Homelessness is one of the most stressful situations a person could face, not unlike the fear of death, divorce or serious illness. If you know you are going to become homeless, or you feel it is becoming more and more likely, because you have stopped paying your mortgage or your rent, and the weight of the creditors and the force of the legal system is bearing down upon you, you may find yourself preparing for the worst.
Homelessness brings with it a host of problems and difficulties. One of them is the loss of connectedness and sense of self worth. In order to stay connected, it is vital to hold on to certain things. The easiest among these is a cell phone. If you have a cell phone, you have a possibility of contacting someone, someone who might have a job for you or a place to stay, or something to eat. And if you have a cell phone, other people have the possibility of getting into contact with you.
Most people who have cell phones receive a monthly bill from their carrier. But in order to receive a monthly bill, you need a mailing address, even if you don't have a residence address. In order to have a mailing address, you will need a mailbox.
There is a way however to own a cell phone without getting monthly bills in the mail. You can buy a prepaid phone card. For example, for $20.00 you can obtain a phone card and you can make arrangements to pay them over the phone. A phone needs an address. And even if you can overcome that problem, a phone needs a means of paying for it. The best way to pay for things is to have a bank account with a debit card. We are looking at four basic requirements:
You need a place to put your money. Even if you are homeless, that does not mean you are penniless. It is very useful to have a bank account, and a difficult thing to be without one. Without a bank account, you are essentially dependent on cash, and the only place to store your cash is on your person. This is not an ideal state of affairs.
If you can somehow maintain a bank account with a balance as little as $100.00, you have that element of stability, and if you have the debit card that goes with the bank account, then you are in the position of being able to pay your cell phone bill. With some companies, you can make arrangements to have the phone company take the minimum fee out of your bank account when your cell phone credit is falling low, and that can be as little as $15.00.
If you have a bank account, especially in the larger banks, you have access to ATM machines, and you can take money out of the bank in increments of $20.00. Every time you use your debit card and ask for $20.00, the ATM machine will give you an opportunity of seeing how much is in your bank account. If you do not have sufficient funds in your account, the machine will tell you so but it is not a good idea to allow this situation to occur, because there always is a possibility that the machine will not give you back your card.
It is essential to remain on good terms with your bank, and that means maintaining a minimum balance and not attempting to spend money you do not have. Also, the bank will charge you a monthly fee because your balance is so low. You may feel, given your dire circumstances, that you do not want to pay a monthly fee to the bank, however small it may be, but this is a mistake. Having a bank account is often critical to keeping one in connection with the rest of the world.
So let us hope, that before you became homeless you planned it out in advance, so that you managed to maintain a bank account, a debit card and a cell phone.
For more information on debtor’s rights, bankruptcy, and surviving homelessness visit GotTrouble.com