The number of bankruptcies in the U.S. is rising at a dangerous speed. Last year, over two million bankruptcies were filed! This is a serious problem! How can you know if you're on the road toward bankruptcy? Here are seven warning signs:
Not using a budget
No control over spending
No emergency fund
Having a house you can't afford
Owning a car you can't afford
Using credit cards
Having student loans
Bankruptcy can creep up on you no matter how great things may be going for you right now. If you see the warning signs in your life, it's time to make some serious changes. It's time to take control of your money instead of it controlling you! But it starts with you making the decision! Check out the beginning steps to steer yourself clear of bankruptcy:
Build up a beginner emergency fund of $1,000. Sock this money away as quickly as possible. Emergencies will happen so be prepared.
Start living on a monthly budget. Make sure you cover the basics first: housing, utilities, food and transportation. Then use what is left over to aggressively pay down debt. Get free budgeting forms here.
Attack your debt! Evaluate what you can sell to cut your debt. Consider taking on a part-time job to accelerate your climb out of debt. Sell so much stuff that the kids think they're next!
Add to the emergency fund. Once you are out of "crisis mode" (all debt but the house paid off) focus on getting 3-6 months of expenses in your emergency fund. When it's fully funded, you can start making your money work for you!