After speaking with a bankruptcy attorney and completing the bankruptcy process, you’ll have a clean financial slate moving forward. With this fresh start, one of your first priorities should be setting financial goals after bankruptcy. Sticking to financial goals after bankruptcy will help you avoid debt and prevent you from ever finding yourself in serious financial trouble again. Taking the time to think about and set goals might seem like a waste of time, but goals can motivate you to make important life changes and give you direction. Meeting short-term objectives will lay the foundation and keep you on track for achieving long-term financial goals after bankrputcy. Without creating a map for where you want to end up on your financial journey, you are likely to veer off course and never arrive at your destination!
Financial goals after bankruptcy should be specific so that you know when you’ve met them. “Saving more” or “spending less” are not good goals because they’re too open ended. On the other hand, saving “5 percent of your income” or “$40 a week” is an excellent goal! Each time you meet another goal, you’ll be encouraged to stay on the road to financial stability.
Of course, this means your financial goals after bankruptcy must be realistically achievable. If you set goals that are too hard, you may lose your motivation. One of the ways to set achievable financial goals after bankruptcy is to make a budget that includes a line item for savings—and make sure to pay yourself first! Start by reviewing your spending history and the monthly bills you know you have to pay. Look for areas to cut expenses until the money you need to spend is less than that what you earn. The difference is your savings!
Don’t spend money just because it’s there. Savings is one line item in which it’s ok to “spend” more than you budgeted. At the end of the week, if you have $25 unspent on your food budget don’t spend it on items you don’t need, put it into savings!
At first you may think there is no way to spend less, but there is always wiggle room if you’re willing to look hard enough. You’ve been through bankruptcy and experienced the worst financial situation possible. Now that you’re recovered, stay motivated to spend less and save more so you can achieve your new financial goals after bankruptcy!