Author Archives: Lisa Starrett

I am a bankruptcy paralegal in El Cajon, California, working with my husband Carl to bring the hope of a fresh start to debtors facing mounting bills. Through this blog, I'll share ideas about dealing with financial stress, budgeting and hopefully provide a little humor along the way.

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or send is an email As a bankruptcy paralegal, one of my of my primary tasks is to go over a client’s budget. How much money you spend can make all the difference between qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  I also like to help educate our clients in proper budgeting…

Financial and Physical Fitness: The Wife’s Perspective, Day Two

Our family is trying to go the entire month of September without fast food and setting aside a little money in savings each day.  Click here to follow our journey. Lesson Learned:  “If you have it at home, you won’t look for it elsewhere.”  Face it, half of the reason we eat out is because…

Financial and Physical Fitness: The Wife’s Perspective

If you’ve read Carl’s blog, you know that our family is doing a one-month experiment during the month of September:  no fast food and banking money each day. In the month of August, our family of 3 spent approximately $165 on fast food.  I’ve listed the totals at the end of the article.   This…

It Isn’t a Sob Story, It is Your Story

As a bankruptcy paralegal, I’m the first one to answer the phone at our office and something really hit home with me this week.  A woman started talking to me about her financial situation and then started to tear up.  Tearing up over the phone is not uncommon for callers, but this caller almost got…

A Bankruptcy Roadmap and a Helping Hand

As a bankruptcy paralegal, I speak with many people who are lost, overwhelmed and confused because of their crushing debt.  They often know that bankruptcy is what they need, but they also need a helping hand and a roadmap to get started on the right path.  I am often the first voice that our potential…

Budgeting: The Principle of Half

  As a bankruptcy paralegal, I often find myself looking for ways to save money.  I’ve recently started using less of some o f my household products and you know…it works!  If someone gave you a coupon for ½ off laundry detergent would you accept it?  If you could buy your favorite brand of paper…

Coupons: Don’t Leave Home Without Them

Never leave home with your coupons!  I recently started watching the show Extreme Couponing on The Learning Channel.  The show follows people who obsessively clip coupons that save as much as 95% or more on their grocery bills.  Some of these extreme couponers are very obsessive about collecting and using coupons.  While I don’t think…

10 Ways To Better Use Your Money Than Credit Card Payments

Although the title of this blog article is really tongue-in-cheek, have you every really considered how your life could change if you didn’t have the struggle of making your minimum credit card payments? As a bankruptcy paralegal, I’d have to say that at least 9 out of every 10 people I meet with have budgets…

Envelopes: The Low-Tech tool that Helped Our Grandparents Get Through Tough Economic Times

I think my grandparents had some good ideas when they went through tough financial times and one of them was the envelope budget system.  There’s something about handling actual cash that makes you, well, it makes you want to keep holding on to it.  When times were tough, grandpa would cash his paycheck in smaller…

Bankruptcy, Budgeting and Dieting – More Alike Than You Thought

At first glance, these 3 words would not seem to have much in common.  However, a closer look shows more of a connection than you might think. “If I could just be at the weight I want, I would be careful and never gain weight again. I just want a fresh start.” The truth is, money and weight…