How to Overcome Your Spending Habits after a Bankruptcy
We live in a consumerist society. It’s very easy to get caught up in a cycle of spending, even beyond what you can afford. Credit is easy to come by, and we are inundated with ads that tell us that our lives are not as happy or fulfilling as they could be if we don’t have certain products in our lives. Many of us also tend to spend for the lives we want and think that we will one day have, rather than recognizing the realities of our current limitations.
All that spending can eventually lead to overwhelming debt. Fortunately, bankruptcy is a viable legal option to give you the debt relief and the fresh start that you need. Mesa Chapter 7 bankruptcy is particularly useful for dealing with credit card debt as it can discharge it all. However, even if you get that fresh start through bankruptcy in Mesa, you are going to need to deal with your spending habits unless you just want to spend yourself into another financial crisis in a few years. Here are a few things you can do to help you overcome your poor spending habits after filing for bankruptcy in Mesa:
Create a Hard Budget
Start your journey to creating a more healthy financial future by setting a hard budget for yourself. Be realistic when listing out all your expenses and income for each month, accounting for every last coffee you buy on the way to work and every last fast food run you make because you aren’t in the mood to make dinner.
Once you see where your expenses and your income meet up, you can make adjustments if needed. Cut back on your recreational spending, like for eating out, or cut services that you don’t need. (Do you really need four streaming sites, or will just one do?) Once your budget is in place, stick to it. Create a little savings that you can dip into when you have a financial emergency or you just feel like splurging on a special item.
Identify Your Reasons for Spending
For some people, spending is just a bad habit. It can even be a compulsion. The term “retail therapy” exists for a reason. Many people buy things because they’re bored. Some people buy things because they’re stressed out or feeling anxious about a situation. Other people buy things to cover up or assuage some insecurities they feel.
Before you can overcome your spending habits, you need to identify your reasons for them. Then you can search for other outlets for dealing with those feelings. For example, you might spend time with friends when you are bored instead of browsing Amazon. Or you might build a vision board when you are dreaming of your future life instead of starting to buy things for it.
Learn to Identify Wants and Needs
Most of the time, people with money problems are buying too many things that they just want – but may feel like they need. For example, you may feel like you “need” an above-ground pool to occupy your kids during the summer, but really, you just want one. They can run in the sprinkler or visit a community pool instead.
Once you get better at distinguishing between wants and needs, you can gain greater control over your spending urges. You’ll be able to recognize alternatives on purchases, and you’ll save your money for the things you really need, so that your money can have a bigger impact.
Go to Debtors Anonymous
For some, spending is an addiction, just like drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or gambling. People get a high from it, and breaking that feeling can be hard. Fortunately, there is help for it, just like with any addiction.
Debtors Anonymous is a 12-step program that can help you break your unhealthy spending habits. Visit debtorsanonymous.org for a list of questions to determine if you meet the criteria for attending and to learn more about the program.
Don’t let bankruptcy be a false start. Once you file for bankruptcy in Gilbert, let that be your second and last chance to have a more healthy financial future. Use these tips to break your unhealthy spending habits so that you don’t find yourself on the phone with a Gilbert bankruptcy attorney again in just a few years.
If you find yourself struggling with your spending and the accompanying debt, it may be time to call My AZ Lawyers to learn about the benefits of bankruptcy. Our bankruptcy attorneys can help you understand the pros and cons of Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy for your finances. Our goal is to help you get the maximum debt relief you need so that you can create the life you want. We serve clients in Glendale, Tucson, Mesa, Phoenix, and the surrounding areas. Call us today to talk with a bankruptcy lawyer about your options.
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