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Financial Security During Economic Uncertainty

Basseterre, St. Kitts — In the Rotary world, October is recognised as ‘Economic and Community Development Month’ and in Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, October is recognised as ‘Financial Information Month’. Therefore, it was quite apropos that the Rotary Club of Liamuiga used its recent breakfast meeting to discuss ‘Financial Security during Economic Uncertainty’.

The Rotarians welcomed guest speaker Mrs. Pamela Herbert-Daniel to their meeting on Wednesday October 28, 2020. Mrs. Herbert-Daniel, Country Manager, Republic Bank (St. Kitts and Nevis), explored the financial and economic uncertainties affecting everyone in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Her keyword for the gathering was “budget”.

“The importance of making a budget is a financial lesson that cannot be overemphasized,” noted Mrs. Herbert-Daniel. “During these times of economic uncertainty, conditions force the necessity of having a budget upon many of us who were previously able to get by without it.”

During her thought-provoking presentation, Mrs. Herbert-Daniel also stressed the importance of financial stability as a state of money and more importantly as a state of mind. She noted that budgeting helps with the money state but that the mind-set and discipline of managing one’s finances is a tougher task.

“If you find yourself overwhelmed because the pandemic has destabilised your finances, do not avoid the topic out of fear,” implored Mrs. Herbert-Daniel. “Once you have defined what personal stability means to you, you can build a sense of control through proactive money management, for example, keeping your savings in one account and incidentals in another account.”

In offering further advice to achieve financial stability, Mrs. Daniel proffered that persons use a 50/20/30 budget ratio:

• 50% of your take-home pay for necessities (groceries, medicals, and utilities)
• 20% for ‘wants’ (takeout from your favourite restaurant, home décor, etc.)
• 30% towards debt payments and savings

Following her wide-ranging and informative discussion, another keyword emerged, which was ‘discipline’. Budgeting and discipline are key to achieving and maintaining financial stability during the economic uncertainty of the pandemic. However, in her parting words to the Rotarians gathered, Mrs. Herbert Daniel, offered a glimmer of hope to all, stating “If you find yourself in an unpleasant state of mind, simply remind yourself that this too shall pass.”

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