Bankruptcy is a long and sometimes disheartening process. The benefits you reap at the end, however, are worth far more than the effort you had to put in.
Changing your lifestyle after bankruptcy doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the things you love, it’s simply a matter of tweaking the life you already have. Your debt is behind you, and now your focus can be on creating the financial stability you have been wishing for.
Keep your finances on track
Remember these healthy spending and saving habits if you find yourself worrying that you may slide back into old habits.
Make a budget – It may not be glamorous but sitting down and figuring out where you want your money to go, then tracking where it is actually going, is one of the best ways to keep yourself from getting into debt. Entering your spending will also give you accountability to yourself.
Make savings automatic – Building a savings can be difficult, especially if you’re in the habit of spending until your account is at zero. One option is to open a savings account at a separate bank and request that your employer do a direct deposit into it of how much you want to save each month. Your money will go into savings and you won’t be tempted to access it.
Ditch the debt card – Debt cards are abstract. If you find yourself overspending with them, you may want to go to a 100% cash budget. Still have a savings account, but for money you plan to spend in a week, withdraw cash. Having physical money often gives people a tangible sense of how much and how quickly they are spending.
Consider a secured credit card – Once you get new habits under your belt you will want to start rebuilding your credit. A secured credit card is special kind of card that you back up with a cash deposit. For example, if you deposit $200, the credit card will have a $200 limit. If you miss a payment, the credit union will take the difference out of your deposit. This may be a good way to reacclimate to having a credit card.
These are only a few of the ways you can keep your finances in order after successfully completing bankruptcy. The key to financial stability is finding what good habits work best for you.
Financial security is a difficult plateau for many people to reach. Having your debt wiped away is a major accomplishment that many people fail to achieve. Seize this opportunity and embrace your new, best future.