As the daylight of summer begins to leave us, we move into one of the most stressful times of year.

In some ways I enjoy the colder months, because it gives me quality time to hide away and think a lot about what my goals are, what I enjoy right now and what I where I want to see change.

For me, I’m focusing a lot on my finances right now. It’s been a rough year in that for me. Starting my own business, getting to grips with accounting, and trying to make enough income to make ends meet – all challenges I have had to face.

Us Brits’ don’t talk about our money very much, and I think that’s a real shame. If we can be more open and honest about something as personal as our finances, we show others that we are vulnerable. And whilst that is with its own challenges, it’s when we’re most vulnerable that we can find growth or positive change.

So for me, telling you that I have had a rough old time with my finances in the past year (and in fact, my whole life) is me telling you I am willing to be vulnerable on this subject. Because I want to learn, to grow, and to not make the same mistakes. I’ve not been shy about how my debts have affected my mental health in the past, because it’s really important to know that there is a link there.

Do you have a hold on your money? Do you know what’s coming in and when, what’s going out and why? If you don’t know these things, then you are choosing to relinquish control.

If you can’t stay in control of your finances, how can you hope to be in control of anything else in your life? Like your mind, your body, your emotions, your opportunities.

If you don’t feel in control, then I’d like to suggest a few resources that have helped me:

  1. Debt Problems (MoneySavingExpert)
  2. Mental Health & Debt Guide (MoneySavingExpert)
  3. Financial Wellbeing Podcast
  4. Monzo Bank (the prepaid card – my favourite tool for budgeting effectively)

The trick is you need to start somewhere, with something you need more control over, but without allowing yourself to become overwhelmed

Stick with one lesson at a time. And soon enough, you’ll have a good understanding of the basics. I wouldn’t call myself a professional in the area of finances, but as I speak to others I realise that most people don’t know some of the basics about finances, credit cards, interest rates, and all that scary stuff – because they choose to not engage with it.

If you engage with your finances, and put in a little effort, it gets much less scary and easier to deal with.