Financial difficulties can quickly become overwhelming. It does not take much for expenses to spiral out of control. An unexpected repair, medical bill or job loss can have a devastating effect on your bank account. The next thing you know, you have maxed out your credit cards and are struggling to make the minimum payments.
If you are like many in Texas who are considering filing for bankruptcy, your hesitation may be rooted in the uncertainty of the future. While the bankruptcy may relieve you of your current debt burden, how can you be sure you will never end up in the difficult situation of drowning in debt again? While nothing is certain, you can take certain steps to reduce the chances.
Planning your budget
With many or even all of your debts discharged, you have a relatively clean slate to rebuild a secure financial future. This is the perfect time to organize your income and expenses into a workable budget. A budget takes discipline and patience, but the work can pay off with persistence. A budget allows you to live within your means and plan ahead for future expenses so you are not caught off-guard. This includes keeping track of where your money goes and prioritizing your spending.
You may find that using a cash system will help you reduce the amount of mindless or frivolous spending you may do. Using a debit or credit card allows you to overspend easily, but carrying only the amount of cash you need for a shopping trip can keep you within your spending limits. You may not wish to do this indefinitely, but it can be an effective way to build good spending habits.
Rebuilding after bankruptcy
While you work to rebuild your credit score, paying your bills on time is critical. If you plan to ask for loans in the future, potential creditors will want to see that you are responsible with your money. A history of diligence in meeting your deadlines is an excellent way to prove your responsibility.
Another way to rebuild your credit is to obtain a secured credit card. With these cards, you deposit a certain amount of money, which acts as the collateral and credit limit on your card. As you demonstrate your ability to pay on time, your credit score improves, which may allow you to apply for unsecured credit in the future.
Filing for bankruptcy does not have to be a frightening experience. With the right legal guidance, you can quickly get back on your feet and seek out the resources you need to move forward without the burden of overwhelming debt.