Kyle Andrews, a student of Goodwood Secondary school, learnt the importance of saving for the future. Shenice Balfour, a Sixth Form student of Scarborough Secondary, now understands the value of saving and budgeting for expenses.
Another Scarborough Secondary school student, Monique David, took away the lesson that “saving your money helps you out in the future and although I am already saving, I will continue to save more.” And Seann Denoon of Speyside High School is planning to open a bank account “and not spend my money on useless things anymore.”
These were the testimony of secondary school students who attended the Global Money Week youth exposition at the Victor E Bruce Complex in Scarborough, hosted by the Division of Finance and the Economy. Dominic Stoddard from the Office of the Financial Ombudsman established by the Central Bank in 2007, encouraged the students to set financial goals by writing them down.
In his feature address, Stoddard told them, “when you are young, you feel invincible, you are healthy, every day you only think about doing your school work and being happy but time passes and before you know it you are 10 years away from retirement.”
“A lot of the things you wanted to do you never get the chance. It doesn’t matter how young you are, start by setting financial goals. Allow your entire person, your minds, your beliefs, your aspirations to be invested in that goal and what you will find over time is you will be aligning your behaviours with those goals.
“Those behaviours might be savings behaviours, budgeting behaviours and responsible financial behaviours. You will be able to distinguish between a want and a need and once you are able to do this you have a better chance of moving closer to your financial goals,” he said.
Balfour told Newsday Tobago that the forum was important in she was able to learn of the many institutions where she can save money and “how long I need to save to buy a car or mortgage a house.”
“Also what the Secretary of Finance and the Economy (Joel Jack) said about not wasting a good crisis, is correct because of the situation with the boat issues, Tobago’s young people must now be encouraged to do and produce more to make money and to survive,” she said.
David plans to make money by selling cupcakes.
“Even though I am a student, I know I’ll be successful at the end,” she said.
Jendayi Thomas of Pentecostal Light and Life Secondary school was another student encouraged by the financial advice at the youth exposition. She told Newsday Tobago, “it is important to save and budget as a child just in case something happens to your parents.
“As well managing your money, planning your goals is essential. I also learnt that if I am planning to get into business I must be able to distinguish between my wants and needs so that I would not affect my profit,” she said.