We all make financial choices. And when our financial situations change, sometimes, denial becomes our choice.
I watched The Company Men this weekend. Ben Affleck is stellar as a top notch salesman who doesn’t want to believe that his sports car, country club membership and savings can disappear when he’s suddenly let go from his job. Things go from bad to worse when his mortgage is set to readjust. Not making any changes to his spending habits, he eventually finds himself and his family of four moving back into his parents home while he takes a job working construction with his brother-in-law. He was making $120,000 a year when he lost his job. Some folks who wind up in that situation don’t have family and friends to fall back on. It doesn’t really matter if you were making more or less than $120,000 when financial crisis hit your world.
Financial woes can hit anyone. Just ask Patricia Kluge. She was once dubbed the “wealthiest divorcee in history” by the Huffington Post, due to a 1990 divorce settlement that was believed to have been upwards of $1 billion. Fast forward 21 years and Patricia and her husband have gone bankrupt. Like Americans who are making $40,000 or $120,000 a year, they’re doing what 1.6 million others found themselves having to do last year. Find a way to get on with their lives, discharge their debts and start fresh. And lest you think Patricia Kluge is yet another big money person who tried to stash away her assets before going bankrupt, think again. For the past two years, Kluge has pared down her spending, sold off her 300-plus acre estate (at a loss), sold millions of dollars worth of her jewelry, expensive antiques, furniture and even her vineyard (which was snapped up at a bargain by Donald Trump). She used the proceeds to stave off the creditors. But once the assets are gone (just like once your savings are gone), what’s the next step to take?
Bankruptcy is never an easy decision. Avoiding bankruptcy often requires some hard choices. You can deny that these choices need to be made for as long as you want. Or you can start making different decisions every day. It starts by taking a serious look at the financial situation in your life today, and the attitudes and beliefs you have about money. Then it takes a willingness to determine what your true best financial moves may be, without emotion, without fear.
If you’re worried about losing your job, your home, your marriage, your respect or your children, or you already have and want to do something different, there are amazing resources available to you. Start here and be proactive. Today you can declare your independence from past financial choices. Today.
Go to www.paulalangguthryan.com/freestuff and download the Heal Your Relationship With Money workbook. Answer the questions in the workbook. Download a copy of How to Know if It’s Time to File Bankruptcy and read it even if you don’t think bankruptcy is right for you. Wherever you are in your financial situation right now, there is a way out. There’s a way back to peace of mind. Decide that you’re ready to walk that road, and you will be.