Gap. Want to go to a theme park, Dorney Park and Six Flags are both in driving distance. Save those soda cans and use the coupon! I think QuickCheck has coupons for Balloon Fest out already. New Jersey has so much to offer so try exploring at home.
Entertaining the kids: We get it. We are parents here too. It is hard to not be able to give them everything. We want to so badly. That being said, both of our kids would love nothing more than to just ride bikes at the park. It is old school but they can’t get enough. Throw a baseball in the yard or take the kids down to the river and go fishing. Give your kids the gift of your time. I love to garden with my son. He is small so he mostly just plays with the dirt, but he is so happy about it and we get the bonus of inexpensive produce for the summer that we grew ourselves. He also really enjoys being pulled around in his wagon at the local park and playing on the swings. Both of those things are FREE. I know that we live in an age where we think our kids need constant stimulation, but believe me when I say that sometimes a back to basics approach is both incredibly effective and inexpensive. No 400 buck tablet required.
You will get through this. You will be better on the other side of your bankruptcy filing. Trust the process. Trust yourself. Know that the trip to Disney World can wait and it will be so much sweeter with this in your rear view mirror.
Want to talk to us about your financial situation. Give me a call at 732-302-9600 or fill our our online consultation form and we will call you!