Bankruptcy is at an all-time high in America. Many people have filed for bankruptcy because they feel they don’t have any other options. If you are considering bankruptcy, look at these items and see if you have done them first.
1. Prioritize: If you are feeling overwhelmed with bills, start prioritizing and worrying about the ones you can pay for and work from there. Things that are important are things, such as house payments and car payments. Things that shouldn’t take precedent, even if the creditors are hounding you, are things like credit card bills. Worry about getting the essentials paid for first and if you have money left over, start working on the others.
2. Budget: Keep track of where your money is going with the aid of a budget. If you have never been good at budgeting, find someone who is and see how they do it. An easy way to budget is budget according to when you get paid. Track the money you receive each time you get paid, whether that’s once a month, bi-monthly, or each project you complete. Go over your previous expenses and see what areas you can cut. When you are in dire debt, you need to cut out all excess stuff you don’t need.
3. Alternative Options: Have you looked in to any alternatives to bankruptcy? These things include debt settlement programs, lowered payment plans, loan modification, among others. An alternative might not always be an option, especially when you don’t have any income, but if you do have a job and are just running behind an alternative option might be a good choice.
4. Avoid Quick Scams: Paying off debt takes time. It won’t happen overnight. Don’t fall victim to scams that claim you can drop your debt in half by following through with their program. These scams almost always end up making your debt much worse than it already is.
5. Talk to Others: Ask for professional opinions about what your options are. Speak to your neighbors, co-workers and family members and brainstorm what choices are in front of you. Simply talking to others might be able to help you find a solution to bankruptcy that you did not know about or hadn’t thought of before.
6. Cut all wants: This is not a fun step, but it is a necessary one. You’ve gone through your budget once before, but if you are still behind its time to cut all excess and live as modestly as you can. Sell your home and move in to a smaller home or apartment until you can get back on your feet. Sell your car and get a cheaper model or bike to work. Have all the kids cancel their cell phones on your phone plan. Whatever you don’t absolutely need to survive should be cut so you can get your debt under control. Once you are on top of your payments then you can start re-introducing things back into your budget.
7. Gut feeling: Trust your instincts. If you feel that you haven’t exhausted all your possibilities, don’t give up. Keep working at getting your debt under control. If you feel that its time to file for bankruptcy, don’t ignore that feeling either. There are great bankruptcy attorneys who can help.