“Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice’s recent comments during her appearance on “The View” reveals a mentality that can often land post-bankruptcy debtors back in financial trouble.  When asked about her bankruptcy, Giudice said that she has always lived within her means and that she was unaware that there were financial problems because her husband kept the reality of it from her view.

“I always live within my means. Always…Joe didn’t want to worry me,” she said. “He didn’t tell me at first because he thought things were going to get better.”

Giudice’s comments are all too common for debtors who are facing financial troubles and considering bankruptcy.  They believe that they have lived within their means; but what the reality is that they are not always completely aware of what those means really are. Our modern financial landscape can be complex.  Juggling mortgages, auto loans, multiple credit cards and budgeting can be a real challenge for even the smartest amongst us.  It is nothing to be ashamed of if you are not quite aware of where you’re at financially; but it is something that must be fixed if post-bankruptcy debtors want to make the best of their fresh financial start.  Here are a few tips for those exiting bankruptcy:

  1. If your finances are overwhelming you, get help. Spend the money to work with a financial planner who can help you create a “no-brainer” budget that will minimize your chances of overspending after bankruptcy.
  2. Simplify your life by simplifying your bill paying process.  Consider automatic payments from your bank account if you find yourself forgetting to pay bills after your bankruptcy exit.
  3. Never totally hand over the responsibility of your finances to others.  Even if you hire a professional to handle your finances, always keep an eye on what’s happening because ultimately you are responsible for the outcome.