I’ve heard that Chapter 13 rarely works out for anyone—the bankruptcy plan that allows you to consolidate your bills and make a monthly payment for a few years and then the debts are discharged. I am one of those people that filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that was dismissed because I couldn’t make the payments. A few years later I ended up filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to eliminate my debt and now as a single mother, I am on this road to financial recovery.
If I could guess I would say that the Chapter 13 didn’t work for me because I didn’t realize that my spending habits would need to change. I’m a girl that loves sushi and adores designer handbags, yet all the while I remain on a discount store budget. I wouldn’t say I wasted money but I very rarely told myself “no”.
When I filed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy I was relieved and thankful for a do-over. After all, I was given the opportunity to do things the right way. The feeling of failure and being overwhelmed by bills and debt is not something I want to experience again. Since filing the Chapter 7 I have acquired a bunch of credit cards and a new car loan. I am broke and because of my past bankruptcies I am afraid of debt and anxious of things getting out of control. Maybe that’s a good thing.
I look for great bargains, cheap solutions to spendy problems and ways to help my daughter become the most productive and financially responsible person she can be. I don’t ever want to be the single mother that can’t pay for her child’s clothing or school activities, nor do I want her to follow in my debt filled footsteps. I want my daughter to know that we can have what we want, but it requires hard work and budgeting, and sometimes by the time everything is in order what we wanted wasn’t really so important.
Through sacrifice (okay so giving up sushi is probably not a sacrifice), conscious determination and tons of research, I am beginning to see a little light. I believe that at the end of this journey will be a college education for my daughter, a savings plan, a house I can afford and a lifestyle without the abuse of credit cards. Oh, and maybe, if I’m really good…a great sushi dinner and a fabulous Prada bag. If not I’ll take the rest. The satisfaction of accomplishing everything else is really all I need.
This blog is about my path to better finances and sharing my thoughts on being a mom and making ends meet.