When you decide to make any type of life change, following a plan will help to ease the anxiety and stress that comes with it. With a plan you will need to discipline yourself. When it comes time to consolidate bills, make no mistake, this is a life change and it will require discipline and a plan. When you’ve come to the decision that you need to consolidate bills, it’s not so that you can free yourself to run them up again. It’s so that you can get your debts paid off as painlessly as possible and then not run them up again.
A plan will help you to get through this time of change. You will have to take some time to think about how you spend money, what you can afford to do without, and why you are consolidating bills. As you spend money in the next month or so, take note of everything that you spend money on. At the end of the month, review that spending and decide where you can afford to make cuts. When you consolidate bills you will free up more money each month, but you’ll want to use that money to pay off those debts, as well as use more cash, checks, or a debit card rather than a credit card.
Discipline will be necessary in this time of change. When you go shopping, decide whether you really need it or not. That will start you on your path to saving money. The next time a new blockbuster comes to the movie theater, wait until it comes on video. The popcorn is much less expensive in your living room and the setting much more intimate, and no screaming kids or loud teenagers. Seek out and use coupons whenever possible. Above all, when spending, do not use credit cards unless absolutely necessary.
No one sets out to gather so much debt that they can’t pay it off. Most of us go in with the intention of always being able to pay the bills, but sometimes those bills get alarmingly high. At that time, with a little discipline and consolidating bills, you can again get the best of your finances. Once that control is again in your hands, it’s more important that you learn to keep the new found control. That is again where the discipline comes in. It’s one thing to get yourself out of trouble once through discipline and the decision to consolidate bills, it’s quite another to keep that control by learning to spend wisely.