It is very easy to look back on an important financial decision that you made and wished that you had never made it. Sometimes these financial decisions lead down the path to bankruptcy. While there may be some circumstances in which the decision is unavoidable, there are also certain steps that you can take to make sure that you are in the best circumstances to evaluate the pros and cons of purchasing, investing or spending. Hopefully some of these tips can assist you in making a financial decision that you will not regret later.

Don’t wait until the last minute – Research automobile and housing purchases well in advance of any expected need. You have probably heard the expression “don’t go to the grocery store hungry”. This same concept can apply to consumers who wait until the last minute to go car shopping or homebuying. If you are expecting a new child and realize that your existing transportation will be inadequate, start vehicle shopping well before the child is born. SAFEGUARDING YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE PT1 If you are looking to buy a home at the time that your existing apartment lease expires, start your research early. Don’t wait until you have less than 60 days left on your existing lease to begin home shopping in earnest. SAFEGUARDING YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE PT2 While many financial decisions are made on a week to week or even day to day basis, the purchase of a home or automobile will probably be the biggest purchases that you make and deserve an equivalent amount of time and research. Having to finance these types of purchases because you are running out of time and options will inevitably lead you to paying more, both in purchase price and interest, that could cost you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Don’t cave to pressure sales tactics – Whether it be financing a car, or something as simple as discussing a change in your cellular service, don’t be afraid to call timeout. If you don’t understand what is being presented to you, or don’t feel like you are given the option of comparing other purchases/plans, then just walk away. TEN MISTAKES WHICH CAN LEAD TO BANKRUPTCY This can also apply if you are requested by a family member to cosign a debt for them. Many of our clients who have cosigned debts reported that a sense of urgency was conveyed to them, and that in some cases the salesman actually came to their homes or places of work to get their signature. COSIGNERS AND BANKRUPTCY

Don’t be distracted – Trying to weigh the cost and benefits of purchasing a house or test driving a car should require your full concentration. If you are worried about work, or have not been getting adequate sleep, or if you are having to herd three young children while home shopping, it may be easy to forget questions that you wish to ask, or to properly consider the short-term and long-term financing consequences. If you are not in a position to commit your full mental faculties to the decision, then wait until you are less distracted to gather information and make a decision.

Get it in writing – If it’s not in the contract, it does not count. Any promises to refinance the loan on more favorable terms after six months or one year of the agreement are unenforceable if they are not in the contract. If you are told by a salesman or representative that such “promises” are not required to be in writing, then you should move on.

Again, we at Leiden and Leiden, P.C., we understand that sometimes there is no alternative. If your automobile is totaled in a collision, you will not have the luxury of time to research options if you need reliable transportation to get back and forth to work. IMPORTANCE OF AUTO INSURANCE Likewise, if your dishwasher dies on you, you may have to make a quick decision without comparing all of the competing brands. WEATHER FINANCIAL PITFALLS But if you give all of your mental efforts towards the decision, and resist high pressure and unenforceable promises, you should be able to make a financial decision that you will not regret. If you do make a financial decision that you regret and begins to affect your peace of mind, marital harmony and other finances, then it may be good idea to schedule a free consultation with Leiden and Leiden, P.C.