While it’s difficult for everyday Wisconsin residents to relate to jet-setting celebrities, the situation that Hollywood star Nicolas Cage finds himself in could be instructive for all of us. Because of international spending sprees involving multiple mansions, yachts, and cars, the otherwise highly paid actor and Oscar winner is said to be broke and teetering towards bankruptcy. In addition to creditors coming after him, Cage owes $6 million in back taxes to the IRS, and is separately squaring off in court against an ex-business manager and an ex-girlfriend over money matters.

Bankruptcy was set up primarily for hardworking, down-to-earth citizens to get out of debt and start over on a more productive path. Usually lavish celebrity level spending or risky investments aren’t part of it. Unlike Cage or others in that rich circle, most ordinary consumers consider bankruptcy help in Milwaukee or throughout the state because of such events like being thrown out of work, divorce, excessive credit bard bills, huge medical costs, legal judgments, or becoming upside down on a mortgage or car loan. In short, things that are often beyond an individual’s control. With that in mind, during these recessionary times, and even during the holiday season, monitor your spending carefully. Make good choices; concentrate on the essentials and avoid impulse buying. And don’t necessarily assume that your job is locked in; budget accordingly. You don’t have to be a celebrity to quickly get in over your head without sufficient income.

Despite your best efforts, if you simply can’t make ends meet, act quickly. Cage as well as other persons regardless of income bracket find out that overdue bills simply don’t go away. Creditors can become very aggressive very fast. Contact a debt consolidation lawyer with your questions about the bankruptcy laws in Wisconsin and how to manage your debt. It may be in your best interests, and the best interests of your family, to consider an individual bankruptcy in Wisconsin depending upon your specific circumstances and obligations.