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You've filed bankruptcy, now it's time to:

  • Reduce or eliminate any remaining debt
  • Avoid future debt
  • Begin emergency & investment funds
  • Budget & manage your finances effectively
  • Rebuild & Improve your credit

Your next step


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Budgeting Aggressively
What The Future Holds

Part 1: Avoid & Manage Debt

 1) Avoid & manage your debt

Point Be aggressive in paying off your debts. The faster you pay them off, the sooner you'll have a peace of mind. 

PointTrack how much debt you have with a spreadsheet, in a notebook, or with free software tools like the Debt Payoff Planner


If you have multiple debt sources, start by paying of the highest interest rate debts first, or by paying off the smallest balance first. After you pay one debt off, you apply that amount to the next debt-it's the snowball effect!


Get a second job (temporarily) or work more hours at your current job to create extra income to pay off your debts. 


Cut your living expenses, eliminate luxury items, and live frugally to create extra income to pay off debts.


Delay purchases on items that aren't immediate needs.


Automate debt payments to ensure that you are paying off your debts consistently. Enrolling in automatic payments can be scary at first, but you'll soon learn the convenience of it is worthy every penny paid down.


Involve others in helping you stay motivated and accountable in your debt-reduction goals.


Consider negotiating with your creditors to settle your debts. 

Plan your future

Download Elizabeth's Monthly Budget Spreadsheet

Download Mint.com's Monthly Budget Template

2) Avoid any further unnecessary debts. However, do invest in the following types of funds

PointEmergency debts for medical/dental expenses, unemployment/underemployment, divorce, family death, natural disasters, or injuries/accidents. 

PointSpending debts for just your needs.
Don't buy on credit, instead save up for bigger purchases.
Avoid impulse spending like clothing, gadgets, travel, restaurants, etc.

1) Limit your credit cards to only 2 or 3. 

2) Pay with cash or debit cards.

3) Avoid payday and short-term loans to avoid paying high interest rates. 

4) Buy a car that is within your means.

5) Live in a home or apartment with a mortgage or rent payment that is well within your means. 

 Building your credit score with credit cards

PointInvestment debts for your home mortgages, student loans or business loans. 

Part 2: Budget & Manage Your Finances Better So You Can Focus on What's Most Important

1) Show self-control and restraintEffective financial management is mainly a matter of self-control! If you can develop the attitude of using your money wisely, finances become easy to manage. 

What's your financial age?

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2) Make a written budget. 

  • PointHaving a written budget, whether on paper, a spreadsheet, or software tool, can help you stay disciplined and track your financial progress.Cut Your Bills in Half
  • PointYou should set goals and keep record of your income, expenses, discretionary income, and savings.
  • PointPay attention to spending on charitable donations, food, rent, utilities, phones, tv, cable, gas, insurance, vehicle maintenance, home maintenance, clothing, debt payments, dates, vacations, and medical expenses.
  • PointAs you stick to your budget, you will avoid wasted spending, avoid debt, and meet your financial goals.
  • PointAllocate planning time to periodically set goals, track progress, and find ways to improve your financial management.
  • PointTo assist you with your budgeting, you can use free budgeting apps!

3) Minimize or eliminate expenses

  • PointDetermining what things in your life are necessities (utilities, food, clothing) and what items are luxuries (eating at restaurants, cable TV, etc) will help you find ways to save. 
  • PointAs you find ways to spend less, you will free up funds to be used towards more important things. For example, you may sell your fancy car and buy a used one, move to a more modest home, eat at home instead of at restaurants, use coupons and wait for sales, or buy more affordable clothing. Every dollar saved adds up and gives you more financial freedom. 

Slash your bills in half



Student Loan Debt

"Even if you were to fall into extreme financial hardship and file for bankruptcy, you need to understand that your student loan debt will not be discharged in bankruptcy. It is the Velcro of all debts."

-Suze Orman, Personal Financial Guru



"You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you."

-Dave Ramsey, Financial Author


The Dangers of Debt Interest

"Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation...it has no love, no sympathy; it is hard and soulless as a granite cliff. Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever  you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you."

-J. Reuben Clark, U.S. Ambassador


Needs and Wants

"We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like."

-Dave Ramsey, Financial Author



Money Management

"If money management isn't something you enjoy, consider my perspective. I look at managing my money as if it were a part-time job. The time you spend monitoring your finances will pay off. You can make real money by cutting expenses and earning more interest on savings and investments. I'd challenge you to find a part-time job where you could potentially earn as much money for just an hour or two of your time."

-Laura D. Adams, Financial Expert



The Importance of Education

"I am concerned that too many people are focused too much on money and not on their greatest wealth, which is their education."

-Robert Kiyosaki, Financial Author

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

-Benjamin Franklin


 4) Increase your income
  • PointAfter using your income as efficiently as possible, you can try to find ways to increase your income by working towards a pay raise, working additional hours, or finding a better-paying job.
  • PointTo make yourself more valuable in the workforce, seek out skills (Ex: web design, home repair), knowledge (Ex: Spanish, accounting)
  • PointAnd formal education (Ex: nursing degree).Set aside time when you aren't working to learn from internet resources and website, online classes, night classes, and internships.
  • PointThe more you know and the more skills you have, the more you can raise your income. 

5) Save for purchases and tough times

  • PointSavings helps you prepare for potentially difficult times and to avoid using credit for purchases. While it requires patience to save, saving can help you avoid many financial troubles.
  • PointSavings helps you prepare for unexpected expenses (Ex: your car breaks down), unemployment, and unexpected opportunities (Ex: invest in a new business).
  • PointShould bad times come, without sufficient savings you will be forced into overusing credit cards and loans to survive. 
  • PointSavings allows you to spend less on items that you want to purchase: appliances, cars, and even homes cost less in the long run if you have money saved up to pay entirely with case or pay a large down payment.
  • PointThe money you save by not having to pay as much interest makes savings worth the effort. 

6) Invest your money

  • PointSaving money will only create wealth for you if you invest it wisely. Once your money is being spent as efficiently as possible, it's time to make your money work for you. Instead of paying interest, you can get paid interest by investing in various opportunities. 
  • PointInvestments are primarily long-term tools, meaning they are fit for saving for retirement, meaning they are fit for saving for retirement, children's educations, or starting a business.
  • PointUse the internet to research various investment strategies (such as bonds, stocks, mutual funds, etc) and choose the investments that will help you reach your goals. You will find satisfaction watching your money grow and compound automatically over time through successful investments. 

How to Increase Your Credit Score After Bankruptcy

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Financial Peace

Fully recover your finances

You're on your way to financial peace.

A new life

Fully recover your personal peace

Today you reclaim what's yours. 

State Bar of Georgia
Lead Counsel

Orson Woodall


Orson Woodall
"Dear Mr. Orson I just got through reading your book, you don't know how much I enjoyed it. After talking to you and reading this book, I feel so much better. Thank you for taking me on as a client and also making me feel comfortable when we met. Have a blessed day. One thing I ask if you please keep me and my family in your prayers." -R.S.
Over 35 years & over 23,000 people helped
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