Jamaican Style Money Guide: When Cow Ded, Him Lef Trouble

Traditional Jamaican proverbs can be very enlightening. They often express clever anecdotes or dire warnings about life, drawn from years of experience. If you examine many of these adages, you will find a kernel of wisdom that can help you to be smarter in your financial affairs.

While some of our proverbs give clear instructions on the importance of saving or spending wisely, the message in others may not be as obvious. “When cow ded, him lef trouble gi cow-skin,” is one of our lesser-known sayings that can provide a very important lesson about money success.

In standard English, the proverb states, “When the cow dies, it leaves trouble for the cow-skin,” which means that a dead cow’s decaying remains will produce a messy problem. Similarly, many people will pass from this earth and leave behind nothing but trouble for their survivors. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide: When Cow Ded, Him Lef Trouble

The Rewards of R.E.S.T.

AS the month of November winds down, many people are preparing themselves for the hectic activities which December brings. While the whirlwind of office socials, gift shopping and family dinners that accompanies the upcoming season is enjoyable, it can at times be exhausting.

As the year-end approaches, you may find that you have little time, energy or inclination to keep pursuing your important financial goals. You may get swept away with the holiday festivities and think that it’s okay to relax, enjoy life and just take a break from being financially responsible.

On the contrary, it’s critical for you to work even harder to achieve the targets you set for this year. What you do during the next 30 days will set the tone for the beginning of 2016, so you want to finish off the year by making a resolute effort to advance or complete those unfinished tasks.

If you begin the New Year reflecting on all the things you wished you had accomplished, you may get depressed and demotivated instead of feeling energised and enthused to achieve more. Let’s look at another way to revitalise yourself during December with this four-step R.E.S.T. plan. Continue reading The Rewards of R.E.S.T.

Triumph Through Trial and Error

Many of the accomplishments that I can list in my life have come after making several attempts that at first produced only undesirable outcomes. I have become so accustomed to frustrations and setbacks that I have simply accepted these occurrences as part of the process of achievement.

After years of counselling people who were trying to achieve their financial goals, I realised that disappointment with the slow pace of progress is one of the reasons why many give up on their dreams. They think that if the dream was meant to be, it should happen quickly and effortlessly.

Despite knowing that success often comes after repeated failures, I sometimes get irritated when I don’t immediately see positive results from my efforts. Recently, after feeling exasperated with a project that was taking longer than expected, I resigned myself to learning through trial and error.

The theory of trial and error

This week, I wanted to discuss the importance of giving yourself space to try and fail as you traverse the pathway to your goals, so I decided to research the concept of trial and error. It was then that I discovered that there is actually an entire learning theory dedicated to this principle. Continue reading Triumph Through Trial and Error

Jamaican Style Money Guide: Who Have Raw Meat Mus Look Fyah

Many people living in Jamaica today find it almost impossible to make their money stretch to accommodate all their needs, wants and dreams. Even the most frugal person will have difficulty dealing with the constantly rising prices which greet them on their regular supermarket trips.

If you want to achieve more out of life, heed the words of this week’s Jamaican proverb: “Who have raw meat mus look fyah.” A person with uncooked meat must seek fire to prepare it; similarly you need to look for options to earn the money required for you to spark the fire under your goals.

Look within for possibilities

When trying to create extra income, people often make the mistake of choosing earning options that are not relevant to them. For example, some persons believe that setting up a wholesale store is a good business idea just because there are many shoppers who want to buy cheaper groceries.

While replicating a proven concept can be successful, if there are too many of the same types of businesses, the market will become saturated. This approach also does not allow you to exploit your abilities, so you need to be more introspective when thinking of what you can do to earn. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide: Who Have Raw Meat Mus Look Fyah

Maximising Your Money After Losing Your Job

Today’s economic climate dictates that businesses need to become leaner and more cost-efficient to survive in a competitive environment. Many government institutions also have to regulate their operations to ensure that they can make the best use of limited resources.

When the owners or managers of these organisations decide that they need to reduce expenses, they will often look first to their employees. Staff-related costs can be a significant portion of an entity’s budget, so cutting the wage bill can usually benefit the bottom-line.

While a business owner or management official may justify the advantages of reducing the staff component, the workers may see things differently. A decision to lay off people may be seen as unwarranted, especially if they think that the organisation is making enough money to retain them.

Is your job in jeopardy?

Whether you agree with the management’s stance or the employees’ viewpoint, the reality is that the employment landscape has changed. More positions will be downsized in ensuing years, so if you are currently employed, you should prepare yourself for the possibility of job loss. Continue reading Maximising Your Money After Losing Your Job

Jamaican Style Money Guide: If Yuh Want Good Yuh Nose Haffi Run

When asked if they are satisfied with their financial situation, very few people will answer, “Yes!” Many will say that they wish that they had fewer bills to pay; had a better job; owned a home; worked for themselves; or that they just had more money to do what they wanted.

There is an old English rhyme which begins, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” It is easy to create a fantasy life by simply wishing it would happen; even paupers can live like princes in their dreams. However, in real life, wishes do not materialise unless they are backed by work.

If you would like to improve your money situation, don’t expect the process to be effortless. As our wise Jamaican saying advises, “If yuh want good, yuh nose haffi run.” To achieve your dreams, you have to be willing to work hard and persevere along the pathway until you attain your goal. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide: If Yuh Want Good Yuh Nose Haffi Run

A Bridge Over Troubled Financial Waters

Life is like a box of chocolates, as actor Tom Hanks memorably said in the movie Forrest Gump; you can never be certain what types you’re going to get until you open the box. Life can indeed be full of surprises, but unlike a package of sweets, not all of the components may be pleasant.

To live to the fullest, the irony is that you must accept the various risks which life can bring. Risk is simply the possibility that your plans may not turn out in the way you hoped. Instead of obtaining the positive results that you expect from your efforts, you can actually receive a negative outcome.

To be financially secure, you must find ways of spreading the risks that life may bring so that you don’t have to absorb them all by yourself. To do this, you need to put in place certain strategies which will prevent you from having to deal with the full financial cost of undesirable life events. Continue reading A Bridge Over Troubled Financial Waters

Jamaican Style Money Guide: Trouble Nuh Set Like Rain

From June to November, many in Jamaica keep an anxious watch for signs of an impending storm. During the months of the annual hurricane season, we are more likely to see these dangerous weather systems developing in the tropical waters which surround our island.

If one of the ominous cloud formations appears to be drifting in Jamaica’s direction, people often think about preparing for the possible arrival of heavy rains and wind. However, if we are spared the onslaught of bad weather, some persons will simply abandon their plans until the next scare.

The reality is that we are always faced with the potential of an emergency occurring at any time. As our Jamaican proverb of the week states, “Trouble nuh set like rain.” While a downpour is always preceded by gathering dark clouds, a major calamity can take place in your life without warning. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide: Trouble Nuh Set Like Rain

Jamaican Style Money Guide: Poun’ A Fret Can’t Pay Ounce A Debt

When we are faced with a difficult situation, sometimes we may not be mentally ready to accept a few wise words of advice. As the saying goes, “Misery loves company,” and very often we secretly prefer to receive sympathetic gestures than to take positive action to eliminate our challenges.

I have found this reality to be very evident with persons who are suffering from money problems. Having experienced many of my own financial crises over the years, I completely understand this ‘woe-is-me’ mindset which tends to trap a person in a state of helplessness and negativity.

Of all the money predicaments that you can encounter, chronic indebtedness is perhaps the most challenging. There is nothing as depressing and defeating as facing unpaid bills, past-due notices and demand letters, and worrying about the legal consequences of your inability to pay. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide: Poun’ A Fret Can’t Pay Ounce A Debt

Jamaican Style Money Guide: Short Cut Draw Blood

Many of our Jamaican proverbs are light and witty; while they give us pause to think, they usually also give us a hearty laugh. However, there are other old-time sayings that contain dire warnings which explain the problems that we will bring upon ourselves if their messages are ignored.

One ominous Jamaican adage that is often used for cautionary advice is, “Short cut draw blood.” This succinct saying has a clever twist on the meaning of the word ‘cut’; while a short cut can be a quicker way to reach your destination, the word cut can also connote a type of physical injury.

It’s natural for people to seek the easiest route to achieve their objectives, and historically this has helped mankind to develop many important inventions. However, there are times when trying to find the easy way out of a situation can actually cause more harm than good. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide: Short Cut Draw Blood