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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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