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As Barbadians set new financial goals for the year, a human resource specialist and performance coach is offering advice on how they can get their finances in “tip top shape”.

One of the facilitators for the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Financial Literacy Bureau’s satellite clinics, Maureen Browne, advised attendees at the session Making Your Money Work for You, to exercise greater control in handling their debts.

“Be disciplined. Always pay more than the monthly or weekly amount, and don’t get into anymore debt while you are trying to get out…that does not make sense and you should always have a plan.”

The Human Resources (HR) Consultant and Performance Coach continued: “The other thing about handling debt is…there is a saying that there is good debt and bad debt. Stick with the good debt. Good debt is like investment, where you are accumulating income generating assets. Investing in educating yourself about anything, whether it is to get more knowledge by pursuing a diploma, certificate or degree; investing in education is always wise and good debt.”

Ms. Browne also suggested that persons spend less, earn more, and invest wisely by considering providing a service or a product to the public, as a means of generating more income.

The facilitator also suggested having an emergency fund, separate from savings. “COVID came in, and we saw what that would have done. So, plan for an emergency fund, which has nothing to do with your savings. You really want to be more disciplined with your spending. Look at 2019 and see how you spent your money.

Did you really need those new shoes, bag, bigger TV, more curtains, more jewellery?  Did you really need to upgrade your phone?  So, there are things that we can look at and plan for 2021.”

In order to get out of consumable debt, the HR specialist advised Barbadians to spend less; invest wisely, and be more disciplined when making and sticking to a budget. Further information on the Financial Literacy Bureau, or the satellite clinics may be obtained by calling the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, at 535-7700

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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