Gaining popularity can be made by the following methods:
- Dismantling terrorist groups.
- Expand public services.
- Lowering taxes.
- Good foreign relations.
To make money you need to TRADE:
Hopefully, by now your economy is standing up on its own. Now that you have a lot of money, you can focus on more important things, like getting more money. You'll need all the money you can get. Never are you going to utter the phrase "I have enough money" while playing GPS.
The best way to do this is by economic agreements with other countries. Anyway, some find this harder to do than others but a little wisdom is all you need. The first thing to do is to find out what your country produces too much of. Go into the Economy screen (AKA the Agriculture, Industry, Services, and Energy window and find your excesses. Now go to the upper left corner where the spinning globe is, next to it there are six icons that show different map overlays. Click the one that says "Economic Relations" or something like that. That brings up a lovely Technicolor map overlay of all the countries with whom you're on economically good terms.
Green countries are ones that like to trade with you. Red countries don't. See where I'm going with this? Only attempt trade agreements with green countries. Pick a few countries out of that group and meet with their leaders. Exchange cordialities, offer them coffee, compliment their country, then get them sauced. Now make a deal. Drunk leaders always make the best deals. Go into the economic treaty screen and propose a "Annual Volume of Sales" treaty. Always do the "Sales" one, because that means you're going to sell resources to the other country.
Pick the resource that you have too much of. Sometimes the country you're meeting with has an excess in that resource, too. If that's the case, meet with another country. Your best bet for making the agreements work is if you sell to a country that is lacking in that particular resource. The AI calculates need before want into whether or not a country will accept your proposal. Then you pick your price. I suggest jacking it up by a few hundred dollars. The other country will always counter by suggesting a lower price, which you can raise a little more, and then an agreement is reached. It's just haggling. A drunk head of state helps, too. Then you choose the number of years you want the deal to cover.
ALWAYS CHOOSE ONE (1) YEAR.
This means that the deal will be completed at the end of the year, meaning that at the end of the year you will be paid in full. You won't have to wait around 2 or 3 years to get all of your money. This way is the fastest, and if the other country is really in need of the resource, they will want a one year deal too. *Note* "Alcohol has been removed in-game." Now you'll see your income steadily rise, granted that the deal was worth a lot of money. Just repeat the process until you start netting at least a few hundred million. You can now safely start allocating money to your domestic budget.
Right off the bat, raise your Secret Services agent training and terrorism bars to at least 9 stars. Then start infiltrating terrorist networks, dismantling them, and repeating. Put money into important public areas like health, welfare, public safety, education, and youth.
Those areas are your Big 5 and will make or break you throughout the game. By clicking the arrow under your name you'll switch to Popularity mode, which indicates how the population feels about your actions as head of state. When a frowny face appears next to any one of the Big 5, you'd better take notice and do something about it. Keep your population happy. And always keep your eye on that inflation.
Your best friend in taking over the world of facts