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Time for budgeting lessons in schools

Friday, October 14, 2011

We are hearing countless discussions on the budget but I am yet to see one of the middle or less fortunate income earners suggesting ways and means for everyone of us to do our own budgeting. Do we actually enforce any control within our own environments? Are we prepared to sacrifice anything to attain our countless desires? When we head for St James or Ariapita Avenue, do we recognise that we are investing a certain amount of money and are we aware of what the returns will be? Are we prepared for the results—headache, lack of sleep etc? Is this really a good investment?

Take this question for instance, put to us after a particularly hard night: “What do you think of your investment?” I’m sure there would be a number of replies that would not reflect that a considerable amount of thought had been put into our financial expertise. Instead of the unions shouting and threatening for more money at every opportunity, we need them to hold a seminar where we could determine what is the minimum cost of living. To have pie-in-the-sky demands of “X” per cent is ridiculous. We need to know what our investment is going to provide and what we can expect to make etc.

Nations like India, China and Malaysia offer inexpensive labour and as a result attract foreign investment. I heard that the Living Water Community recently said that the most important asset that we have is our people and we the people must back this up with action. Teach budgeting in the schools, let the children understand what sacrifices are being made to educate them so that they can understand why they can’t have those brand name shoes, fast food lunches, cellphones etc. This is where the discipline that we talk so easily about comes in.

Of course it would be quite easy to say “well ah have a deficit budget” and go merrily along spending for Divali, Christmas and Carnival. We ask in our national anthem for God to bless our nation but we need to remember that God helps those who help themselves.

Chris Knaggs


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