Monday, January 21, 2008

Bankruptcy Misconceptions

One of the few people in my life that know I am bankrupt is my friend James (though I do get this feeling he's told everyone in my former circle of friends......). James has a milestone birthday the end of this month. He turns 50. I had planned on getting him a nice card, a small present (part of his Christmas present that never made it to his Christmas box) or two tastefully wrapped and sent to him. He does not live locally to me and we only see each other once or twice a year, but talk on the phone and via e-mail a lot.

Being bankrupt has not given me unlimited access to funds. I still have next to no savings (slowly working on that), I'm feeling better and better able to budget and take back control of my life, my self esteem is on the rise, but what I don't have is a lot of money to spend on presents, milestone birthdays or not. I just don't have it. Christmas was lean in terms of giving, I was lucky to get some very nice gifts, but by no means a present fest. Buying my new TV was a stretch, but I'm not going to be spending hundreds of dollars each month on new electronics, gifts or toys.

I spoke to James over the weekend and he said he was expecting a lavish gift for his 50th. He's not kidding either. I know that for a fact. I told him I was working on a budget and would find him something nice, his response "You don't have any debt, you can spend your money on me". There are many things I love about James, but his attitude on gifts is not one. And right now his gift attitude is grating on my last nerve.

I did have a few choice responses to that, but they are not polite and won't be posted. My actual response to him was I am trying to get my savings back in order, presents for folks are not a priority. He would get a present but don't expect a lavish one. ( and now that I think about it, he never sent me a birthday gift or card this year tisk, tisk).

James (and I'm sure others) have the misconception that once your bankruptcy is discharged, you have tons of money. Not the case in a C13 where you have to pay back your creditors and not my case in this C7. I have some money leftover once I pay my bills, but it's not a lot of money. And I had no savings to speak of. What little money I was able to save up went towards things like new transmissions, car repairs, and unexpected vet bill, medical bills and doctors visits not covered by insurance, etc.

I just wonder what other misconceptions are out there........


SavingDiva said...

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about Bankruptcy because people aren't very open about it. It's so scary and hush hush. I know a few people that filed for bankruptcy (I don't know if they know that I know), but they NEVER talk about I don't know anything about it!

Jana said...

Wow. How rude to ASK for a lavish gift. How rude to EXPECT a lavish gift. Wow. Good for you for putting yourself first and saving... you had even planned to send something with a card. What a generous and giving person you are. But you are absolutely right in building savings, paying bills and staying away from the debt region.