The picture says it all.  This is financial Disaster. This is the ultimate failure.  That was the premise that I was raised under.  Only “THOSE KINDS OF PEOPLE” allowed this to happen. According to Bankruptcy Canada there are 5 main causes of financial hardship. 1. Unexpected disaster.  Major car or house expense. Even a death in the family. 2. Income Reduction or Job Loss. In today’s world there is no such thing as a SECURE job.  Layoffs and plant closures are an all too constant situation.  3. Illness or Medical problems.  We all think it will never happen to us.  Even with Medical Insurance, the loss of income because of illness can be devastating.  4. Separation or Divorce.  With the marriage break down static at close to 50%, I’m surprised this is in 4th place.  The last one, is Financial mismanagement.  Number 5 is the the one we tend think is the cause most often.  But it really is last on the list.

Going through a bankruptcy is no easy thing.  But I am here to tell you that there is life after Bankruptcy.  Like everything in life, whether it is  good, or bad, it never lasts forever.  If you let this define who you are, then it can be a long road to recovery.  But what is bankruptcy really.  It is a chance to start over.  Sure you will not be able to get a mortgage next day, or a credit card.  But is that a bad thing??  No matter which reason is the cause, you can recover.  But it does take time and effort.

So where do you start?  You start with YOU.  You are still a worthwhile person.  Do not be hard on yourself, no matter what caused the problem.  Don’t go telling everybody. It took me over 15 years before I became comfortable talking about it. Don’t use it as an excuse either.  It is in the past, it is gone, MOVE FORWARD. Next, be honest, and look at the reason for it.  Why did it happen, and what do you need to do to make sure it does not happen again. If you don’t know something, go find the answer!!  There is no shame in asking for help!! There are more people out there that can help besides me.  There are people out there that really do want to help.

YOU WILL HAVE TO CHANGE SOMETHING. It was Einstein who said the definition of insanity, was doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.  If you continue to do what you did before, you will be back in the same place again.

If the problem was #1, what might have to change??  You might need an emergency fund.  Your experience will help you determine how much that might be.  That might mean setting up a Cash Flow Plan, to better allocate your existing funds. Once you have started an Emergency Fund, is it making the highest return possible?  The higher the return it makes, the less you will have to contribute, or it will reach t’s goal faster.  If the problem was #2 what could you change? Possibly having to get more education, or retraining to get into a different line of work. Find a “Side Hustle” to generate more small streams of income. There are government programs for re-education and retraining. (None of them are easy)  You maybe even have to get a second part time job.

If the problem was #3, what might you have to change?  We all hate buying insurance, but it may be the safety net you need. Be sure to shop around to find the best deal for you.  It might also be part of the consideration for the size of your Emergency Fund.  If the problem was #4, what might have to change?  The best way to deal with this is to do it before you get into the relationship. There is a thing called a Prenuptual agreement.  Not romantic, but a good thing to have.  Also from experience, keeping the separation real, and emotionless, when it comes to the money helps. (Exceeding difficult to do) Punishing your partner just makes the lawyers rich.

That leaves #5. What might have to change?  There is often little followup from the bankruptcy companies once they have done their job. You will not have any credit for a while, so you will have to learn to live with what you have.  If it was excessive use of Credit that got there, this could be the the best thing that ever happens, you will have to learn how to deal with life based on your “cash on hand” only.  No matter the reason, if you don’t know how to fix things, ASK FOR HELP!!

From this you can see that life did go on.  The time with no credit card was very difficult.  I was in sales, and had to stay in hotels, take clients out to lunch, etc.  Theses are all things which would naturally go on the Credit Card.  I learned in those days that Cash is King. Except at hotels.  Some people say you can live without a credit card.  Yes you can.  But you can not book a flight, or a hotel room without one.  The time from initiating the Brankruptcy, to getting our second house was also a time of taking courses and going to night school, to learn about what had caused the situation in the first place.  I learned that not all common knowledge works.  Experience is the best teacher.  I also worked at least one extra part time job for the next 10 years. 

Now I am doing what I want to do each day.  Helping other people to get ahead financially.  If you need it, let me help you.