Lets admit it, Bahamians are not known for their financial prudence. We spend what we make. Period. shopping trips to Miami, new cars, two hundred dollar sneakers,name brand clothes,name brand everything, big chains, the latest everything all consume our paychecks.
We take pride in spending the most for something and letting everybody know it; ‘If you aint wearing “X” you ain’t saying nothing!” “Gucci or nothin!” Well times have changed.
The economy is in the tank and doesn’t look to be getting better anytime soon. The government has had to enact harsh tax measures that have increased the cost of living tremendously. Every other day brings more news of more rate increases, cut backs, company closings, and layoffs. Even government jobs are not safe anymore.
- Evaluate your future employment prospects: how likely are you to lose your job? And if you do how easy/hard will it be to find new employment? Evaluate your company by how dependent it is on tourism or customers that depend on tourism. so while you may not work in tourism, if your company’s main clientele work in tourism you’re just as at risk. Next evaluate your position with the company. If they decide to cut back will you be among the first to go?
- Increase your skill set, become a valuable employee: This is something you should always be doing, but now more than ever. Make sure you are invaluable to your organization. This doesn’t mean kissing up, this means having a good work ethic and being a good employee. Also make sure you are marketable, so if you do happen to lose your job you can easily find other employment.
- Build an emergency fund: I’m sure everybody has heard this one, you should keep at least 3 months salary on hand in case of emergencies. But who does that? Well if you’re ever gonna do it, now is the time. Cut back on the unnecessary stuff and save some money now!
- Get your entrepreneurship on: Everybody has dreams of starting their own business. Now is the time to give it a try. If you don’t have a business idea, just find a way to make an extra $100.00, then find a way to double that and keep going. I’m working on this myself. Everybody wants to hit it big in one shot, unfortunately that is not always how it happens. But while u wait, try to make something extra on the side.
- Spend Consciously: With all this talk about recession that doesn’t mean you should not enjoy the things you love, just learn to spend counsciously. What does this mean? It means Spend extravagantly on the things you love but cut mercilessly on the unimportant stuff.
Don’t waste your money on unimportant stuff. For me, that could be me spending $50 – $60 every week on breakfast and lunch. that’s around $200 per month. If i cut that out and bring lunch everyday i could save close to $2400 each year. What could i spend it on? How about a 5 day cruise for me and my girlfriend or a weekend getaway?
First get your finances in order; pay down debt, create a regular saving plan, then spend extravagantly on the things that make you happy.
good luck with the recession.