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Question regarding schedule of Expenditures

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What is the name of your state? California

Hello everyone....and happy new year!

I've been readng this board off/on for almost a year now and have decided to file bankruptcy (chapter 7)....a summons from Capital One that came knocking on my door a few days before Christmas finalized my decision! Yikes! So anyways, I have an attorney who was recommended to me by someone I know who was successfully discharged from their bankruptcy...and well, here I am.

Right now I working on filling out the "Schedule J - Current Expenditures of Individual Debtors" form. My question for those
in the know is.....what amount of $$$ is allowable for each type
of deduction. I want to be fair about the amounts and not exagerate, but I also want to get the most $$ allowed per deduction that I can. I'm just not sure what the judge may decide is an "over-the-top" amount of $$ to be spent on "X" or "Y". I mean, if I say I spend $100 a month on clothes, will the judge (or whoever looks the paperwork over) say "$100...well if your money is that tight, make it only $50"....do they make those types of judgement calls? Recreation and entertainment.....what's a fair amount? Also, I didn't notice anywhere a place to put $$ spent of such things as cosmetics, hair cuts....types of things you buy at sav-ons...you know...medical and beauty aids. Also, under "food', do you include groceries plus eating out? Can you deduct money for birthday presents and Christmas?

I know these are a lot of questions and I aplogize if I'm overwheming you. I just want to be fair to myself and to the courts. I know that I live paycheck to paycheck (using only cash
or Visa check card)....I just want the judge to see that as well, as reflected in my expenditures.

Also, for clarification.....I owe approximately $25K...all credit card, unsecured debt. I am single and earn about $32k a year. I haven't made payments on any of my cards for over a year.

Any help/advice would be appreciated.



Senior Member
First of all do NOT skimp on your expenses, you want them as high as they can reasonably go. Since you say you DO have a lawyer, he/she should be able to work with you on what is an allowed amount for each type of expense in your area with the Trustee's in your District.

The goal is to make you disposable income number as low as possible. Hair cuts, personal care items and the like will probably fall under miscellaneous expenses, but it IS a real expense.

Groceries is just that - food. Non-food items you buy at the grocery store should go under its own categories of household maintenance, personal care, etc. Meals should be separate. Going out for lunch isnt' uncommon, but not excessive but I'd keep dinners to a minimum - if you can't pay your bills, how do you justify going out for dinner more than once or twice a month ?

Again, your lawyer should be able to guide you. My advice would to err on the high side and let the lawyer decide, based on his/her experience with the Trustees, what needs to be adjusted up or down.


Thank you, Ladynred!

I spoke with my atty's legal assistant and she said that I should fill out the expenditure form as best I can and then she and my attorney will go over it and make adjustments, as needed.

Anyways, I'm sure I'll have some more questions along the way....I'll be sure to keep reading the board.

Thanks again :)

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