It can be a humbling experience to file bankruptcy. You may have always had your finances under control, but an unexpected event or series of financial choices may have resulted in debt that you just can’t ever pay off. There is nothing to be ashamed of; many people file bankruptcy each year, and it’s designed to give you a new financial start. This is a good time to evaluate your spending habits and reconfigure your budget. You’ll also want to make some plans to help avoid debt in the future. An additional benefit of filing bankruptcy is that it makes you a resource for others who are struggling financially. Once your bankruptcy is resolved, you’ll most likely feel relief and know that it was the best possible decision.
Encouraging Friends and Family
Bankruptcy is an experience you’ll learn from, and you can use what you’ve learned to help others. Your friends and family will see the financial choices that you make, such as saving for purchases rather than using a credit card. They’ll see the freedom and stress relief that comes with being free of debt payments and interest. If you have friends who are struggling with debt, you may be able to help them create a new budget that will keep them from going bankrupt. Or they may be at a point where bankruptcy is their best option, and you can help them as they prepare to file. They’ll see how you came out better off on the other side of bankruptcy, and this can give them hope for their future, too.
Children Learn by Example
Whether you’re a parent or not, we all want the next generation to be successful and happy. That starts with education and encouragement, and most people learn best by watching others’ examples. When children see adults working to save money and being disciplined in their spending, that becomes their norm and sets them up for a future with less debt. If you have children, you can help them to create a budget or decide how they’ll save or spend any financial gifts they receive or money they earn. You can also teach them to shop wisely and compare prices when you shop together.
After your family experiences a financial setback, it’s possible to come out stronger and more united on the other side. You may not choose to share all of the details of your finances with your children, but this is an opportunity to reassure them that you have things under control and are taking the necessary steps to make sure they’re taken care of. Money isn’t necessary for a childhood full of love, and all of the lessons that you teach your children now will shape who they are and what they value.
Make the Best Choice
Bankruptcy is nothing to jump into without first considering alternatives, but for many people, it is the new start they need to get their finances back on track. This choice not only affects you, but can be beneficial to the people you love and interact with. If you’re feeling uncertain about how to handle your debt, give me a call so that we can make the best plan possible.
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W. George Senft