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Refer to the Bankruptcy Network. What bankruptcy will do is give you back up when you want to say NO to any family members or friends who continue to ask for money.

You know what I am talking about. Your kids or adult children, parents, or friends who continue to hound you about money, and you just can’t say no to them. You try to say no, you know you should say no, but you just can’t bring yourself to say the word, no. Why is that? Throughout the years, I have discovered my clients feel incredibly guilty when saying no to just about anyone.

Guilt is a fascinating emotion that if allowed to exist unchecked, will lead to spending patterns that may lead to a bankruptcy filing. Think about those people in your life who are stingy with their time or money. Man, they have no trouble uttering the word no even before you have finished the question. Tell me your first thought when that person says no. Are you mad? Do you think they are self-centered or just plain rude? Do you think they feel guilty for saying no? I will tell you, I used to be shocked when people said no to me when I asked for their time or money for donations to a cause so I recognize the guilt emotion.

However, the older I get, the more envious I become of those who truly have the strength to say no. Some people are downright stingy and self-centered, but many others have learned the valuable lesson of self-preservation through the power of, NO! They value their time and resources and will choose very wisely on when, where, and how they will spend these assets. You too need to take a moment and learn the superpower of saying, NO.

It will not be easy as every action will have an equal and opposite reaction. Meaning, as you become more comfortable with saying no to requests the more people will ask what is wrong with you or why are you mad at them? Your answer should be; I am putting me first. You are not being selfish for taking this stand but rather you are placing value on your time and financial resources.

How hard did YOU work to obtain your money? Did you work 1-2 jobs? Did you work overtime? Did you work on holidays and weekends? Did you do without something you wanted or needed simply because you gave your money to someone who asked for “a loan”? A loan that you have not seen the repayment even though it has been months or years since you initially gave them your money. Now ask yourself, what is the person who is asking for money willing to do?

Have they tried to get a job? Any job? If they have a job, are they trying to pick up extra hours? Have they tried to sell something to make ends meet? Have they offered to do a job for you as an effort to help out if you give them a loan? We could go on and on, but more often than not, the answer is still going to be no. Why? Because they know you will feel guilty and eventually give them the money they requested.

Break this pattern of financial insanity and use your superpower of saying NO! How does this magical power work? You tell whoever is asking for money: No, I may not give you any money because my attorney and I have worked out a budget. In this budget, there is absolutely no room for me to give you any money at this time. You can even say you have signed the bankruptcy schedules under penalty of perjury of law, therefore, by giving them money you place yourself at risk for breaking federal law. Finishing by informing them you rather not spend five years in Leavenworth for lying to the court.

Learning to say no is truly a superpower that will provide you with a tremendous amount of strength. It won’t be easy at first but then learning to walk for the first time wasn’t easy either but today you can do it without thinking.

You may wield this superpower with great caution and consideration. Analyze each request as to whether you can afford your time or finances. Make a pro and con checklist to see if the pros outweigh the cons. You will make two columns. In the pro column, you will list all the reasons why the request is a good one and you might say yes. In the con column, you will list all the reasons the request is not a good one, and therefore, the answer should be no. In the analysis ask the question, what is this person willing to do to assist with the request? If the answer is nothing, your answer should immediately be no. Otherwise, review the final work product and see which column has more answers, that will be the way you should consider the request.

The practice of listing out the pros and cons will assist you in making an educated decision about answering any request. The more you practice this technique the easier it will become. Soon you will catch yourself running a pro and con list in your head as to whether or not the request is even worth considering.

Remember, knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have about valuing your time, money, and resources, the greater chance you will have to use your superpower of saying, NO!

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida. For more information, go to our web site or call 727-335-7151.