1 ASKING FOR HELP: If things are getting on top of you, STOP! Take a breath and get real. It’s okay to ask for help. Or get online and search for advice. It’s there on tap.
2 GET THE KNOWLEDGE: Find out what help is on offer and get up to speed on what you can do for yourself. Do a little local research to see which free-to-use charities are around or look up the national advice lines.
3 MOTIVATION: Five frogs are sitting on a log when one decides to jump. How many remain? Well, five if that one does nothing about it. Show you mean business by taking that first step to sort things out.
4 GOALS: Be clear what financial security feels like. Maybe it’s having £500 to fall back on, or earning £50 a week more, or getting clear of debt… or maybe a bit of each. Think how you’ll feel, taking special note of feeling less stressed and generally more able to keep healthy.
5 SAY IT OUT LOUD: Write down your goals, post them on Facebook and tell people you trust what you aim to achieve and make it a matter of pride. Back them up with a few pointers for how you’ll get there and keep a note of your progress.
6 START WITH THE FUN STUFF: Even if it’s just spending you enjoy, chances are new stuff is even better if you bagged a bargain. Like watching things grow? Save coins in a jar or collect bonuses in a savings club (see page 6). Enjoy each step towards achieving your goals.
7 EXPECT THE EXPECTED: Now it’s time to face up to what is expected of you, keeping to agreements you make with people you owe money to or with an employer offering more work. Strike a deal with yourself or your family and be prepared to keep to it.