The SamuelFields Consulting Group (SFCG), a private consortium of business and finance experts, kicked off its free Community Outreach Financial Wellness Webinar Series last week.
The interactive educational forum is designed to empower citizens and residents to make smarter decisions about how they save, spend, invest and protect their money, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a Community Learning Partner, SFCG provides hands-on advice to help participants prioritise their financial well-being. They are encouraged to build smart financial habits, develop strategies to maintain financial stability and safeguard against negative financial effects, in this time of uncertainty.
The first webinar, held on April 1, had a capacity of 120 attendees and was oversubscribed. The event began with a live poll to help gauge the current financial climate. Attendees were asked to characterise their financial situation as a weather pattern. Some 58 percent said “fair to partly cloudy”; 20 percent said it was “drought”; 15 percent said “hurricane winds”; and 5 percent said a “lovely day.”
The SFCG team promotes Financial Democracy and believes that regardless of income or educational level, everyone should have access to information, strategies and advice to make the best financial decisions.
“Talking about money can be tough, and 2020 has tested our financial resilience. But our approach at SFCG is designed to help clients overcome big financial hurdles, by taking small steps through professional guidance and informed decisions, ‘Likkle By Likkle’,” said CEO and Senior Financial Coach, Megan Samuel-Fields.
The catch phrase Likkle By Likkle is also the tag line for the SFCG Learning Series. It was used frequently throughout the discussion by Samuel-Fields and fellow panelists Lawrence Blackman, a seasoned banking consultant and Cassandra Simon, Proprietor of Accounting Solutions.
The discussions centered on a range of areas including: banking, budgeting, savings, credit, debt and investing, some of the key pillars that underpin the most important financial decisions. The speakers outlined a process for self-education that involves learning how to create a budget, tracking spending, paying off debt and planning for retirement, as part of achieving financial goals and managing financial challenges.
Simon suggested mindful spending, intelligent savings through a SMART Savings Plan and careful budgeting for contingencies, as some of the fundamentals in achieving financial wellness.
“Get in the habit of tracking where and how you spend money and learn how to live within your means. It’s amazing how easy it is to blow through your paycheck. Get in the habit of tracking where and how you spend money. You may be surprised to see where it goes,” Simon stated. Blackman stated that the pandemic has posed a great financial shock for many, noting that recovery from the crisis will require extended support and flexibility from banks to help customers get back on their feet. “You should try to develop a relationship with your bank or lending institution to facilitate ongoing communication, which can lead to finding alternative solutions to improve your financial health. You may feel overwhelmed, but you do have some leverage. If you don’t do well the banks don’t do well. So, use the power of negotiation,” he added.