Debt consolidation is a proven effective debt solution for some consumers. The program itself is effective - but only if you learn your lesson.

When you opt for a debt consolidation program or loan, your debts will be combined into one through a single payment program. That can mean you have enlisted the help of a third party company (debt management/credit counseling agency) where you will send all your payments and they will distribute it for you. It can also mean you have taken out a big loan so you can pay off your other debts and concentrate on paying off this single debt.

This program will help you pay off your debt - that is true, but learning how to keep yourself out of debt will depend on how you discipline yourself. To complete the effects of debt consolidation, you have to learn how to do this. It is the only way that you can effectively achieve the ultimate goal of all debt relief programs - financial freedom.

One of the things that you can do is to create a budget plan that will help you see the overall condition of your finances. You total your income, identify your expenses and list your debts. As you go through your debt payments, you need to update this to monitor the progress of your debt consolidation efforts.

This budget plan will help you put your monthly expenses under strict diet. As you are paying off your debts, you don’t really have the choice but to let go of certain expenses. Your budget will identify the items that you can remove from your regular expenses.

When you are under a debt consolidation program - especially when you used a loan to pay off your credit card debt, the temptation to keep charging your cards will constantly be there. You need to learn how to get over this and stop using your cards. It is hard to pay off a debt that continues to accumulate. Make the decision to stop putting yourself further in debt.

To help you with that, you have to learn how to live within your means. Train yourself to have the mindset that if you cannot pay for something in cash, you should not buy it. If there is a big purchase that you want to make, save for it first instead of racking up a new debt on your credit card just so you can avail of something immediately.

Growing your emergency is also a must for you to learn. Though most of your extra money is going to your debt consolidation payments, you have to set aside a small amount to save for a rainy day. Grow your emergency fund so that when something happens, you don’t have to put yourself in debt to get out of that situation.

The debt consolidation program can only help you get rid of debt but staying debt free is all up to you. Learn from your mistakes to enjoy financial freedom for the rest of your life.

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