THE BOTTOM- A number of employees of the Public Entity Saba last week took part in the budget course provided by trainer Ineke Jochemsen of the Netherlands National Institute for Family Finance Information Nibud.
Together with the participants, Jochemsen looked at ways how to budget and brainstormed how to save money. She did the same in the one-on-one consultations that she had with various people. “Together, we try to find solutions. We find tips and tricks together.”
During her one-week week stay on Saba, Jochemsen became very aware of how hard people have it here. “People don’t have it easy on Saba with the high cost of living. After paying the fixed expenses of rent, electricity and groceries, very little is left of people’s income. The combination of high rents, expensive energy and groceries is difficult, especially for households with one income. Not only people with a low income have it hard, but also people with a median income.”
Jochemsen said that not everyone was aware of the various forms of assistance that are made available by government, for example the allowance for school uniforms or afterschool care. She said that the US $1,300 energy compensation for lower income households, made available by government, was important and would help people a lot.
During the course, participants filled in a budget form. “It is a start to budget. People were eager to fill it in. The budget form enables you to zoom in on your personal situation.” She said people experienced the half-day course as very positive. Participants were able to choose which day and which part of the day they wanted to attend the course. The budget course was facilitated by the Community Development Department and funded through the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (SZW).