Sleepover Success In 4 Simple Steps



The first time your child hosts a sleepover, it can feel like an overwhelming proposition. Not only do you have to provide due care and attention for your own kids as standard, but also extend your care to another child, and try and figure out how to keep everyone entertained while providing a bed for a night. Frankly, even for the most experienced of parents, it’s a logistical nightmare.


To try and ease some of the worry you may feel about the task, here are a few essential tips to help you achieve sleepover success on your first attempt.


Choose your time wisely


If you have a large family, then it can be difficult to make room for another child (or more) in your existing space. It thus makes sense to choose your time wisely, such as weekends when your older kids are away at a camp, or when your parents can babysit your youngest. With fewer bodies to think about, you should be able to plan all the more effectively.


Think sleeping arrangements first


Of course, everyone wants to be the parent who provides the great sleepover entertainment that delights and enthrals both your child and their guest(s). However, the most important aspect of a sleepover is to ensure you have adequate sleeping space for everyone. The easiest way to add sleeping space without having to buy an entirely new bed is to opt for huge beanbags or even sleeping bags; items that can otherwise be stored in your child’s room, then called into action when required.


Obtain dietary guidelines


The one thing guaranteed to put a dampener on a sleepover is your guest(s) falling ill, so you’ll need to obtain dietary advice from their parents. If they have allergies or intolerances, then you need to take all the necessary steps to ensure the food you provide avoids any problematic items– you don’t want a sleepover to be cut short because of ill health.


Entertainment thoughts


The urge to go all out when your child is hosting a sleepover is tempting; you want to ensure everyone has the best time imaginable, so you indulge, and even overspend, on ideas. However, for the most part, this is entirely unnecessary. The kids are having a sleepover because they already like one another, so any entertainment will suffice. There’s a great list of simple sleepover entertainment ideas here, so it’s worth reading through and choosing something that you think is appropriate.


Minimal supervision


While this one obviously depends on the age of your children, ideally the less you supervise a sleepover, the higher the chance of a sleepover going well. Kids don’t deal well with their parents’ constant presence, so if they’re old enough to usually be left to their own devices to play, don’t change that habit just because it’s a sleepover. Keep your check-ins sparse, even if you’re just asking if anyone wants a drink, and the night should proceed without a hitch.

The tips above should help ensure the perfect sleepover for you, your child, and their guests– good luck!

Impressing Your Boss So That You’re Considered For A Promotion

A new year is the best time for many to give themselves a kick up the backside to sorting their lives out. Taking your career further is a great example of doing so, but how do you impress your bosses? You might feel like you’re invisible to them, and maybe it’s because you’re not standing out enough for them to consider you for any higher roles within the company. Luckily, here are some great tips on how you can impress your boss so that you’re considered for the next promotion available.

Dress for the job

If you’ve got a uniform that you’re required to wear, make sure that you’re wearing it correctly and proudly. Iron all items of clothing so that it looks smarter too as there’s nothing worse for a boss to look at than a scruffy member of staff. If you’re not required to wear a particular uniform, then dress for the job that you want. Look as professional as possible so that you stand out from your colleagues and impress your bosses. It won’t go unnoticed.

Further your knowledge

This isn’t necessarily something that your bosses will notice until you’re up for promotion, but furthering your knowledge within the job you’re in will wow your boss when it comes to showing them your qualifications. There are a plethora of courses that you can take in your own time on, so why not take a look and see if there’s anything which could help you take your career further this year?

Take on extra roles

While you’re taking extra courses at home, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take on extra roles at work. Many people go to work and stick to the jobs that they are assigned, then go home and repeat it the next day. If you’ve finished your allocated tasks for the day, why not look for more things to do to help the company run smoother. A great way to do this is by asking your boss if there’s anything extra that you can do to help out. This will show initiative and willingness to work, which is a very good trait to show.

Go the extra mile

Try your best to go the extra mile whenever possible at work so that you can show your bosses that you’re capable of many things and also that you care about the company. This could be helping a customer further than you naturally would. For example, if something is out of stock you could order the item in and offer to call them when it arrives, or arrange for delivery to their home. This will grab your boss’ attention and also provoke the customer to give you some awesome feedback too.


Try these four ideas for your career today and you will soon notice that you’re no longer invisible at work. Don’t forget that if you hear of a promotion at work to put yourself forward so that your boss knows you’re interested in taking your career further!

Is It Time To Visit Ontario?

If you have always wanted to see Canada, you are not alone. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations of anywhere in the world, and its popularity is actually still growing year after year as well. Of all the areas of Canada which people tend to go for, Ontario remains at the top of the list, and not for no reason. As it turns out, Ontario has so much to offer the willing traveller, and it is a great place to take families as well. In this article, we are going to look at some of the things you might want to see and do if you are planning on taking a trip to Ontario at anytime in the near future.


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Outdoor Adventures


Of all the things that Canada is known for, one of the top has to be the potential for outdoor explorations. If you are the kind of person who is generally quite keen to explore and have adventures in the natural world, then you will find Canada – and in particular Ontario – to be especially accommodating for those needs. There are a huge number of different kinds of adventure you might consider trying your hand at here, ranging from skiing and sledding to spending time in the snow with some beautiful Alsatian huskies. Whatever it is that you want to do in the great outdoors, Ontario has probably got you covered, so be sure to make room for those activities if you are planning a trip to Canada.




Whether you are staying at the Delta Hotels Waterloo or in one of Ontario’s smaller regions, you will find that there are bound to be countless local tours which you can take. These are generally easy to customize to your own timescales and so on, so you don’t feel like you need to make your itinerary fit into theirs. You can go on walking tours of the autumnal forests, a driving tour of some of the wilder regions of the Ontario countryside, or you might even get a chance to fly a plane over some glorious landscape views. However you want to do it, there are plenty of tours to be had, and they are always available when you are ready to visit this beautiful part of Canada.


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Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to just relax and do some shopping, so you should bear in mind too that there are plenty of opportunities for doing this in Ontario as well. No matter what it is that you have a hankering to buy, you will be able to find it in one of the many sprawling shopping districts, and there is no doubt that this can be a great way to fill in  the time when you are at a loss as what to do. No matter what it is, you are bond to find it in Ontario, so remember that when you are next wondering where to travel to with your family or friends.

Create a Bedroom That Sends You to Sleep


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If you constantly find yourself struggling to get the regular amount of sleep that your mind and body craves, your bedroom is the first thing that you should be looking to change. After all, you want to create an environment that is as conducive to sleep as possible. The disturbances and distractions around the room, the less likely it is that you will be able to drift off. So, let’s run through the things that you can adjust to give yourself a better chance of getting a good night’s sleep.


Make the Room Dark


The first thing that we need to sleep well is darkness. When you are getting ready for bed, turn off the overhead light and switch to a soft bedside lamp. This helps your body know that it should be getting ready for sleep. When you turn off the lights, you don’t want any disturbances like digital clocks and glowing electronics. If you have a problem with street lights outside, blackout blinds or a sleeping mask should do the job.


Make the Room Comfortable


Next up, you need to make the room as comfortable as possible. The mattress is probably the most important part of this, so take a look at for a few different options. Ensure that you have soft, clean and comfortable sheets, and only as many pillows as you feel comfortable with. Also, consider what you are wearing to sleep. For example, if you always have cold feet, it is worth trying out wearing some bed socks. Experiment until you find out what is most comfortable for you.


Make the Room Cool


As you fall asleep, your body temperature will naturally start to drop down, so creating a cool sleeping environment can help speed up the process a bit. Try setting your thermostat 5° to 10° lower than your average daytime temperature to see what a difference this makes. Of course, the optimum temperature varies from person to person, so again, it is worth experimenting until you get things right.


Make the Room Quiet


If you live in a particularly noisy neighbourhood, there are a couple of things which can help you to create the quiet sleeping environment that you are looking for. A thick rug and some heavy blinds may help in the first instance when trying to reduce the noise. You can also try wearing earplugs to block out surrounding disturbances. If you are the kind of person who likes to fall asleep to music, make sure the player has a ‘sleep’ function so it shuts down automatically after a set period of time.


Make the Room Calm

The final thing that you should be looking to make the room is calm. So, electronic devices like a TV or computer should be kept elsewhere. Any excess clutter should either be removed from the home or stored in another room. A calming colour scheme and some soothing sights and sounds all contribute towards helping you get the sleep you need.   

Finding Deals Online



Keeping costs to a minimum when you have a family to feed is difficult, but there are always ways that you can make life much easier for you and your family without breaking the bank. You could opt for days out at the park instead of the theme park, cooking at home instead of going for meals, and making your home into a cinema rather than going to the movies.. but what about everything else?


With the rise of the digital age, every man and his dog is online. The great thing about this is thy companies make the effort to make their websites the most appealing, and alongside this they will often offer you cheaper prices. But how do you find the best deals online?


The product


The first port of call when you are looking for something online is to research the exact product you want. Most of the time if you find the product you like, you will be able to use the SKU code of that product or the item code to search it online. Make sure that if you are looking for a product that it is exactly the same one.


Search and compare


Once you have found the product you want, you can start looking online for it. The first thing you will likely do is search the product in google and you will see a list of sites come up. Before you click onto a site though, go onto the shopping tab in the search results and look there. You will be able to sort the items by price and see the lowest price for the product you are looking for.


Alternatively you can use comparison sites to find what you are looking for. You may be able to find a site you’ve never seen before selling the item much cheaper. However, before you make the decision to buy from a site you don’t recognise, you need to make sure to research the website itself and look at review.


Offer sites


There are other options apart from comparison sites, and these are offer sites. This means that you can type in something like ‘cheese’ and you will receive a list of all coupons which relate to this term. This type of site is more generally used when you want a service or not a specific product. For example you may go on thinking about getting a taxi from Uber, but instead see a lyft code which is much better.

Clear your Cookies


You may have seen cookies pop up on your browser plenty of times, and usually it will mean that the website uses certain features which require encrypted files to run on your PC. This isn’t usually an issue and it doesn’t affect the way you shop online, however some people have accused companies of using cookies to inflate prices of items on their websites. This means that if you enable you pr cookies you could be overpaying for an item without even knowing it. To stop this from happening you can go into your browser settings and disable cookies.

Setting Realistic Goals For 2018


Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers miles of developed trails for running. (NPS Photo by Andrew Cattoir)



The season of rest starts is upon us, and every you go on social media an in life you will see people talking about what they want to achieve in the new year. Most people will start off well with their resolutions, it is something which we all try our best to do for the first couple of weeks- but by the middle of January 80% of us will have given up.


Why do we give up? Because we set ourselves goals which we simply cannot complete. If you think about what you want to achieve, the first thing to consider is whether or not you CAN do it or not.


Willpower is a great thing, but if your goal is to become an astronaut by the end of the year, no amount of wishing is going to make that happen. Of course, that is a rather extreme example, but you get the point. New Year’s resolutions are becoming more of a fad than what they should be, and it’s because every year we set ourselves something which is either incredibly difficult or incredibly vaguel simply saying ‘I want to lose weight’ isn’t good enough. How much weight. 1 pound? 1 stone? 5 stone? Without a clear goal you will never succeed, which is why you need to read these tips…


Write Your Goals Down

Enforce you start thinking about starting your resolution, you need to write down EXACTLY what you want to achieve. For example, your goal might be to lose 5 pounds in the next few months. What you need to do at this point is set yourself an end date- a deadline. Give yourself a date to work towards. It could be the day you are going on holiday, to a wedding or even just your birthday. Setting a deadline and writing it down will help you work out your plan of action.


Set Milestones

Aside from your main deadline, you will also want to set yourself some milestones. A milestone is a small step towards your end goal, so for the example above it could be losing 1 pound towards the 5. If you set yourself 2 weeks to lose 1 pound, then in 10 weeks you could reach your goal. Make sure that you track your progress all the time and when you reach a small milestone, praise yourself. Treat yourself to something to encourage you to keep working at it.


Be Realistic


As we mentioned above, if you want to become an astronaut, a year is not a realistic timeframe to go by. It could be that you have seen bodybuilding women and become inspired to try and become one yourself. You need to really think about how much work you need to put into your body and diet to achieve this. You can’t expect yourself to become a bodybuilder in a few months, because depending on your fitness level it could take a few years. Instead, set yourself goals with your weight and body fat percentage. Monitor yourself and take your time. Most of the time people overface themselves with too many goals and they end up giving in because it is too difficult. By breaking down a large long term goal into smaller portions, you will be more likely to succeed.


One at a time


One of the biggest mistakes people seem to make when they are looking at New Year’s resolutions is writing a huge list of things to do at once. This is never going to work because your mind will not adapt. Instead, you can still write down everything you want to achieve, but rate how important they are to you. Once you have picked the most important goal, you can work on starting this one FIRST. Only when you have started to make headway on this goal or introduced a new healthy habit should you look at your next goal. Changing one thing a time gives your mind and body chance to get used to it and it will be much easier for you.


Schedule Time For Your Goals

A mistake many of us make is to pick a huge goal and then never make time to complete it. You cannot expect to write a novel if you never put pen to paper. If you want to lose weight you need to take time to exercise and eat healthily, or if you want to start a business you need to work at it. You cannot expect things to happen without you dedicating time to it. Try and take some time each week for whatever your goal is. Treat it like you are going to a class or you have an appointment. Never cancel this time and keep it constant to form a habit.

Set Goals You Want To Achieve

This is a strange thing to say, you might think, but it is surprising how many of us set goals we feel like we HAVE to achieve, but that we don’t want to. You might feel as if you HAVE to save up for a house, but you might be happy enough renting. Don’t set yourself a goal to do something which you don’t want to do in the first place, because it will never work out. If you don’t have the innate motivation to go out and do something, you will dread every time it comes along and you’ll avoid it like the plague. Save yourself the stress and pick a different goal instead.


Remember you are human


The most important thing to bear in mind when you do set yourself goals for the new year is to understand that it won’t always go to plan. Some days you may wake up and not be able to do that yoga session or eat kale, but you shouldn’t be hard on yourself. Listen to your body and your mind, and understand that if you are craving something, it’s because you need it. Let yourself enjoy life and achieve those goals in your own time

Meeting Your Dog’s Every Need

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More and more households are beginning to have a four-legged friend of some sort in their midst. One of the pets that has experienced the most consistent and long-lasting popularity amongst families has proven to be the dog. This isn’t all too surprising! They give us unconditional love, make us laugh, and are there for us whenever we need. What’s more? They help to lower your blood pressure, give you and your children stronger immune systems, and can help with mental health problems. Now, while dogs can offer a whole lot of benefits for your family, you need to remember that owning one entails a two-way relationship. As well as considering what a dog can do for your family, you need to consider what your family can provide for a dog. These creatures tend to be highly dependent, and they live for extended periods of time, truly becoming a part of the family. So are you ready to take on another family member? To help you decide, here’s everything you need to know about meeting a dog’s needs.


Veterinary Bills and Insurance


If you have your dog from a puppy, you are going to come face to face with veterinary bills pretty early on. All puppies require thorough check ups that include vaccinations, worming, flea treatments, and microchipping. You may also want to consider having your pet neutered. For female dogs, neutering promotes a longer and healthier life, preventing uterine infections, and breast tumours. She also won’t go into heat. For male dogs, neutering helps to prevent testicular cancer and some prostate problems. It also becomes less likely that they will stray from home looking for a mate. This isn’t where veterinary costs necessarily end though. Veterinary care will continue throughout your pet’s life with booster injections and treatments for any illness or injuries. Generally speaking, it’s best to make sure that your pet is insured. This means that should any problems arise down the line, you won’t be hit with huge veterinary bills. Before buying or adopting any dog, you need to ensure that you can meet these payments.




Now, onto a more regular requirement: your pet’s food. Different breeds of dog will have different dietary requirements. It’s always best to do your research before choosing a pooch, as you will be able to get a better idea of the cost of your potential pet’s eating habits. A Yorkshire Terrier, for example, will require around one quarter to half a cup of food a day. A Great Dane, on the other hand, will require seven to ten cups a day. Generally speaking, the larger the dog, the more sustenance they will need. You also need to bear in mind that individual dogs will also have different requirements. You generally won’t become aware of this until you already have your dog and become used to their unique eating habits and preferences. Some dogs will be intolerant of certain ingredients, while others will have sensitive stomachs. This means that you might need to get specialist foods which, generally speaking, cost a little more. You will also need to know how many times a day your dog should eat. Most adult dogs will be fine with one large meal a day, or two smaller meals split into morning and evening feeds. However, puppies will generally require smaller meals throughout the day. Whether to feed your dog wet or dry food tends to be personal preference. Most dogs will prefer wet food, so if you’re willing to spend a little more and clean up a little more mess, this should definitely be the way to go.


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Treats and Toys


Chances are you wouldn’t be all too content if you spent your days eating the same meal over and over again and contenting yourself with your own entertainment. Dogs will feel exactly the same! This is why it’s so important that you provide them with regular treats and toys. Now, remember that treats should only be complementary to your dog’s usual diet. They should never replace your pet’s basic food. Choose high-quality treats where possible, such as those supplied by This will ensure that your dog is consuming the highest quality ingredients possible, rather than filler or unhealthy options that are the equivalent of doggy junk food. You can experiment with different types of treats, and along the way, you will generally notice which are your pooch’s personal favourites. You can invest in these more regularly. Toys are also a great way to keep your pup as happy as possible. They stimulate their mind and encourage play. Again, every pooch will have their individual favourites. Some dogs will like playing with balls, others will prefer pull ropes, while some will be content with a cuddly teddy bear to carry around. Try to purchase toys that are specifically designed with dogs in mind, as they will tend to be a little more durable and will be made of materials that won’t hurt or damage their mouth.




When you get a dog, you need to accept that this is not a pet that can stay indoors forever. No matter how large or small they may be, they need their exercise! You can check up how far your specific breed will need to be walked each day. Generally speaking, the smaller your dog, the less exercise it will require and the larger your dog, the further it will need to be walked. However, certain breeds, such as Springer Spaniels, have surprisingly high energy levels and are better suited to those with plenty of secure land for them to run free on or with the time to take them on long daily walks. Remember to always keep your dog on a lead when in a public space. This is for their own safety and others’ safety too. Rather than clipping the lead onto your dog’s collar, invest in a harness. This better supports your dog and reduces their chances of slipping out!


As you can see, there are plenty of things to bear in mind before getting a dog of your own. They are living creatures, and they are dependent, so there are plenty of needs that you’re going to have to meet. But at the end of the day, if you can provide them with enough love, taking care of them is a privilege that is rewarded tenfold!

Choosing Where to Raise Your Kids

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As soon as you have children, you automatically want to provide them with the best quality of life possible. This is something that almost every parent experiences. When we focus on what we want for our children, all sorts of areas and fields come into play. We consider their safety and the environment that they will be growing up in, both in terms of physical safety and social safety. That’s before we even get to their education and their extracurricular activities. All of these things that we consider, however, are greatly affected by one thing: the location of your family property. Now, where you live at the moment might have served you well as an adult. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best place for your little one to thrive in. Many of us stay put out of habit. But it’s important that you remember that the world is your oyster and now is a better time than ever to make a move for the good of your offspring. To make the decision of whether to move or not a little easier, here are a few things to consider when choosing where to raise your kids.


Consider Disruption


If your child hasn’t yet started school, a move shouldn’t be all too disruptive to their development. It’s when they’re a little older and settled that the upheaval can cause problems. Bear in mind the complexity of the moving process. Your child will have to take part in packing up all of their belongings, experience movers ship their things from one property to another, enrol at new schools, make new friends, and grow used to a completely new environment. This can be daunting for some children. But only you know your child best! Weigh up the pros and cons of moving and take your child’s natural disposition into account. Some are confident and will revel and thrive in new communities. Others may be better off staying put if the benefits of moving are only minimal. Only you as a parent can make the best decision for them.


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Education is one of the biggest determining factors on whether to move children or not. After all, their schooling can determine their future success. So, take a look at the schools in your current area and their performance record. These are the institutions that will provide your little ones with knowledge. They are the place that they will spend most of the hours of their day. So you want to ensure that everything is top quality. This can be determined through independent reports which examine children’s attendance, happiness, and grades. If the schools you’re looking at fall below par in any of these areas, you might want to look a little further afield. Look at other schools in the area. If they’re better and more up to standard, work out whether you will be able to commute there every weekday around your usual work to get your kids there on time. If this isn’t possible, it might be time to consider a move closer to these institutions, or perhaps moving elsewhere further afield and looking at educational options there.


These are just a couple of factors that you need to consider when choosing where to raise your kids, but they’re a good place to start!

Why Should You Work On Your Finances?

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Browsing the web, you will often find loads of blog posts, forum submissions, and other resources surrounding good money management. None of the tricks you’re taught are easy to pull off, and you need to work hard to make sure you have enough money. Of course, though, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do this when you don’t know why you have to. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the reasons people will want to work on their money.


First, it’s a good idea to understand why you need to have a good reason to work hard on your finances. Before you can use a company like to help with your debt, you have to be sure that you’re ready to start making proper repayments. Without the drive and determination a solid cause will give you; this will be much harder than it has to be.


To give you an idea of the sort of tools a lot of people will use, you can find some common examples below. Of course, everyone will have their own reasons to keep their money under control. Without the right one in place, it will be hard to make sure that you’re making the right choices.



  • Family: For a lot of people, the biggest reason to have balanced finances is to support the family they’re raising. In a lot of cases, this sort of work will be very expensive, and you will need to be able to spend money freely if you want to stay afloat. Achieving this will be fundamental to your success as a unit.




  • Life Goals: Of course, for some, the simple allure of achieving life goals will be enough to pursue a life of well-managed money. If you want to buy a house, for example, you’ll first need to make sure you can afford a mortgage and the other fees which will come with it.




  • Steady Ground: When you’re living on the edge of good finances, it can be hard to make sure that you’re on even ground. Improving the way you budget and keep your money safe will make this a lot easier, even if you’re not earning very much. It can be hard to be comfortable when you’re not making enough.



Once you have a good idea of the area you’re going to use to drive you, it’s a good idea to make a plan which takes both your financial aims and your life’s requirements into account. For example, if you wanted to save for a home, you could use a website like to help you to figure out how much it will cost. Alongside this, your family can inspire you to make the savings you’ll need.


Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start improving your finances through the use of clever motivation. With all of the resources on the web, there are still very few which help to give you motivation in this area. Of course, though, this is because you have to find it for yourself.

Debt Stress And How To Combat It

At some point in our lives, we will inevitably find ourselves in a financial situation that prevents us from saving, purchasing products that we desire and even meeting our debt repayments. You may have a credit card that you were making regular payments towards, but recently you’ve been struggling to find the minimum amount. You might have simply found yourself swamped by debt which has now become unmanageable. You are not alone. Finding yourself in dire financial straits means that your personal well being, relationships and health can suffer. Take a look at the practical things you can do to prevent debt stress from taking over your life.


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Don’t Fall Into More Debt


It sounds simple and obvious, but you need to refrain from taking out more loans or credit cards. While you may feel the need to obtain another credit card simply to make ends meet, don’t. You’ll need to tighten your belt in other areas. While it may mean eating student style food and foregoing any sort of social calendar for a few months, it will be worth it in the end when your purse strings begin to loosen.


Credit Cards


Credit has been easier to obtain over the past decade with lenders almost encouraging consumers to stretch themselves financially. If you have a credit card, consider swapping to another with 0% on balance transfers. By doing this, you can essentially shift your debt and make the same repayments while ensuring that this goes towards the debt you’ve accrued, not any interest. Even if you are only making the minimum repayment, this will be going 100% towards clearing your debt.


Credit Score


The number you generate when financial institutions check your credit score will dictate what financial products may be available to you now or in the future. You don’t want the only personal loan available to you to be a lucrative payday loan or a ridiculously high short-term loan from an unregulated provider. Check your credit score for free and set about improving it. If you can, begin to make payments above the minimum towards your debt. Ensure that you’re registered on the electoral roll and don’t utilise any of your overdraft. By doing this, you are holding off the looming threat of needing to employ the services of a bankruptcy lawyer and you’ll be doing all you can to prevent your debts from suffocating you.


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Ask For Help


While you need to shoulder the financial burden of your debts, you can still ask for help to manage the stress that comes along with this responsibility. You should be congratulated for not burying your head in the sand and wanting to become debt-free. It is possible to call up for some free, independent debt advice if your money worries are becoming too much. If your health is suffering, you should head to your local surgery to discuss your anxieties with a doctor. Sometimes, you just need a friendly ear to offload your worries onto –  a good friend or family member is ideal.


While you are at the beginning of your journey to become debt-free and the stress is all-encompassing, remember that in two years, three years or five years time, you will be back in the black and ready to look forward to a more prosperous financial future.