Chavelle Campbell, Youth Empowerment Officer, with Ministry of Education, Youth and Information

Chavelle Campbell knows too well the importance of saving and investing and how these financial tools have assisted her in achieving her financial goals.

The 30 year-old, Youth Empowerment Officer, with Ministry of Education, Youth and Information learned from an early age that preparing for her retirement should commence as soon as she lands her first job – a knowledge which was imparted to her through the BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme, an initiative of the JN Foundation.

“Coming out of university, I did my internship at the JN Foundation with the Resolution Project and that is when I was introduced to the BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme. Through the programme, I learned about saving to invest, and since then, I have implemented many of those lessons in my life,” she said.

“I learned then that your first pay cheque, is when you [should] start saving for your pension,” she added.

Campbell said through discipline, she was able to purchase her home by the time she was 30 and most of her financial goals are on point.

“One of the things I have learned from the BeWi$e programme is that each ‘one, teach one’. So since then I have been extending my knowledge to everyone,” she said.

Aneika Vassell, a student nurse
Aneika Vassell, a student nurse

For Aneika Vassell, a student nurse who cares for patients with advanced dementia, budgeting was key to improving her finances.

“A budget is the first tool that you can use to create wealth. My husband and I have been using this tool in our everyday life to manage our money better,” she said explaining that it assisted in keeping track of spending and achieving financial goals.

Vassell, however, admitted that in the beginning it was difficult and that it took a lot of discipline, but, she noted, it has paid off, as there have been improvements in their savings and investment.

“So far, we are reaping our rewards. We have improved in our savings, we have improved our investments and we have been diversifying our portfolio, which is very important,” she said.

Rose Miller, grants manager at the JN Foundation
Rose Miller, grants manager at the JN Foundation

Rose Miller, grants manager at the JN Foundation and team lead of the BeWi$e Financial Empowerment Programme said that a budget can be created by using apps or Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets.

“Select the most suitable method to help you create your budget.  It can be as simple, or as complex as you like. Be prepared to input information about all income and especially expenses as they happen. Whichever method you choose, you will still need to be disciplined to achieve your financial goals so sticking to the budget is very critical. If possible, set an alert to warn about overspending,” she said.

Giving advice on tips on how to improve saving, Mrs Miller said it is best to apply the following:

  • Pay yourself first– Use online banking to transfer money or automate deposits from your pay to your savings, investment, or emergency fund account. Remember the 10-10-80 rule:

10% – Savings

10% – Donate

80% – Spend

  • Create an Emergency Fund–   If you do not yet have an emergency fund account, it is time to set one up.  Remember you should maintain a balance to cover at least six months  living expenses  in your emergency fund,” she said.