People have a variety of ways of relating to and managing their money. Often, this is driven by our experiences or emotions. Some of us don’t spend much time or energy on financial management, and instead just spend money to meet our needs. Some people, on the other hand, may be fearful of money, worry there won’t be enough, or constantly think about how to get more. Part of the bankruptcy process is completing online Credit Counseling Courses, which can help with budgeting while rebuilding your credit. As you prepare for your future, it’s important to explore how you relate to and think about money, in addition to creating a current, realistic budget.
Changing Financial Management Habits
Ignorance may be bliss, but this definitely doesn’t apply to finances. After a bankruptcy, it’s especially important to have a good handle on how you’re spending your money. For a period of time, you won’t have access to credit, so living within your means is a must. A good first step can be simply tracking how you spend your money. You may be able to pinpoint areas where money is wasted or how small splurges add up. Take a look at what you’re paying for things like insurance, the internet, and cell phones, and see if you can find better rates. After you have your budget dialed in, set a weekly date with yourself to review your spending and plan ahead.
Accidents happen, and some weeks are more expensive than others. If you blow it, don’t be too hard on yourself. Try to think about what you can do differently next time and move forward with a positive attitude.
In an attempt to get your budget under control, it can be easy to set your budget so tight that there’s no room for anything fun. This gets frustrating, and then tempting to just throw the whole thing out the window. Set your budget so that your needs are met and then see if you have anything left over. Even if it’s something small every week or a monthly event, knowing you have the ability to enjoy what you’ve earned makes it easier to say no to impulse purchases.
Living debt free can be a long road, and you may lose sight of your long-term goals. Living on a budget and saving money gives you the peace and freedom of enjoying your life without owing a credit card bill at the end. Short-term sacrifices can lead to long-term satisfaction.
A New Start
When debt becomes overwhelming, it can be difficult to change your attitude and spending habits; you’re essentially in survival mode. Bankruptcy may be the clean slate you need to reset your life. Once your debts are more manageable and you have an accurate budget, you’ll be able to take control of your finances and future.