After your bankruptcy has completed, you need to take steps to make sure that you avoid the same mistakes that helped lead you to bankruptcy. One of the things you can do to get your financial life back in order is to begin to use credit wisely. Not only will using credit wisely help you towards financial prosperity, it will help you get your credit in check sooner rather than later. The following are some quick tips to help you use credit more intelligently.
The first tip is to keep away from any offer that says you can buy something, but pay for it later. These schemes help get a lot of people in trouble, because most people feel that they will have more money in the future than they do right now. What happens is you don't end up saving the money to pay for the item, so you end up getting in financial trouble, or you end up scrapping by to pay for something that has already worn for several months.
The next hint goes hand and hand with the last one. Start saving money and making sure you have the money before buying anything on credit. This seems straightforward enough, but the truth is most people end up buying things on credit that they don't have money for. Again, people always feel that they will have more money in the future than they do right now. Also, your purchases will begin to feel much better when they aren't surrounded by guilt or fear. Guilt in that you know you can afford something and fear about not knowing how you will pay for it.
Next, don't fall for any stores' schemes. A common ploy of stores is to act like their best sale ever is the exact same day that you are in the store. No, you aren't getting the best deal ever for what you are trying to get, so don't fool yourself into believing you are. The idea isn't to discourage you from bargain shopping. You just need to first and foremost only spend what you can afford, and only when you can afford it. There will always be another sale just around the corner.
You could also consider using layaway. Layaway has had a minor resurgence in recent years. Layaway is nice, because it forces you to pay for something completely before you actually take it home.
Finally, you need to always make sure you know what you are getting into with credit purchases. This sounds simple enough, but many people get into bad deals, because they don't take the time to read the fine print. For instance, make sure you know the interest rate that you are going to be charged for something and compare it to competitor offers. Also, check for things like prepayment penalties. Many people are disappointed when they find out that they are being penalized for trying to pay a bill early. In actuality they would have known about the penalty if they would have read the fine print or asked more questions.