Finally having your bankruptcy case settled is a huge relief and that should be celebrated! Get some rest, enjoy time with friends and family, and revel in your new financial freedom. This is also a great time to start thinking about your future. There’s the hard work of sticking to a realistic budget and re-establishing your credit, but it’s also an opportunity to set some long-term goals and dream about your future. As your attorney, I don’t want to just help you get your bankruptcy taken care of. I care about your future financial health and would like to offer you some advice to consider.
So What Do I Do Now?
- Make a livable budget: Now that your debt is under control, it’s time to take another hard look at your budget. Are there ways you can reduce your costs or luxuries you can cut out? Needs and wants can take on a whole new meaning when money is tight. A good way of deciding on your budget is to keep track of exactly where your money goes for a few months. You may realize you are spending more money on unnecessary things than you think and can then cut those expenses out. Keep in mind, you may not need to live this simply forever, but by making sacrifices now, you can have more freedom in the future.
- Invest in your future: You need to not only take care of your living expenses, but also make sure you are investing in the future. Even if you can only save a little bit, it’s a good habit to establish. Building your emergency fund can help avoid the need to use a credit card. Talk to your employer about their retirement options. Putting even $10 per paycheck into a retirement fund is better than nothing, and that money will grow over the years.
- Get a small credit card: This may seem illogical, but the only way to re-establish your credit and improve your credit score is to use credit. By starting with a credit card with a low credit limit and paying it off on time each month, your credit can improve. Although the bankruptcy will be on your credit report for ten years, you can add a newer, better credit history. Before too long, your credit score will improve, which will lead to better interest rates and lower down payments in the future.
- Pay all your bills on time: In addition to paying any new credit card bills on time, make sure you pay utilities, mortgage or rent, medical bills, and student loans on time. Even if your credit score remains low, being able to show potential creditors or landlords a history of on-time payments shows responsibility. With the prevalence of bankruptcy in today’s economy, sometimes just being able to sell yourself with a positive attitude, good job history, and a record of timely payments can replace your credit score.
Getting a new financial start can be exciting, but also stressful at times. Just do your best to be responsible with your money and think twice before making any purchases or large financial decisions. If you ever need advice or additional guidance, don’t hesitate to call me. I’m hopeful that bankruptcy is just one chapter in your financial life and that you are headed to a more positive future.
Let Us Help
We are here to help as you strive toward financial freedom. We’re experienced and have up-to-date knowledge about all the aspects of bankruptcy law. Don’t feel like you have to navigate the system alone. We’re here to take your call! Contact us today to get started. Click here if you need a Eugene bankruptcy attorney , or check here for our other Oregon and Washington locations.