01 Oct Proverbs 12:19 Lying will never save you.
Proverbs 12:19 says truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed. What in the world does this have to do with debt and or bankruptcy? Think back to the last credit card purchase or even a cash purchase that you made. Now I want you to be painfully honest with yourself. Don’t worry, I cannot hear your thoughts so there is no reason that you cannot be honest with yourself.
When you made that purchase was it something that you needed? Really? Now let’s say that particular purchase was necessary. What about other purchases over the past year? Were they all necessary or did you tell yourself a lie to make yourself feel less guilty about the purchase? You might have told yourself that you needed or deserved that purchase. Maybe you told yourself that you could budget and afford the credit card payments. Whatever statement you made in your head it was probably a lie to yourself. You might have told yourself the same lie over and over so many times you believe it to be the truth.
If you are not in debt or your credit cards are paid on time while not cutting back on a basic budget than this blog does not pertain to you. But for the rest of you let’s see if some light can be shed on how even little lies can lead to debt. Many of my clients tell me different stories of what they were thinking when they charged their way to bankruptcy. Nine times out of ten the snowball of debt started with a little white lie. “I need a credit card to build my FICO score”, “I deserve the new Wii because I work so hard”, or “I will be able to handle the payments if I take on a second job” are among some of the common stories aka lies that I hear.
Lying unfortunately will get you no where but into trouble. These lies are not meant to be mean or cause injury but the lie does cause injuries. One lie leads to another lie which leads to another which eventually leads to bankruptcy, divorce, unemployment or even death. Yes, honesty 24/7 can be exhausting. Sometimes it may not make your friends or family happy but it just maybe help you get out of debt and prevent you from repeating your past financial mistakes.
I have discussed this issue several times throughout Debt Law Network but I think it must be repeated. As of today bankruptcy filings for individuals has reached over 1,046,449. In 2008 the filings were 1,074,225 for the entire year. The 2009 filings will far surpass that number. Why do the numbers continue to climb? Because Americans continue to get further into debt thinking that they will one day be able to dig their way out. This is a lie they tell themselves as a way of coping with their debt load but the lie does not work.
The only way to get out of debt is one step at a time. You did not get into debt overnight, generally, and you will not get out of debt overnight. The first step is being honest with yourself and stop lying. Stop charging if you cannot afford to pay off the debt. Don’t go out to eat when you cannot afford to pay cash and still put food on the table at home or pay the mortgage. Ask for help from a qualified bankruptcy attorney or credit counselor to review your options.
There are ways to take control of your financial life but remember that honesty is going to be your best policy. No matter what the media says the nation’s economy is not going to turn around for a very long time. Although I too hope and often pray that the Powerball will allow me to open my free bankruptcy clinic but the reality is that there is no magic to getting out of debt or building a nest egg. It takes hard work, patience and often times help from qualified professionals. I have faith that you can take control of your finances. I have also have faith that you can break the habit of lying and build a new habit of being honest with yourself.
Remember that knowledge is power and the more knowledge you have the more power you will have to stop the habit of lying and begin regaining financial control today.
Written by Rachel Lynn Foley, Kansas City, Missouri Bankruptcy Attorney.