While many of your friends are enjoying the 4th of July, you are either living under the yoke of crushing debt or maybe you are in the process of finalizing a bankruptcy. For those of you in the latter category, you should rejoice. Bankruptcy is essentially a do-over for adults as it offers the opportunity emancipate yourself. With that in mind, here are some pointers on how to deal with life after bankruptcy.
What Causes Bankruptcy
Debt, a lot of it. But if only it was that simple as you are a responsible adult and you have tried your best to pay down your bills. However, there are times when it becomes too much. Maybe this is due to a medical emergency, the loss of a job, or even a family issue. These things can lead to severe soul searching for bankruptcy is usually considered the last resort.
As such, you find yourself in a potential where you are combing the yellow pages (ok, these days it’s a metaphorical phone book) looking for an attorney to help. For example, if you are in North Carolina, then you will be searching for Raleigh consumer bankruptcy attorneys.
However, the decision to consider bankruptcy is not something you should take with the idea of guilt or shame. Instead, it is an opportunity to free yourself from debt and as such it represents a new beginning for you and your family.
This is important, while your lawyer will help you through the legal process of declaring bankruptcy, there is an emotional aspect to the decision and coming to terms with this aspect will help to make life after bankruptcy all the better. As such, you will need to view bankruptcy not as a failure but as breakthrough.
Now that you’ve decided to declare bankruptcy, you will need to a strategy to get your financial life back on sound footing. This means rebuilding your credit and your savings. The key here is to start with a goal in mind and then break it into achievable parts.
This can be as simple as getting yourself in the habit of saving something every week – it doesn’t matter if it is $10 or $1,000. In addition, you will want to review your expenses and cut back anything which isn’t necessary, at least for the first few months. Not only will this help in finalizing negotiations with your creditors but it will get you on a path to rebuilding your savings.
In addition, you will want to look at strategies needed to rebuild your credit. These include getting credit cards, managing your credit utilization, and making sure you never fall behind again.
As you can see, this is more than just goal setting. You need to put together a plan and then have a way to track your performance over time. If balancing your finances is a challenge then you might want to take a class or look for resources which can help you achieve this task. In the end, a key part of life after bankruptcy is to get strategic.
Focus on What is Important
For those living in debt, so much of their lives becomes the debt. It’s toxic, and slowly concerns about money creep into everything you do. This is not healthy and in many cases, it can have a negative impact on your relationships and your work.
As such, life after bankruptcy is a chance to focus on what is important. While this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to keep your finances in check, it does mean that debt shouldn’t overshadow everything you do. Stop and smell the roses, go for a long walk or a bike ride, take up a hobby, or find ways to rebuild the frayed relations with your loved ones.
Life is more than just money and getting rid of your debt is a chance to rediscover this.
Declaring bankruptcy doesn’t have the same stigma that it once had. In fact, the toughest part is getting over one’s own fears and getting on with it. Why not, if bankruptcy is good enough for our president, then it is good for everyone. If anything, it gives one a chance to start over and this is a good thing.
Beyond this, you want to have a strategy, one which gets you on a path to saving and rebuilding your credit. Doing so will help to position your finances in a much stronger position than they have been before.