So you're looking into debt relief methods, such as bankruptcy. Not only do you want to get rid of the debt you have, but you want to take this time to really commit yourself to staying out of debt in the future. Some ways to do this include:
1. Cutting out expenses you don't need. Do you really have to pay $200 a month for cable TV? What are some other extras you can cut out and learn to live without?
2. Buy things that last in bulk. You may have to pay more up front, but you can save if it lasts three or four times as long. People often do this with food, for instance, just freezing what they can instead of going to the store once a week.
3. Reduce the costs when you can't cut them out. It's far less expensive to buy food and eat in rather than going out to eat. It's cheaper to see a movie as a matinee instead of going in the evening. These little changes save a few dollars here and there, but it adds up.
4. Trade services. For instance, maybe you have a friend who is great at fixing cars, but who is always looking for someone to watch the kids. A night or two of babysitting means you get work on your car done for free. No money changes hands -- so nothing is lost to taxes -- and you both save more than if you paid a mechanic and he or she paid a babysitter.
These are just a few tips, but they show that it's really all about looking for the little, easy ways to save. It's not as hard as you may think, and it makes a big difference.
Of course, to get it started, you also need to look into all of your debt relief options. These could include Chapter 13, Chapter 7, and more.
Source: Becoming Minimalist, "33 Proven Ways to Reduce Personal Debt," accessed Feb. 15, 2017