For Reuben and Raquel Warren, overcoming the fear to face their finances is literally paying off.
The husband and wife team, like most hard-working New Zealanders, had taken on debt but were living comfortably within their two-income means.
However, this changed when a debilitating illness affected Raquel's ability to keep her job as a kitchen designer.
"I couldn't work anymore so we lost a wage," Raquel explains.
Reduced to one income to support themselves and their four children, Raquel enrolled on the Certificate in Money Management programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to confront this new reality.
She got so much out of the first class she wanted Reuben to come too.
"I told my kaiako and he said, 'bring him along,' so I did and he loved it."
Reuben says it was a helpful and informative programme.
"It's definitely been worthwhile. I would, and have, recommended this course to others struggling to make ends meet."
Reuben works as the retail manager of a timber yard and says as well as learning techniques to manage their limited income, he can now give sound financial advice to their kids too.
Raquel says the most valuable thing she learned was how to deal with creditors.
"Just by increasing our repayments by an extra $5, our debts started to reduce, which was great. We thought we'd never see that happen but it has, thanks to our kaiako Simon."
Along with advice on servicing debt, Raquel says Simon went above and beyond. When there were times she was too unwell to go to class, Simon would come to her to discuss assignments or go over of the course material, all in his own time.
"The support we received, it was just amazing. Everyone would benefit from at least one aspect of this course. Knowledge is power."