One of the things that comes as a surprise to most of our bankruptcy clients is that after a relatively short amount of time some of the same credit card companies that they got behind on paying turn right around send them applications for new ones! Some of our clients still have such a bad taste in their mouths about the whole debt collection & harassing phone calls thing that it’s no problem for them to toss those cards in the wastebasket. But some people still seem to have a credit card monster inside them that was lying dormant until the right opportunity popped up.
For those who are tempted to release that credit card beast, here are a few things you can do to get rid of the credit card habit before it sends you right back to the same financial hardship you started with.
Stash Your Cash
Build up a stash of cash (eg. $1000) to take care of those little “emergencies” that always seem to pop up now and again. Plumbing gets backed up? Flat tire? Washing machine breaks down? Your kid needs new clothes? Use your emergency fund. Then pay yourself until the fund is built back up. Think of it as being your own “zero percent interest for life” credit card.
Rip, Shred, Wad, or Burn ‘Em Up
Have a little fun with your new resolve to stop the credit card habit. When credit card applications and ready-to-go credit cards show up in your mailbox, ceremoniously rip them up, shred them up, wad them up, or burn them up. This could be therapeutic.
Leave Your Secured Cards At Home
Some of our clients choose to try to build their credit through secured credit cards. If you do this, in order to stick to your budget and work your plan, don’t tempt yourself every time you shop. When you go shopping, take just enough cash to buy what you need and leave that credit card at home unless you’ve made a plan to use the secured card and have determined exactly how you will pay it back.
Take Interest In The Interest
Have you ever actually taken the time to look at your credit card statements? Pull a statement from one of your old high balance cards. Figure out how much it would have cost you in interest if you had made minimum payments until the card was paid off. This will be like shock therapy. Probably make you a little angry. That’s a good thing. Use that anger to help break the habit of using credit cards to be your financial savior.
The purpose of bankruptcy is to give you an opportunity to get back on your feet financially. For the benefit of yourself and your family, the best thing you can do is to put a stop the behaviors that caused or contributed to out-of-control debt.
The experienced and trusted attorneys at Grand Law Firm have helped people from all walks of life navigate towards a new destination in their financial journey after bankruptcy. Call our office at (504) 608-5208 today .
Or feel free to contact us online and we can get the conversation started as to how we can help you and your family right away.