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Andy Masaki On 9th Jan,18
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Dealing with financial fears even after being debt free!
Today the Sun is shining bright!

I have cleared off my debts, my life has changed, and days seem relaxing more than ever!

But still, I sometimes have this strange jerk within me that triggers my financial anxiety, especially at night!

Probably I don’t have any more debts around me, but becoming debt-free didn’t erase my financial fears. It feels like I had been in a nuclear war with money in the past years, and the postwar nightmares need time to wear off!

In this article, I will try to talk about my financial fears and how I am fighting them.

What type of debts I carried in the past:

To tell you the truth, I filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

Since then, things have changed significantly.

My situation before filing bankruptcy was very stressful and hard! I had credit card debts and payday loans that amounted to some $50,000.

My mortgage payments got delayed for a long time. The only thing I owned outright was my Honda Civic!

In total, I had nearly $150,000 debt to pay off. Also, I suffered job loss twice between 2012 and 2013. My second job loss compelled me to file for bankruptcy.

Things worsened as I started to have frequent nervous breakdowns. Episodes of prolonged anxiety made my nights sleepless and my days dangerous!

The only people who stood beside me in those wicked times was my family.My sweet wife Stephanie and my two kids, Jason and Sara.

Whenever I used to look at those beautiful faces, I got strength to fight back my financial mess!

How I got rid of my debts:

First thing I did to clear my payday loans was to sell my Honda Civic! That was a hard thing to do as I loved that car a lot!

The calls from the collectors got violent, and I was left with no other option than selling my car to get rid of debts quickly!

Then, all of a sudden, I lost my job. In no time, my credit card debts soared high. I kept defaulting on my mortgage payments and started to suffer from both financial and nervous breakdowns.

My wife used to sit with me every day telling things will be okay one day, and I was like when will that ‘one day’ come?!

She then decided that I need financial therapy and she needs to get a job! We worked out our plans.

She started to work for a decent software company, and I went to meet a financial counsellor, along with regular visits to my personal psychologist!

After several counseling sessions, I finally chose bankruptcy Chapter 13 (because I could keep my house) and started to clear off my debts gradually.

Last month, after 4 long years of war with my debts, I cleared off the last penny and became debt free.!

But am I successful? I guess when a war ends, the battle begins!

My present situation and my financial fears!

I am debt-free!

But I can’t get rid of my financial fears.

The questions that I ask every day and try to answer them in my mind:

  • How long will this happiness last?
  • I haven’t dealt with medical debts yet. What if I fall ill? No man, I got to stay fit and healthy!
  • What if I suffer a third job loss? How will I face myself in the mirror?
  • My wife, is she enjoying her life with me? Do I bring in a lot of pressure to her wonderful life?
  • Will I be able to maintain this frugal lifestyle forever? I used to be a hipster in my teen days, a vagabond in my 20s, and a loser for the whole life! What if I fail again and again and again?
  • Will these anxiety and panic issues ever go away from my life?
  • Will my children be able to live a financially successful life? I am going to make sure that they do!
  • What if I die? There are so many things left to be done. So many dreams to be made true. So many horizons to cross!

It’s very hard to answer these questions. I tell you man, I freeze from inside, and chills go down my spine when I try to imagine these scenarios!

But yeah, there’s always a silver lining. If all that I have learned from my life is that darkness can never remain forever, the light will come! Trust me it really comes!!

Things that I do now!

As a one-liner, you can say, I don’t spend much these days!

I maintain a very frugal lifestyle. I barely use my credit cards, and I am targeting good savings for the future.

In fact, people nowadays consult me before making big decisions in finance!

I am writing articles and blogs to help people avoid the financial hassles I experienced in my life!

My situation obviously improved in the past couple of years!

I got another car recently and I own my house outright. My children are happy, so am I! My wife and I seldom quarrel these days, and my life has overall changed for good!

The closure!

Money is probably not the only thing in life, but it seriously opens up the doors to all the important things in life!

If you can use money tactfully, you will start to understand how money can help you stay confident, motivated and optimistic in life!

So, even though I have these fears of failing again, I know pretty well that money and I are now friends. Together with my family, we will fight any misfortune that befalls on us!

Because today, I can hear the wind sing of a better tomorrow!

Today the world feels like a beautiful place to live in!

Today my family relies on me more than ever!

Today I can sip my warm coffee in peace!

Today I just can’t wait to see my family as my work gets over!

Today I can at least close my eyes and kiss the golden sun rays falling on my face!

Because today the Sun is shining bright!
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