Recovering from a bankruptcy by delaying gratification

It’s August 1st, and just about every bankruptcy blog in the nation is fixated on the latest news regarding the debt ceiling and the proposed compromise bill now before Congress, so I thought it would be better to tread a little different ground.

Just for the record though, the United States as a whole can’t file for bankruptcy. Local governments can, and at this writing Jefferson County, Alabama (encompassing Birmingham) is considering it.

If governments are struggling so mightily to pay thier bills, how in the world can an ordinary individual cope? And if you have to file a bankruptcy case to get back on an even footing, how do you prevent yourself from going down the wrong road again?

Tracy at MoneyNING has an excellent post on ten ways to delay gratification so that you end up saving more and cultivating the ability to meet your needs. My favorite is number four — make spending money as cumbersome as possible. This echos a post I wrote last week on the perils of electronic banking. Simply put, the idea is that letting a bank or cresdit card company keep all your accounts for you makes it far too easy to spend money.

As Tracy puts it, “he problem with paying with plastic for many of us is that it just doesn’t seem real enough. Paying with cash can make you think twice and reconsider how much of a need this purchase is.”

Tracy advises putting your savings into a special account just for that purpose, and “making it difficult” to withdraw the funds for special purposes. In other words, no electronic banking!

Follow her advice, stay disciplined, and you will be back on your feet after a bankruptcy a lot quicker than you expected!


By Doug Beaton

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