Life after Bankruptcy: Seven tips
A life in bankruptcy is not an unbearable phase if you look at it from a positive angle. If you found it unbearable, I'm sure you won't want to go through it again. While the court 'reorganizes' you by selling your personal assets to pay off your debts, so too you must reorganize your thoughts and look forward to live a life of prudence.
- Seek sincere help. In modern societies where urbanites get too busy in their own lives, it is not surprising to have people whom you know suddenly turn their backs on you when you seek their assistance. It's like they are thinking, "I can't believe it. I've never been bankrupt so why are you in the dumps?" Forget about these people. Your immediate family will be the first to know your situation and only they can give you continued love and support. Make a checklist of names and how they can help you as much as what you can do for them, as well as (very) close friends whom you know can depend on.
- Be responsible. And I mean REALLY responsible. Once bitten twice shy; don't get mired in debt again. You can blame on exorbitant increase in the cost of living, that business partner who sued you or the failing stock market but they are not going to say sorry anytime. It's time to take a critical look at your spending habits and evaluate them, understanding where you have wasted and invested your money. Do a monthly plan-and-review for your savings and expenditure. A very good hint of wastage is putting your money in places you don't know much of. Learn how to disengage from risks which you can't afford to get involved.
Get paid work immediately. Get your life productive again. There is no more greater blessing than learning to appreciate your ability to earn your keeps. Within your checklist, you should have a couple of people whom you can approach in this area. Leverage on your experience and expertise to make an offer of what you can contribute to their benefit.
- Join a credit union. Such helpful organizations can offer loans which normal institutions like banks will not do otherwise, but make sure there's confidence on both sides that you can repay the loan.
- Far too many people never had a concrete financial/retirement plan even though they know it's important. Engage a financial advisor to be your personal counsel. Set aside cash reserves for rainy days or emergencies. Find adequate insurance to protect your remaining assets and family. Avoid high-risk ventures or 'investments'.
- Keep track of all debts due and paid to your creditors. Make sure your credit report is updated for the record.
- Sharpen your financial literacy. Robert Kiyosaki, author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" is a strong advocate for personal fiancial education. You can always pick up financial literature along the way and think about how you may change the way you look at your wealth. You never know how truly rich people think differently about their money from the rest of us.
As the saying goes, "Time heal all wounds." It will take years to be a 'normal' person again, but once you know you have attained the discipline to practice good habits, there's no reason how you can fall back to the old self. As you become wiser, you can better inform others about the unhealthy influences of commercialism and consumerism.
About the Author
Justin Koh is a freelance writer whose articles have appear in most major ezines. You can find more of these at: http://www.bankruptcycentral.info