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Recession Wave

We at Caribbean Land and Property make your financial success our business.  So not only do we give you the best offshore advice there is, we concern ourselves with the simple day to day matters and decisions that affect the quality of our financial well being.  

Certainly, forming an offshore company or opening a bank account to save on taxes or for investment purposes can contribute to your wealth because of the many benefits that can be reaped from offshore financial services.  But what if you reap these benefits but manage them badly?

Maximizing wealth and personal net worth entails much more than getting lucky or making good investments.  You must also make wise investments.  Unfortunately, people generally tend to judge each other’s level of success or wealth based on physical appearance and society image – the type of car driven, clothes worn and size of house.  But most times we fail to realize who really are the wealthy people and millionaires.  The thought that your next door neighbor might very well be a millionaire may never even cross your mind, so the persons who are millionaires, apart from stars and wealthy businessmen, may truly surprise you.  Do you even think that there are millionaires who live normal lives, have regular jobs, do not own thousands of acres of land and do not drive fast fancy cars?  That hundreds of millionaires are common people that we look at in the face everyday?

There are surely some people who have stumbled upon their fortunes either by winning the lottery, a game show, family inheritance or hitting it real big in the stock markets.  There are quite a few people like this around, but in considering the billions of those who are not so fortunate, this occurrence can be considered to be rare, while many try their luck at becoming wealthy in every scheme possible just to end up losing it all.  But whatever the case may be, proper money management is a basic key to success.

Acknowledging and acting on uncontrollable spending, inability to prioritize, impulsive credit taking and investing can lead to bankruptcy, and this is one of the secrets of the unidentifiable millionaires mentioned earlier.

The importance of saving on a regular basis is unquestionable.  Now that things are rough economically, we may find it increasingly difficult to save as much as we wish to, but contrary to this, many people find themselves saving far more than they did when things were better financially, and why? Because they were either forced or learnt to prioritize their spending, not live above their means and cut off bad spending habits.

More important to saving regularly is having a savings plans.  With just a regular savings, you may save $100 this month, $50 next month, $200 in the other and $0 the next.  With a savings plan, what you want to achieve is a steady amount for a fixed period of time or a long term basis.  You do not want to start off with three bank accounts, then none or only one at the end of the day. 

For assistance and advice on savings plans, you may want to turn to a financial advisor at your bank or try out money management software that are available for helping with financial planning, management and setting goals.  A savings plan will help you to budget better, retrain you from spending money that should be put into the bank and plan ahead for emergencies, health, education, travel or upcoming events. 

Furthermore, the more you are able to stick with a savings plan, the more disciplined you become and the more motivated you are to meet your set financial goal and probably even exceed your own expectations.

It is always surprising to hear about rich and famous sportsmen and artists falling to bankruptcy just within a few years of having made millions of dollars; as the old saying puts it ‘ the more you make the more you spend’.  Well if you are to avoid this, one thing that should be kept in mind is that the ‘more you make the more you should save and manage’.  Planning for your retirement as soon as you become employed is surely the way to go and thinking that you’ll make more, or will start a few years before retirement, or when you get married or after you build your dream house is, quite frankly, backward thinking.  But, it is never too late to begin planning for your retirement, because even a late start after many years of wastage or inability to save because of unemployment or financial hardship, is always a wise move for securing a financially stable future.

A lot of people are not yet in the fast lane and have regular lives, and wonder how is it that the money just goes away; sometimes it just slips from between the fingers from just simple day to day chores. 

Well first, you need to review what are those expenses, a main one being groceries.  One way to control the amount of money spent of food is by making a grocery budget and sticking to it.  If you have already written a list of food items and decided to spend $150, then those are the food items that you should by and the amount of money that should be spent.  In the event that you pick up something additional or different, you should be willing to do without or sacrifice an item that was already written on the shopping list.  If you walked with an extra $100 in your wallet, you should not think, “Oh, I have some extra money”, so let me have this or that or give yourself impulsive chocolate or expensive treats that were not planned for.  If this is done, because sometimes we are stressed and feel frustrated with the rigid living, then something has to be sacrificed.  For example, maybe you should go to the hairdresser next week, rather than this weekend or wash your hair at home.  Or if you were planning to get that pair of brand new jeans, then probably that would have to wait for a later date, especially if there are another 6 or 7 pairs in the closet that can still be worn and look good.

Along with sticking to the grocery budget, there are also points like planning the menu on a weekly basis, finding out prices of items at different stores so as to ‘stretch the cash’, and of course, collecting coupon and using them, not crumbling and stashing them away.  Forming coupon clubs on the internet, with family, friends and coworkers is also an option for surviving the recession.

If necessary, and you’ve lost your job and are unable to meet payments, refinancing your mortgage, car loan or student loan is a good idea.  Refinancing and paying less will help prevent interest from accumulating on your and protect you from losing your house, car and other investments that may be tied to the loan such as property or bank deposit.

Despite everything that is going on right now keeping it cool is vital. Stay calm and prepare yourself psychologically for any and everything.  Keep in mind that the recession is temporary and will not go on forever and ever.  Therefore, the decisions made now are going to affect what happens after the recession, how well you survive the recession and how smoothly or quickly you recover from the recession.

Most all, now is definitely not the time to be slacking off on the job.  If the extra time needs to be put in, get it in, if some more effort is required, work harder.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans are out there without jobs and homes.  Those of us who are still employed should try our utmost best to keep our jobs especially if our bosses are trying their best to avoid layoffs.  Where savings need to be made on telephone calls and electricity, for example, be willing to help the company to save and economize.  Riding the wave of recession is team effort at home, school and in the work place.  So if you are going through economic struggles, just remember that so is almost everyone else, you are not alone in this.

 (c) Caribbean Land and Property April 2009

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Last Updated On 18 Sep 2019