Last week we looked at the key financial principle of paying yourself first, by saving some of the income you earn. Like our Jamaican proverb advises, “Parson christen ‘im pickney fus,” which means that a parson takes care of his child first, so should you prioritise your own financial affairs.
When your income is stretched to the limit taking care of bills and other obligations, it may seem impossible to find an extra dollar to put aside for the future. Recognise that if all your money is spent paying other people, then you really have nothing to show for all of your hard work.
Slow savings – a waste of time?
It may require you to make a big sacrifice to save consistently, and to be disciplined not to deplete your funds unless you have a true emergency situation. However, when you look at the slow progress on your savings growth, you may be tempted to wonder if your sacrifice is pointless. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide – Every Mickle Mek A Muckle
At the beginning of a year, many people declare that they want to make some changes in their lives, in order to produce better results than they experienced in the previous year. Very often, their willingness to improve diminishes after a few weeks or months, leading to unfulfilled resolutions.
Some people fail to realise their objectives because they don’t establish a strong motivation that will force them to persevere until their goal is met. If you have a compelling vision for your future or a credo that directs all your actions, then you are more likely to succeed.
In this tough economy, more people are complaining that they are surviving from pay cheque to pay cheque. They feel like they are only working to pay their bills; all of their income is consumed by the rising cost of living and there is nothing left behind for saving or investing.
Although inflation keeps moving prices upwards while income remains stagnant, if you are going to achieve your money objectives this year, you have to find a way to overcome this challenge. What will you use to inspire you to grow in spite of these negative economic forces? Continue reading Jamaican-Style Money Guide: Parson Christen ’Im Pickney Fus
As we usher in the year 2016 with an optimistic outlook for a bright future, we must have a
decisive game plan to create a more prosperous New Year. Instead of just rehashing wishful resolutions from past years, make a concerted effort to attain these specific financial objectives:
1. A S.M.A.R.T. goal
It’s been said that ‘a promise is a comfort to a fool’; and some people believe that resolutions are foolish wishes that bring cold comfort. Your dreams may seem impossible to achieve if you don’t convert your ideas into specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-based goals.
Select one dream that would make the biggest difference in your life. Write it down precisely, expressing how you would measure it, take action on it and know when it was complete. Consider all the steps you need to take every day to realise your goal and persevere until you accomplish it. Continue reading 7 Money Must-Haves for 2016
Last week we discussed the role that saving plays in creating a secure financial future. Saving helps you to develop the discipline required for money success; experience money accumulation, not just money attrition; amass emergency funds; and build a solid base to boost your investments.
An important part of planning for your finances involves determining areas of risk which could potentially jeopardise your ability to realise your objectives. Once you have identified these factors, you need to implement strategies to avoid or mitigate these problems as best as possible.
Like any other aspect of your finances, your savings are subject to certain dynamics which can put your money at risk. Let’s examine some of the various situations and challenges which have the potential of crippling your savings goals. Continue reading Defending Your Savings
I recently overheard two shoppers discussing the high price of groceries at the supermarket. One lamented that she had to discontinue her son’s college savings plan as it was costing her more each month to buy the necessities. “Right now, it just doesn’t make any sense to save,” she complained.
Rising inflation levels and reduced interest rates have definitely curtailed the ability and willingness of many people to save. When they have to make a choice between paying the bills and putting aside money for the future, their current needs will always take precedence.
Some people believe that the money tradition of saving has gone the way of phone booths and floppy disks — an outdated and old-fashioned relic of times gone by. They declare that it is more money-savvy to invest their cash than to leave it languishing in low-interest bank accounts.
Despite the realities of tenuous budgets and unattractive returns on savings, there are many reasons why the practice of saving is still an essential financial habit to adopt. Let’s look at some considerations that will help you to make sense of saving. Continue reading Making Sense of Saving
Two weeks of 2015 have swiftly flown by and some people may have already settled back into practising unsupportive financial habits, despite their fervent declarations to do better this year. In fact, there may be few differences between the New Year and all the past years for many persons.
Even if you realise that your resolutions usually fizzle out like wet firecrackers, don’t give up on trying to create a better life. The key to being successful with your goals is to break them down into bite-sized objectives that you honestly believe you can realistically attain over the year.
Last week we discussed a fundamental money goal to accomplish this year — preparing a budget. This will give you a solid base upon which to build your financial future. If you are not currently saving consistently, I encourage you to make it the second objective on your bucket list for 2015. Continue reading Money Resolution #2: Save Regularly
Jamaican Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips recently announced new taxation measures that would affect all persons who utilise our banking sector. Dr. Phillips revealed that withdrawals from deposit-taking institutions would be subject to a graduated tax system.
All forms of withdrawals, including those done inside branch offices, point-of-sale transactions using debit cards, issuing cheques, and getting cash from ATMs would be affected. Electronic transactions would also be taxed, except transfers made by persons between accounts at the same institution.
The finance minister indicated that withdrawals of less than J$1m would be taxed at 0.1 per cent of the value, which would mean that persons would pay $1 for every $1,000 taken from their accounts. The percentage tax would decrease on a tiered system for larger sums of money withdrawn.
Although the tax is to be applied to the financial institutions, it stands to reason that the final effect of this withdrawal levy would be felt by the account holders themselves. Predictably, the pronouncement has sparked much negative feedback from various sources across the nation. Continue reading Money Musings: The Sanctity of Savings
Christmastime is traditionally the season for spending, so it would be unusual for us to think about saving during this period. Even the most disciplined consumers may get a little consumption-crazy over the holidays, putting aside their reservations and really getting into the swing of shopping.
Despite the heavy emphasis on seasonal splurging, it may actually be an opportune time to turn your thoughts to saving and securing your financial future. With so much money in circulation during the holidays, why should you only be thinking of depleting your reserves at this time?
Let’s face it — despite the cash that seems to be awash everywhere, how many of us really have anything enduring to show after our frenzied spending? Let’s look at some of the ways in which we can focus our minds on saving so we can have a little more financially rewarding season this year. Continue reading Christmas Saving Plan
The phrase “a penny for your thoughts” is usually expressed when asking someone to voice an opinion on an issue being discussed, or when trying to discover the ideas which might be occupying the mind of someone lost in deep contemplation.
The earliest recorded use of the idiom is traced back to the 16th century when a United States penny, or one cent, was much more valuable than it is today. Given the current purchasing power of a penny, it might be considered almost disdainful to offer someone a cent for their opinions!
Our falling Jamaican dollar
I recently recalled this old saying when the rate of exchange of the Jamaican dollar to the United States counterpart first traded at about $100 for US$1 in June 2013. Our embattled currency symbol, which now had a value of less than one US penny, had hit a dismal new low. Continue reading A Dollar for Your Thoughts
At the beginning of the year, many of us made firm resolutions to make 2012 the best ever. This was going to be the year, we declared, that we finally got our money act together. Reciting our 2012 Money Manifesto pledges, we vowed to make positive changes in 12 areas of our financial life.
If you had made these optimistic declarations to improve your finances, how would you rate your progress three months later? Have you been successful at implementing many of the habits that would allow you to achieve your objectives? Or have you given up on your plans and consoled yourself that next year will be better?
If you’re like most people and have already reneged on your resolutions, don’t despair. Decide to tackle your money problems in the same way you would approach a work or school assignment: assess the issue, research possible solutions, create an action plan and carry out the necessary activities.
Make it your mission to work on a specific money goal each month. Continue reading Money Mission: Become A Money Magnet