Understanding Your Expenses for the Means Test

Understanding Your Expenses for the Means Test

As we have discussed in previous articles, one of the first orders of business when you hire a bankruptcy attorney is to conduct what is referred to as a “Means Test.” Your bankruptcy lawyer will use the Means Test to determine whether you qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It’s important to note that if you do not qualify for Chapter 7 – which discharges debt – your bankruptcy attorney will likely recommend Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which re-organizes debt.

The Means Test considers both your “necessary” expenses and your “discretionary” expenses. Our previous article covered examples of what are considered necessary expenses. Today, we will look at examples of what may be classified as discretionary expenses when it comes to the Means Test.


This may include items such as movies, books, magazines, recreation, and hobbies.

Personal Care

This may include haircuts/styling, nails/manicures/pedicures, cosmetics, etc.


This may include holiday gifts, birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, etc.


This may include money in a traditional savings account, retirement savings, emergency fund savings, etc.

When filing bankruptcy, Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas have sought the services of the Drose Law Firm to assist them with their bankruptcy filings. The bankruptcy lawyer at Drose Law Firm has been handling debt resolution cases for more than 30 years. If you plan to file bankruptcy, consider engaging a bankruptcy attorney who is familiar with the process. Give Drose Law Firm a call to schedule a consultation today.