Fear of the Unknown Can Get In the Way of Financial Freedom
Every Halloween, I'm amazed at how some folks can smile through the most suspenseful of horror flicks, laugh through our city's infamous haunted house tour and even stroll through the cemetery at midnight on Oct. 31 (OK, maybe that was just my high school friends and me) - and yet remain perfectly petrified of confronting their own financial troubles.
For instance, mention a budget and some folks turn practically green. Mention bankruptcy as an option and others turn paler than a ghost. And yet, because of their debt, they deal with creditors harassing them all day and with the worry that a foreclosure notice could show up in the mail any minute. I wish people would realize that the scariest thing about a debt burden is ignoring it.
As humans, we're notorious for our fear of the unknown. But there's a way to get over it - and a way to get out of debt and the suffering that comes with it. We simply have to make the unknown known.
Think you can't bear to cut back on your expenses? Why not start out slow and see what happens? Maybe you treasure your gourmet cup of coffee each day. Why bring a home-brewed cup just once or twice a week to start? Or maybe you could stand to lower your grocery bill but you don't like the idea of buying generic brands - you'd rather get the real thing. Why not start by buying a knock-off version of something with the same ingredients as the name-brand, like over-the-counter medications or pantry staples like sugar and flour. They're made with the same stuff - they just have different labels.
And then there's bankruptcy. So many people find it scary and intimidating - but once they find out the facts, they often wonder why they didn't file earlier.
Here's the truth. Bankruptcy has helped millions of Americans get out of debt and get back their financial freedom. How does it work? Bankruptcy is your legal right as an American citizen. When you file, the U.S. legal system protects you from creditor harassment or actions like foreclosure. Meanwhile, you'll be able to submit an affordable plan to pay off your debts over a designated period of time - in some cases, debts might be discharged entirely. When your bankruptcy period is complete, you'll have a fresh financial start.