Many banks have accounts for kids that have no minimum balance. After my divorce I started requiring my kids to save a minimum of 10% of all cash they get. They didn’t like it at first, less money in their pockets to spend, but when that first bank statement came (3 months later) they got excited about how those little amounts plus interest added up. Being kids they aren’t willing to save much else beyond that yet but I hope that changes as they get older and have the change to earn more money.
I just started taking a couple of classes earlier this month and I’m paying for it with my own money. Believe me, I’m putting a whole lot more effort into the classes and the homework because it’s my money at risk. If the classes aren’t passed then I’ll have to put up the same amount if not more to repeat them.
Don’t know if this will help but i went through Orchard Bank (orchardbank.com) and got a secured credit card with a $200 limit. I try my best to just use it for gas and groceries and pay if off every month except for once but even then I paid half of what had been charged and didn’t use it at all for the next month. I feel exactly like you do and that is why we are trying to pay off the debts and help our daughter with her tuition. But once again it is the end of the month and payday is not until the 31st and we are below zero in the account. Life just stinks.
From what I can tell the credit companies still only get a percentage of what you owe in a bankruptcy. It seems to me that it would still be in their best interest to negotiate with you directly and not the courts. They will get more and quicker.