Whether you filed bankruptcy a month ago or just made the 60th payment of your Chapter 13 Plan, you may wonder why you have to take a financial management class. If you find information you wish you had known a long time ago, don't look back, remember it's what you do in the future that counts. This course is about looking forward, setting new goals, and preparing for great things ahead.
It’s time to look forward. You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it. What’s important to you? Don't use the standards of other people, including friends and well-meaning family members. Set new goals and make plans to achieve them. Your goals will help you organize your life and it will become easier to make decisions about what you want and what you truly need. Your attitude and time management skills will make a difference. Put your failures in perspective and celebrate your successes.
Where do you stand – financially - right now? Do you know how much money you have to pay your bills each month? Where and how much do you spend each day, week, month? You need an emergency fund in the event of a big, unexpected expense. Learn the suggested guidelines for allocating your monthly income and how you can adjust your spending habits.
Learn how to analyze your shopping habits and how they contribute to or detract from you goals - or pull you away from your plans. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Learn the tactics used by retailers to trick you into buying on impulse. What role will debt and credit play in your future? We live in a credit based society. If you want a good credit score, you have to use credit, but what is a safe amount? Learn to play the credit game safely and win.
Information is in abundance online, but some resources are more trustworthy than others. Protect yourself from Identity Theft. Learn to analyze various sources of information. Research large purchases before you buy. Know where you can get ongoing credit counseling assistance. Reach out to support groups that can help you stay on track to accomplish your goals. Know the debt warning signs.
Wish I would have known this information earlier in life.
S.G., New City, NY