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By now we all know that we facing a global economic crisis. Similar to what the West Indies Cricket is presently going through, but that’s a whole other story by itself which I will touch on in a later post.

We need to make some serious changes (sacrifices) in our present lifestyle if we are to survive this economic crisis.

Families should start tightening their belts, revised their budgets and all small business owners should look closely at all costs involved in running their small business.

Workers across the region have felt the hardship of these troubled times. Some have had salary cuts. Some have volunteered salary cuts. Yet others have been invited to agree to a shorter work week or forgo one month’s salary.

Now is the time for leaders and workers to see this period as one of challenge, personal sacrifice and high reward if able to emerge from this unstable period with dignity and success.

Finger-pointing and assigning blame at this stage is not only too late but meaningless. What is required now is competent, confident, quiet leadership which should determine the destiny of the country. Don’t you think so?

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What can we as Caribbean people do to be more responsible for their financial situations?

What can we teach our children so that when the next economic downturn comes along they’ll be prepared.

One possible answer is to become better educated about what it takes to be financially secure. It’s no easy task, under the present circumstances, when so many of the different islands are struggling to get a financial foot-hold on their economy.

But besides educating our children about financial responsibility, we must keep a positive attitude, and more importantly passing on this behavior to our kids.

Here are some simple lessons we can teach kids as a part of their long-term preparation for adulthood. Not forget the basics: spend less, save and (cautiously) invest more, and always follow a plan.

1. Start by being honest with yourself about your situation, and then take positive steps to better understand and cope with your present situation.

2. Manage and track your spending.

3. Start a savings account, and save as much as you can.

4. Reduce credit card spending — try your best to stay out off debt.

5. Continue to learn — you are protecting yourself when you maintain a marketable skill.

6. Maintain health insurance.

7. Open a retirement account and add to it monthly. Take responsibility for your own future.

Even in a fluctuating job market, consider yourself capable, and acknowledge your potential by maintaining a positive attitude, and being kind to yourself. Recognizing the significance of our contributions and the validity of our participation, is an important factor in the development of our self-concept. It also helps build the confidence we’ll need to get over the financial hump.

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