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What NOT to do after filing for Bankruptcy

by J. Money on Saturday, March 13, 2010

my shocked faceIf you have just filed for bankruptcy (twice), and your house is in foreclosure, do NOT do this:

1) Celebrate by going out and spending $150 on dinner.
2) Then hitting the mall and dropping $100 on a pair of jeans.

This is what a friend of a friend of a friend just did the night of filing for bankruptcy. What the hell is wrong with people?

Seriously, I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but come on… how do you NOT realize what you’re doing here? 3 times a charm? I just don’t get it man. If I personally knew who they were, or what they look like for that matter (hah!), I’d at least try and talk some sense into them. But then again, from what I hear they’ve stopped taking advice from friends years ago. Oh, and they also have kids :(

If I ever did get a chance to talk with them though, or any others in this mess for that matter, I’d advise one thing and one thing only: Counseling.

It seems people who go bankrupt time and time again have deeper issues than simply overspending. Perhaps one being that they just don’t CARE? They’ve gotten away with “avoiding” debt once, maybe they feel like there aren’t any consequences? I dunno…I feel like certain people just don’t WANT to have good finances sometimes. Like it’s too adult-like or something. A counselor could help wake them up though and shake some financial sense out of ‘em! It’s not like you have to cut out ALL spending, you know? You just do it in a reasonable way :)

So please, if you’re in financial trouble, ASK FOR HELP! Don’t teach your kids to be psycho little spending machines – own your actions and take responsibility. You’ll feel a lot better about it too!


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily March 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

It’s unfortunate because I think a lot of the kids do end up making the same mistakes their parents did. I had a roommate whose parents had declared bankruptcy when she was younger and I saw her headed down the exact same path. I watched her go on countless spending sprees and lease an apartment (towards the end of our being roommates) that was well beyond 1/3 of her income (the apartment would have been pricey for me and I made about $15k more per year!). She also had a few hobbies that she really couldn’t afford. Sometimes as friends it can be hard to point out what the person is doing wrong without seeming critical. It’s hard to convince somebody that they are being irresponsible and need help – especially when they saw their parents go through it and come out just fine. One solution would be to start offering more personal finance education in school – help people to end the vicious cycle and to understand credit and budgets. Not everyone is proactive enough to read personal finance books and blogs on their own.

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2 Jeff March 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm

I was just at a dinner with family I haven’t seen in a few years. They files for “B” and are still living it up. I can’t believe it!! I just makes me sick. I work my butt off trying to do the right thing in life and they just keep on keepin’ on.

Welcome to Wordpress my friend, I hope you enjoy it :-)

Jeff
p.s. Thanks for adding comment subscription, much easier to follow the comment threads.

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3 myfinancialobjectives March 13, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Wow I wish this was a joke. Some people just have a completely different mindset. It’s hard for me to try and place myself in the mindset of the person you mentioned. I really am trying to do it, and I don’t know HOW I could do the things you described considering the circumstances, I REALLY cant!

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4 lenciB March 13, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Wow. Its interesting to see how other people think. I guess common sense isn’t really all that common. Have a great weekend :)

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5 Ted March 14, 2010 at 1:07 am

But don’t they need to unwind? Just kidding.

I feel like bankruptcy is such a last ditch effort that it would force you to change. Guess not. I worry that some folks use it as an easy out.

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6 Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black March 14, 2010 at 2:49 am

I don’t get it. I really don’t. It’s like women who live in gargantuan houses with their families then complain that they can’t afford to stay home with their kids. I feel so mean even saying that, but really. Why can’t they see that sometimes it’s about choices and not about level of income?

What’s even sadder, is the women I know who would love to downsize, to make different choices. But their husbands are unwilling. Their homes, cars, etc, seem to be badges of honor demonstrating how well they’re providing for their family. It’s about appearances instead of fundamental, conscious choices that reflect what their core values really are, if they would sit down long enough to really assess what’s important to them.

And thus ends my rant.

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7 Simple in France March 14, 2010 at 4:21 pm

You know. . .this is one of those posts and one of those moments that reminds me that DH and I are basically financial freaks. We have no debt and an emergency fund. We’ve always had cheap, old cars and we’d never eat at an expensive restaurant and go clothes shopping in the same weekend . . .

We feel normal, but I guess we’re not.

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8 J. Money March 14, 2010 at 10:53 pm

@Emily – Oh yeah, def. hard to tell a good friend of yours that they’re spending is outta whack. I’ve done it on different occasions as best as I could, but sometimes people just don’t want to change. and it’s sad, esp. when kids are involved and other relationships :( But better to try to talk sense into them than not!
@Jeff – Would/does make me sick too! Glad you like the new site bro, I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to finally cross over :) It’s like I just went through a Blogger bankruptcy! haha…I now see the light!
@myfinancialobjectives – Maybe you have to pretend you’re invincible? Or that money is fake? ;)
@lenciB – True that my friend. When it comes to money, common sense can get thrown out the window unfort…
@Ted – Definitely an easy out. Maybe not for all people & situations, but for the majority. What’s crazy to me is that people can file MORE than once. Maybe even 3-4 times? Who knows….I feel like getting the chance to start over again once is nice have as a worst case scenario, but multiple times after that? No way…it’s pretty obvious no ones changing their patterns here.
@Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black – Amen sister! I agree that most times it IS about choices over salary & income. The more you have, the more choices of course, but no one is forcing you to live in a house 3x as big as one you need. And that’s not to say that it’s wrong to do that, but just that you understand the tradeoffs. It’s when you complain and start thinking your life is crap instead of doing something about it that gets me.
@Simple in France – Freaks!!! haha…no shame in that my friends ;) got a few of us freaks traveling around the interwebs here…

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9 donkee March 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm

So sad and unfortunate…

I know a couple – also with kids – that are similar. Spend, spend, spend, debt, debt, debt. Got out of debt, then do it all over again.

You’re right in that there is something more than just $ and spending. All the material stuff and the act of acquiring what you think makes you feel happy and fulfilled is the addictive part. There is a lack that the spending or acquiring fulfills, however momentarily. Spending addiction, I guess, is better than drug addiction, at least. Still, help and counseling are needed.

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10 Forest March 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

This kind of sums up everything!!! As much as the bailout and the recession and everything is awful it’s this kind of behavior that will lead to things never being sorted….. I bet these people moaned that the credit card companies forced debt onto them!!!

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11 Stella March 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Ugh. This reminds me of a time I loaned a (now ex-) friend over $500. It was the day before her rent was due, she’d just kicked her alcoholic husband out, her mother (and only stable family member) had died six months earlier and she was fearing eviction. I told her to take the money and pay her rent–but it was right before Christmas so she ended up using a chunk of it to buy presents for her two little girls. I can understand not wanting to let down kids, but what six year-old needs an iPod shuffle? Especially when you’re applying for food stamps?

Unbelievable.

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12 J. Money March 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Wow…yeah that is not cool. I’m telling you, people are off the chain sometimes… I don’t ever like wishing them ill will, but I DO wish something would happen to get them to wake the f up.

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13 The Personal Finance Blog March 16, 2010 at 2:07 am

People’s spending habits are way out of sync. It doesn’t help that pop culture portrays “wealth” as “having money to blow”. People spend all their money on flash even if they can’t afford it, but stuff of substance gets left out.

Reading “The Millionaire Next Door” should be mandatory, lol

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14 J. Money March 16, 2010 at 10:50 am

AGREED! Freakin’ awesome book. In my top 5 books ever.

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15 Jason March 20, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Not all who file bankruptcy are irresponsible. My husband and I are being forced to file bankruptcy because a business we were in was destroyed by a bank and a con artist attorney. We are losing everything we owned because we were set up and scammed. Not only are we destroyed financially, but many of our coworkers, friends and associates have lost their jobs as well, and are unable to find work.
Our vehicles and even our lawnmower has been taken. We are driving a 25 year old car loaned to us by a friend.
I would like to hear from others who have gone through such scams and con games and have been beaten to a pulp. How they feel, what do to get through the day, and whether it is even possible for two 68 year old retirees with nothing left to survive? At this point, we have been through so much hell, so many lawyers that play paper games and then require more money, and so many promises that are never met, that we are thinking the only thing left to do is to simply end it all. If either of us get sick with a major illness, that will be the only choice left.

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16 J. Money March 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Oh no!!!! I hope you’re not talking about your lives here :( I can’t imagine what you two are going through, but living is the one thing we all have right now! Can’t take that away – and you guys have each other to lean on :)

Maybe you can find a group at church or your local community center? There are TON of support groups out there in almost all cities and developments, that would be the first place I’d look. And of course, poking around all our blogs online would be certain to find you someone in a similar situation. Each of our sites offer a different spin and background, and there are PLENTY in debt believe me.

Keep on searching around my friends, you’re bound to come across a helpful group! :) And if you’re religious (or even if you’re not) try praying! It may seem lame to those who don’t believe, but I really think they help. I shall shoot you over some myself as soon as I hit submit :) You guys will be fine!!!!

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17 Aine March 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Interesting that you felt were able to bring up this point because I’ve seen the other side of the devestation debt can bring into a person’s life. It’s so annoying when people behave as you protrayed because it definitely gives the wrong impression to all those who suffer in debt and in a lot, if not the majority, of cases through no fault of their own.

Jason’s comment above is not untypical and having just about survived the last recession, and wrote a book about it, I totally feel for him and his wife. Desperation is making him talk like that and unless you have been in the situation, most people can have no idea of how it feels. It’s devesting for everyone in that position but it is not the end.

He knows how to make comments, so believe me he can make money online within a couple of months at the latest.

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