The stress on personal and family finances is great and has for some time now been increasing. Many people have lost their jobs, or have seen their working hours or income reduced to keep their companies’ doors open. Others have seen the market value of their homes fall dramatically, with particularly serious implications if they were already struggling or approaching retirement without having paid off their debt.On the other hand, our society is increasingly driven by the need for instant gratification. Many people now use credit for basic needs and we are all constantly encouraged to buy things we do not need. Money marketers devise exaggerated claims to entice us to spend money we don’t have. Credit card companies set minimum payments to ensure they keep us as customers, and when we have difficulty paying back the credit we owe they charge punishing penalties.