Ariza Credit Union held a full day financial seminar on Saturday August 24th, 2019 at Ariza training room, Bruce Street, St. George.
Financial education, training and information is a key principle of credit unions and was one of the driving forces of this initiative. At Ariza, members are encouraged to live and dream freely, therefore, the Credit Union ensures that training, products/services and financial education is readily accessible by members. With access to these opportunities, the organization’s membership can take more control of their financial lives.
The session, which had approximately forty (40) member participants was facilitated by GoBlue Inc, on various topics that are essential when charting your path to financial freedom. It covered topics like goal setting, budgeting, money personalities, investments, retirement, estate planning and more, delivered through lectures, ice breakers, practical exercises and discussions.
The Seminar touched on the concept and difference between needs and wants and reasons for purchasing. Participants were urged to make purchasing decisions that would help them build wealth rather than just for instant gratification.
What is your money personality?
An interesting highlight of the training was to determine a person’s money personality where members completed a short quiz. The result revealed their relationship with money and in some instances how it influences their decision making.
“Goals are expressions of your personal dreams about your ideal future” Aaron Moses (Chief Facilitator). Participants were asked to put their goals down in writing and continue to track their progress. The course emphasized how setting goals can motivate an individual and assist them with measuring their growth and progress over time.
Another key point made by Mr. Moses was that “progress can be made one stone at a time” which was related back to the idea of thrift savings-making small contributions continuously. All participants agreed that savings are fundamental and that there is a need to save more. A tip that resonated well with the group was to set aside a portion of their income for saving before expenses since savings is not a loss as it allows them to plan for key life moments on their own terms.
Top Saving Tips were
- How to spend less
- making a list of expenses and sticking to it
- giving yourself an allowance or shopping with a partner.
- Wise budgeting
- Track debts and reduce expenses.
- Differentiating between good and bad debt
- Preparing a mock budget and make recommendations on how to achieve a surplus.
The second facilitator, Ms. Judy McCutcheon, current President of the Rotary Club of Grenada spoke on the topic of insurance and risk management. She began with an overview on the types of insurance like health, life, property and their importance. She explained that insurance are ways of managing the risk you may encounter throughout life. She pointed out that one should be aware of under or over insuring and look out for special coverage. Special coverage, while it may cost more covers additional items like jewelry or computers which may not be covered by your policy.
One of the final areas the training focused on was retirement and investments. The participants were urged to save and plan for retirement now. For example, Ariza’s Retirement Savings Plan is an affordable option for members. With a minimum initial contribution of fifty dollars ($50.00) and regular monthly contributions members can be better prepared for their golden years. It was suggested that members look into additional means of income after retirement by tapping into the earning potential of their hobbies.
Top Investing tips were:
- diversify investments, (don’t put all your eggs in one basket).
- Put at least six (6) months’ worth of expenses aside for your emergency fund.
At the end, the areas covered in the seminar were well received by the attendees. They were an energetic group that actively participated which made the experience fun and enlightening. All participants were grateful for the seminar and many expressed that they felt better able to manage their money and make sound financial decisions, one participant stating that he will now be able “to change [his] financial position to a better one”
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