Calculating Your Expenses for the Means Test

Calculating Your Expenses for the Means Test

When you engage a bankruptcy attorney to handle your bankruptcy case, you will be subject to a Means Test to determine if you qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy lawyer will ask you to gather some information about your monthly expenses. This includes both your necessary and discretionary expenses. You will need to provide documentation of your expenses, such as receipts, bills, or bank statements.

What expenses are considered “necessary” and which ones are considered “discretionary?” Your bankruptcy attorney will discuss these in regard to your specific circumstances, but we can take a peek at each of these in general. Today, we will look at what are considered “necessary” expenses:

Housing and Utilities

This includes your mortgage or rent, as well as any property taxes and insurance. You will also need to include any utility bills, such as electricity, gas, water, and sewage.


Car payment, car insurance, and gas expenses. If you use public transportation, you will need to include those expenses as well.


Groceries and any other food-related expenses such as dining out.


If you have children who require childcare in order to work, you will need to include those costs here.


This includes any medical or dental bills that you have incurred. It also includes health insurance premiums.

Other Necessary Expenses:

This may include items such as clothing, education costs, and pet care.

Our next article will cover “discretionary” expenses.

If you filing bankruptcy, Charleston residents and individuals throughout South Carolina have turned to the Drose Law Firm for assistance. Our bankruptcy lawyer handles solely debt resolution cases and has been doing so for more than three decades. Considering filing bankruptcy? If so, give us a call to schedule a consultation with our bankruptcy attorney today!