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All of the tips listed above require you to do something by yourself. This can prove very difficult for people who can't control their spending. If this sounds like you, a better option might be consumer credit counseling. If you are not familiar with this it's where you find a credit counseling agency or company for help. You might be able to find a credit-counseling agency right in your city or town or if not, you could go online and find one. The important thing is to choose a nonprofit as it will charge very little or nothing for its services. Also, make sure you choose a legitimate and reputable one. Unfortunately, there is a host of scam artists out there promoting various credit counseling scams that could leave you in worse shape than before you signed up for the counseling.
What to expect
If you choose credit counseling you will be assigned a debt adviser who will review all of your finances, including your income and your spending. He or she will provide tips and advice for getting your spending under control and will help you develop a budget – if you’ve been unable to do this yourself. In addition, your counselor will work with all of your creditors to get your interest rates reduced to make it easier for you to pay off your debts. He or she will help you create a debt management plan (DMP) for paying off those creditors and will then present it to them. If they all accept your plan, you will no longer have to pay them. Instead, you will send a check to the credit counseling agency and it will distribute the money to your creditors. It normally takes about five years to complete a debt management plan and become debt free.
The pros and cons
The biggest benefits of consumer credit are first, it doesn't mean taking on any new debt and second, you will have just one monthly payment to make that should be dramatically lower than the sum of your current payments. When you have a debt management plan, it will stop all those annoying phone calls from your creditors or bill collectors. Plus, you will be supplied with educational tips and advice that could help you stay on your budget.
The downside of consumer credit counseling is that if you miss just one payment, you could see your debt management plan canceled. You will have to give up all of your credit cards and will be strongly urged to not take on any new revolving debt until you complete your DMP. You could find that your monthly payment was so steep you would have a hard time meeting it. And it might have a negative effect on your credit score, although there are experts who say it will and others who say it won’t.
The biggest obstacle
If you choose consumer credit counseling, it could definitely help you control spending but in the final analysis, it's up to you. You will need to change the way you think about credit and money and break some of those old habits that have been causing you to overspend. Most spending is emotional. We spend money because it gives us an emotional high, because it helps us feel powerful, because we crave immediate gratification or because we’re trying to overcome past problems such as a poverty-stricken childhood. If you truly want to control your spending you have to ask yourself what are your emotional triggers. If you can identify them, this will go a long way towards helping you do better. All you would need to do before making a purchase is ask yourself, "Why am I buying this?" If it's because it would just make you feel good you should go home, wait 24 hours and then ask yourself, “ do I really need to make that purchase or am I just trying to make myself feel better?” If the answer is that it would just make you feel good, don't go back to the store and buy that item. Just remind yourself that it will be far better to keep that money in the bank rather than in the hands of that retailer.
Finally, here’s a video with a few other tips that could help you control your spending.