If you have recently filed for bankruptcy, either Chapter 13 or 7, then you have a fresh start. Even though you might feel quite a bit of relief after filing, you might be wondering how you can start rebuilding your life. The media often portrays those who file bankruptcy as financial outcasts, nothing is further from the truth.
The truth is that rebuilding your finances, credit rating and emotional health starts as soon as you file. It is important to commit yourself to building a healthier future. Although that might seem overwhelming, it is actually easy once you commit to it.
Although it might seem like an overwhelming task to recover after bankruptcy, it is actually quite easy once you get started. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Develop a Budget
If you have not already done so, make a budget. Having a budget is one of the most important things that you can do to after emerging from bankruptcy. Having a budget will help you avoid making financial mistakes that could once again lead you to trouble. A budget will truly give you a fresh start. Developing a budget is easy. There are tons of apps and budgeting software programs out there to help with this task. Simply choose one that you like and get started planning your expenses versus income.
Put Money Into An Emergency Fund
Having an emergency fund is also vital when starting over. So, start saving today. Having an emergency fund in place will help you avoid borrowing money when your heater goes out or your car has problems. How much should you save? You should have at least three months worth of living expenses saved. Don’t worry if it takes a bit of time to save up to that. Just put as much as you can towards your emergency fund every month. It is vital to leave the money in savings until you have a true emergency.
Rebuild Your Credit
After you have a budget and emergency fund in place, you can start to rebuild your credit. That does not mean going out and getting a bunch of credit cards. If you filed Chapter 13, simply paying your mortgage and any other secured items when they are due will help you rebuild your credit. Also, order your credit report every month to get into the habit of paying attention to your credit. Although filing bankruptcy is a big step, it offers the chance to start over.