A Colorado Springs bankruptcy is generally the result of circumstances beyond one's control: divorce, lay-off, medical crisis, etc.
However, our Colorado Springs Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys recognize that almost everyone can benefit from delving into their financial habits and breaking a few bad ones.
This is especially important for people after they have had a bankruptcy discharge, as this will be key to re-establishing credit.
Some of the biggest bad money habits include:
- Not having a budget. You will find it impossible to pay your bills in full, on time - not to mention put some away in savings - if you don't know how much you have to work with. Take the time to write out your budget and track your monthly expenses. You may be more comfortable with the old-fashioned, pen-and-paper route, or you may find it easier to use free online services and programs.
- Consistently overspending. This typically happens when you arrive at a store without a very specific idea of what you plan to buy. This goes for everything from grocery to home goods to clothing. Go in with a list. Budget for your purchase. Stick to your list.
- Paying retail. Sometimes, you can't avoid it. But in many situations, there are options for you to cut corners on cost. Maybe you're eligible for a senior discount. Check out the weekly ads before grocery shopping. Use coupons. If you are using a credit card, use one with rewards. Find out if you can earn cash back if you do your shopping online.
- Indulging in impulse buys. If you see something and buy it without thinking twice, it's probably something you don't need and can't afford. If you can establish a 48-hour waiting period on any item over a certain amount - say $50 -that gives you a chance not only to evaluate whether it's necessary, but whether you can afford it and also whether you may be able to get a better price somewhere else or by waiting a week or two.
- Having lowered financial expectations. Just because you have undergone bankruptcy does not mean you can not make you dreams a reality, whether it's purchasing a home or moving across the country. You simply have to be calculated about it. It may not happen within the first year after your discharge, but with careful planning, there is no reason to think it couldn't happen shortly after that.