Welcome to Our Knowledge Base!
We at CariDollarsAndSense believe that a critical component of achieving Financial Freedom and becoming confident about financial matters is improving your knowledge of personal finance. In Trinidad and the wider Caribbean, however, it is often difficult to find easily accessible and objective information that individuals can use to make wise financial decisions.
Consistent with our philosophy to promote financial education, we have created a database of free teaching articles that cover several aspects of personal finance. You can therefore use these to guide you through the numerous financial situations and decisions encountered every day.
The articles are designed to be easy-to-read and understand, while being comprehensive. They are published every few weeks, and the best way to stay informed about new posts is to subscribe to our free newsletter. We promise no spam.
To the right, you will find the articles grouped in various categories for you to browse and access easily. As you read them, we’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences in the comments section at the bottom of each article.
Please spread the word to your friends and family!
Below are a few examples to get you started.
Cari$ Rules for Financial Freedom
Advice and advisors are plentiful for individuals who have surplus funds—at least in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars—to invest. But it is easy to forget that the majority of the working population would not consider themselves “rich” or “wealthy”. Instead, the majority earn a normal income, have a small or limited savings pool, and face normal money challenges and choices in order to grow their savings. At CariDollarsAndSense, we focus on helping the majority build wealth and achieve Financial Freedom by providing practical guidance and tips about everyday financial situations and challenges. We believe Financial Freedom is definitely possible once the rules we identify below are followed.
How to Create a Personal Budget
If you read Cari$ Rules for Financial Freedom, you’ll notice our first rule is “No Budget? No Chance”. What this means is that we fundamentally believe taking control of your finances and achieving Financial Freedom is only possible when you have a personal budget. While we provide a lot of detailed guidance in our Budgeting Series, the purpose of this post is to summarize the process of creating a budget, so you have a big-picture view before diving into the details.
Be Uncomfortable With Debt
One of our Cari$ Rules for Financial Freedom is to “Be debt free” because we believe real Financial Freedom is only achieved when you are debt free. Put another way, we recommend individuals treat debt with a healthy amount of respect (if not fear), eliminating it quickly, or avoiding it whenever possible. But if we look around, many people use debt freely, almost as if there were no consequences. In this, and a few related posts, we explore different aspects of debt, so you can properly evaluate if taking a loan is the right decision for you.
Buying a Car
Owning your first car is a thrilling experience; as a matter of fact, your pulse races every time you own a different car! Probably the freedom a car represents is intoxicating. But after the euphoria, we know several people who get a twinge of buyer’s remorse because of unexpected costs that pop up. An improperly evaluated decision can therefore have financial consequences for a number of years.
Understanding Credit Card Debt
In the first part of this post, Joys and Woes of Credit Cards, we identified some of the benefits and dangers of these little pieces of plastic, but we deferred discussing three “dangers” to this post: (a) They are the most expensive form of credit (b) Interest calculations are not easily followed and (c) The illusion of minimum payments. Before beginning, we’d like to remind you that we genuinely believe credit cards are an important financial innovation. They just need to be used responsibly, and the first step towards this is ensuring you properly understand how they work and could impact you. With this knowledge, you can then make informed, eyes-wide-open decisions.
How to Manage Personal Financial Risks
Life is full of risks and we all adopt active or passive approaches to manage the risks that we face, even if we may not realize it. In this article, we will examine the types of risks we face and the different methods we can use to manage them. We are restricting the types of risks to personal financial risks i.e. we are not addressing business or commercial risks. A financial risk exists if we face a potentially unfavourable impact on our personal finances if a particular event or a situation takes place. .