MAYBE you’ve experienced this before. You’re driving down the road one cold, chilly day and before you know it, you find yourself surrounded by a thick white wall of dense fog.
How did you react to the situation? If you’re like most people, perhaps you felt momentarily lost and confused or perhaps even panicked, not knowing what was in front of you or the direction you were going.
People who are facing serious debt problems can feel the same way. They feel lost in a “money fog”. What exactly is a “money fog”? Money fog means that you’re in a state of being disconnected from your money. Here are some of the symptoms: (a) Having no idea about your real bank balance (2) Always broke at the end of the month no matter how hard you work (3) You’ve lost track of how much you owe (4) Chronic debt that just cannot be paid off, and (5) Zero savings- and yet, having a lot of expenses that cannot be accounted for or explained.
You may be shocked to know that being in a money fog can happen to people of all income levels. A person who makes $50 an hour can be just as broke financially as another person who makes $10 an hour if both of them have lost control over their money. Thus, when you’re in a money fog, it doesn’t matter much what your income is. At the end of the day, it’s not what you make that really matters- it’s what you get to keep.
I meet with a lot of people who are in denial about their situation and will try to rationalize by saying things like: “Well, it’s not really that bad”, “It’s only money” or (here’s one that I always hear) “Maybe, I’ll win the lottery.” Often, it takes an eye-opening event to wake them up. This could be a nasty collection letter they get in the mail, a threat of a lawsuit, foreclosure, wage garnishment or a notice of bank levy. Or it could be a sudden realization one day that their bank account has been consistently overdrawn month after month, they are drowning in debt, and they have nothing to show for all the money they’ve borrowed. This is when reality hits them like a ton of bricks and they find themselves totally unprepared for the financial crisis that they are now facing.
Clearing the fog can sometimes be an uncomfortable process because it involves looking honestly at the financial behaviors that contributed to our present financial crisis. But unless we become aware of what we may be doing wrong, we may never get out of the fog. The two initial steps you can take would be tracking your monthly expenses and creating a monthly budget that is within your means. Create an itemized list of your debts, balances and interest rates. Learn to distinguish between “needs” and “wants” and avoid buying things on credit as much as possible unless you can pay the bill in full at the end of the month.
Financial recovery cannot begin while your finances are cluttered, messy and disorganized. Spend some time working through an accurate picture of your total income after tax, your realistic expenses and current debt repayments. Then work through some ways of eliminating expenses that you can live without and use the money you’re able to save towards debt repayment. If filing bankruptcy is your only solution to get out of debt, consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand the pros and cons of such a solution.
Whatever you do, have a clear goal and a defined purpose in order to maintain the level of motivation that you need to become debt-free. If the current pandemic has affected your income, I’m sure it’s even more difficult for you now to get a handle on your finances if they were already out of control before this whole mess even started. More than ever, you need a financial plan to make sure that you are living within your means because there is no telling how long this virus crisis will end. If filing bankruptcy is inevitable in order to start over, there is no shame in using the laws intended to help you get back on your feet at a time like this. Don’t get me wrong. Bankruptcy is not for everyone. But if it is the right solution for your situation, this could be a big turning point in your life.If you have not read my book, “What You Need to Know Before Filing Bankruptcy”, you can download it free of charge at www.beforefilingbk.com.
For a free evaluation of your case, please call our office at Toll-Free 1-866-477-7772 to schedule a free consultation.
NOTE: Due to the virus lockdown, I am currently offering consultations via phone or video. Please call the office to schedule your appointment with me. Questions? Email me at [email protected].
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None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation. Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped over 5,000 clients in getting out of debt. For a free attorney evaluation of your situation, please call RJB Law Offices at TOLL FREE 1-866-477-777.