One of the most important things you can do to stick to your budget and plan for your financial future is to be aware of where your money is going. It's up to you to not only create your budget, but to use the discipline required to stick to your budget. It's OK to make changes as your priorities change, as long as you keep in mind that you only have so much money to work with. This might mean sacrificing in one area to save up for something you really want in another.
Once you have some money in place to take care of emergencies, you can take charge of your finances further by saving up for important purchases or expenses. You'll have the freedom to dream and plan without the worries of debt, even if the dreams need to be delayed a bit. With a goal in mind, it may be easier to say no to small impulse purchases.
There are several key people who are part of the bankruptcy process. The person who is in debt and needs to file bankruptcy is called the debtor, and those who are owed money are creditors. This could be individuals, banks, medical companies, or collection agencies, to name a few. A professional bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the process and ensure that your case is resolved without any trouble. Once your attorney helps you with your paperwork and files your case, everything will be reviewed by a court-appointed trustee. You will meet them at your 341 meeting, where they will verify the information you've provided and mediate between you and any of your creditors who attend. The trustee is responsible for investigating possible fraud and resolving your case in a timely manner.
When you first file bankruptcy, you won't have access to credit for a while, which can be a challenge. That's why it's so important to focus on building up your savings account. This way, you'll have some money set aside for emergencies, rather than inadvertently getting into debt again. If you end up in a situation where you owe on a medical bill, for example, work with the creditor to establish a payment plan, rather than relying on credit cards.
First I always suggest to review your situation to decide if bankruptcy is truly the best option for you or if you can make some changes to get your budget back on track. If it's time to pursue bankruptcy, finding a Bankruptcy Attorney that can help is your best bet as they can provide you with a list of the documents you'll need to provide and worksheets to guide you as you complete your paperwork. Before filing, you'll need to complete an online credit counseling course, where you'll learn more about bankruptcy and have the opportunity to evaluate your budget. Once you have your completion certificate and your required documentation, you or your Bankruptcy Attorney can go ahead and file your case, which starts the automatic stay. This is a legal order that keeps creditors from contacting you to collect debt if they do contact you, all you'll need to do is give them your case number and my contact information. Your next step will be to attend your 341 Meeting, which some attorneys will attend with you, followed by a final online credit counseling course. If you're filing a Chapter 7, your unsecured debts will soon be discharged, and if you're filing a Chapter 13, you'll soon start your reduced payment plan. Your Attorney can help you throughout the process, so that you always know what to expect next.