Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 4th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt August 4 - 2017
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Children and Money Management
In part two we set the groundwork for establishing your
Today we operationalize the plan by discussing spending
By now your child has an allowance, a budget and a
spending/expense log. There is also a written agreement
between parent and child outlining rules, reasons and
expectations for the allowance.
The fun begins.
Brain-based learning theory posits that learning accom-
plished in an environment that promotes enjoyment allows
for greater/deeper learning, long-term recall and personal
satisfaction. So dear parent, do not give your child the
impression that this process is a chore. It's an adventure
into financial planning that will serve him/her throughout
Upon receipt of his/her allowance, your child should
divide the money into the three categories - spend, give
and save as set out in his/her budget.
Give children enough freedom to determine the allocation
of their spending allowance. Teach the concept of smart
spending by prioritizing wants and needs so that they will
not find themselves running out of spending money.
Show your children the importance of saving towards an
item that cost more than their 'spending allowance'
them label a special box/jar with the name or picture of
the item and designate a portion of their spending allowance
towards it each week.
As children grow so should their discretionary spending.
Determine what you will stop paying for so that they accept
more responsibility for their budgeting.
Should he/she approach you seeking a raise or advance
in allowance, remain calm and hold meaningful conversations
to determine the reason for the request. Your child should
feel comfortable in openly and respectfully engaging in the
discussion leading to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Be warned that habitually giving them extra money when
they budget ineffectively undermines your efforts and
removes the incentive of learning money management.
While your child is spending he/she is also saving but
leaving that money in the box/jar is counterproductive.
Open savings account for him/her in the bank or the cred-
it union---or both. Many banks and credit unions have
accounts specially designed for children allowing them to
earn interest and be free from institutional charges.
Let their saving be meaningful.
There are children who saved so much, they were able
to assist with their own first-semester tertiary level expens-
es.As their saving increases, take them to a financial insti-
tution involved in investment. This is an excellent experi-
ence giving them insight into money management through
certificates of deposit, bonds and other long-term invest-
This is not about greed but rather sound planning towards
financial independence, accountability and productive cit-
izenship. Individuals who are financially sound will gener-
ally not be a financial burden to parents or society.
On the day their next allowance is due, you can both
peruse the spending/expense log to adjust future budgets
In the final article in this series, we will discuss giving
and tie it all together.
Dr N. Carrington is a successful parent, educator and sociologist.
Answering the call
One hundred and thirty trucks, and close to 20,000
tonnes of cargo; 12 passenger cabins that can hold four
to six people; three lounge space for travelling drivers and
other amenities; and a five-hour travel time. These are
among the features that impressed the Tobago Division
of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry as it toured
the Cabo Star cargo vessel immediately following its
maiden voyage to Tobago on December 21. It replaced the
Super Fast Galicia. And, despite a few teething challeng-
es last week with loading and offloading as the Cabo Star
assumed duty, it's already started to make a difference.
On almost every front, the Cabo Star has been touted as
superior to the Super Fast Galicia: capacity and space,
amenities, and especially travel time. For the astute and
innovative entrepreneur, that news should be like smooth
jazz---pleasing to the ear. It's a point that the Chamber's
Tobago Division chairman Demi John Cruickshank made
after touring the vessel along with Chief Secretary Kelvin
Charles; Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayan-
na Webster-Roy; Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Trans-
portation Nadine Stewart-Phillips; Port Authority officials
and the media: "I think the vessel is so large that I'm only
seeing for now, the Easter time and the festive time is when
we can fill this vessel"
, Cruickshank said, as he encouraged
Tobago's business owners to focus on putting the expand-
ed capacity to good use.
Given the challenges facing the national economy, the
arrival of the Cabo Star seems to be a case of opportunity
knocking at just the right time. It not only normalises the
flow of cargo across the sea bridge. It also gives Tobagonians
the capacity to get more out of their businesses, with the
Trinidad market five hours away, and more than enough
room to fill. It's a means for enhancing efficiency too. And,
keeping in mind that this service is also highly subsidised,
increased productivity also benefits the national economy.
Many people complained about the shortcomings of the
service before the Cabo Star arrived. Now that it is here,
it is only fitting that we maximise on the opportunities
Another issue that must be addressed is the way we treat
public facilities. Many of the facilities such as healthcare,
public services and programmes available to Tobagonians
and across Trinidad and Tobago---either free of heavily
subsidised---are much more costly in other countries. These
often go underappreciated. In the case of the inter-island
ferries, the seating and other features when damaged, have
to be repaired at significant cost. In 2015, work was done
to replace seats on the T&T Spirit at a reported cost of US
$1,000 per seat. At 900 seats, the math isn't hard to cal-
culate. It's not an indictment on the public; it's simply a
reminder that as residents of Trinidad and Tobago and
taxpayers, we also have a responsibility, through our daily
access of these services, to refrain from careless actions
that can create further burden on the public purse, and to
encourage others to do the same.
This plea was echoed by Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles,
who has called on everyone using the ferry service to "trea-
sure" its facilities and to ensure the interior remains its
current, well-maintained state. Preventative maintenance is
better than any number of repairs, and will minimise the
amount of time lost servicing the route. It's a mindset we
must adopt as we not only answer the call of opportunity,
but we maximise on it to the benefit of all.
"Dare to go where there is no path"
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