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Spending Tips

Forty Ways to Spend Wisely, How to Discuss Money

Make the most out of your money by budgeting and planning. Make wise decisions by practicing healthy communication about finances. Be sure to get the most out of these helpful tips.

Featured Product-Atlantic Bank Visa Check Card Exploring the Differences Between Payment Methods

The Atlantic Bank Visa Check Card makes shopping for everyday items easier. With the Visa Check Card, you can make purchase by simply swiping the card and the amount is deducted directly from your ABL account. Explore how our check card compares to other forms of payment.

This Quarter at Atlantic Bank

40 Years of Service Excellence and Interest Rate Changes

This year marks Atlantic Bank’s 40th anniversary. It has been our pleasure to serve you over the past forty years. We value your patronage and confidence in us. We are also reducing interest rates on credit cards and consumer loans.

ATLANTIC BANK 1971 - 2011

This Quarter at ABL 40th Anniversary

Atlantic Bank Limited was inaugurated on Saturday August 14, 1971 in Belize City. Our then Chairman, Dr. Paul Vinelli, shared the following words on this momentous occasion: “Our own experience and philosophy has led us to the conclusion that only what is good for the country is good for the bank. That which makes one grow, will ensure the progress and welfare of the other.� These words still ring true for us 40 years later.

and Hotel Internet Reservation System (HIRS).

That which makes one grow, will ensure the progress and welfare of the other. During these forty years, we have maintained our commitment to the development and growth of Belize. Our support to the economic development of our country has remained steadfast, with our participation in not only traditional industries such as agriculture, but also helping to develop new industries such as the tourism industry.

During the upcoming months, leading up to our anniversary celebration on August 16th, we will be having ongoing promotions to express our gratitude for your patronage, loyalty, and trust. It has been our pleasure to serve you over the past 40 years and we look forward to the next 40 years.

We continue to be committed to building the communities we serve. We work closely with organizations that promote education, health, sports, culture, and environmental awareness. Some examples of organizations we work with are Belize Cancer Society, Belize Diabetes Association, Mercy Care Center, The Belize Red Cross.

Our support, however, is not only evidenced through our lending services, but also the technology that we have introduced. We were the first to introduce Debit Cards, as well as the first to install an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in the country. We also developed several specific products and services for the Tourism Industry, such as E-Package


ATLANTIC BANK 1971 - 2011

Spending Tips Ways to Spend Wisely (Part 1)


Do it yourself (DIY) when you can. You can wash your own car, cook your own meals rather than buying out, and grow your own spices and vegetables. You can even do your own house and yard work; it won’t cost as much as having someone else do it and you’ll get in some exercise.

2. Be mindful when shopping.

for items. Compare prices and get value for your money. Compare prices when shopping online for items that can be gotten locally. With shipping and duty, you could end up paying more than if you were to just purchase the item locally.

3. Install low-voltage lighting.

You’ll spend less on utility bills. You should also practice turning off lights, fans and other appliances and electronics when you’re not using them.


Invest in a surge protector. Keep all major appliances hooked up to it at all times. Your appliances will last much longer and you’ll save money not having to replace them as often.


Make a list before you go shopping. If something does come up that you would like, ask yourself “Do I really need this?” You should also eat before you go grocery shopping because this will help you stick to your list.


Cut back on entertainment costs when possible. You can enjoy entertainment in the comfort of your own home for minimal cost. Buy your own groceries to provide your snacks and drinks while watching a movie at home.


Create a budget. There is a monthly budget sheet available on our website http://www. that can help you track expenses. This will help you keep track of your spending and let you know how much you can afford to spend.


Plan ahead. For upcoming events such as birthdays or Christmas, you should try to plan ahead so you get the best deals. Most stores have layaway plans when Christmas is approaching.


Carpool. If you travel within Belize frequently, try car-pooling with others and take turns with the gas cost. You will reduce your gas expense.


Mix and match clothing. There is no need to be buying new clothes every month. Buy a small supply of pieces that can be worn with almost anything. Buy basics, such as a “little black dress”, a neutral color jacket, and solid color blouses. These can be paired with a variety of pieces and provide an endless wardrobe.


Go Green Reduce the Toxic Chemicals in Your Home Traditional cleaning products can be quite costly and can bring toxic chemicals into your home. Many people are not in the habit of using gloves and masks every time they clean, and therefore expose themselves and their families to a variety of toxins. Green cleaning products are cheaper and healthier for your home. Kitchen Baking soda is best known for removing odours but can also be used as a degreaser and odor remover. Soak dirty dishrags in baking soda and water to improve the smell. Put an open box of baking soda next to the garbage or in the refrigerator to remove odours. You can also make a mixture to remove grease from your oven, pots, and pans by mixing one part baking soda with two parts of warm water. Vinegar can eliminate odors and be poured down your drain to clean and remove food odors. Vinegar can also be combined with baking soda to make a cleaning solution. You can use this mixture to clean wood cutting boards, wash the refrigerator and clean the stove. Lime juice can be added to your dish liquid. Limes work to cut grease and deodorize. When cleaning with vinegar, lime can also neutralize the vinegar’s pungent smell. Having the lime juice in a spray bottle can make cleaning surfaces easier, especially when cleaning and removing stains from walls and backsplashes. Bathroom Baking soda and vinegar can be made into a paste to scrub sinks, showers, plastic fixtures, porcelain bathtubs and toilet seats. Vinegar is used to make a cleaning and deodorizing solution for your toilet, add 3 cups of distilled vinegar, leave it for half an hour, and then flush. Stains from other porcelain surfaces such as stains from soap scum, mildew, bathtub film, toilet stains and grime

from bathroom tiles and shower curtains can also be removed with one teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of vinegar. Isopropyl Alcohol can beused on windows, handles doors, toilets, faucets, and mirrors to clean and sanitize. Just spray with isopropyl alcohol and dry with newspaper. Lime can be used to clean the hard water off of the sink, shower head, and bathtub. Laundry Vinegar (one cup per load) added to the last rinse cycle will make clothes rinse better. For bleaching, you can add half a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. Lime juice will also help your clothes to smell better and can be used as bleach. Hydrogen peroxide is used as a stain remover. Scrub clothes before washing with hydrogen peroxide. With these tips, you will have a safer, cleaner environment and better health.

Polish your furniture with 2 parts olive oil ,one part lime juice. Clean the AC filter and fan blades often. You’ll dust less! Mop your floors with one cup of vinegar to a gallon of water.


Upcoming Events Affordable Interest Rates at Atlantic Bank Ltd. Atlantic Bank, your responsible and trusted banking and financial partner has reduced interest rates on its International Visa and MasterCard credit cards and personal loans. International Credit Card Changes Our International Visa and MasterCard credit cards interest rate for local purchases has now been reduced from 22% to 16% for purchases billed in Belize dollar. The international credit cards still offer the added benefits of worldwide acceptance, photo security, travel insurance, and many other card benefits. Corporate Credit Cards are exempt from the 16% interest rate. Visa Local Credit Card Changes Last year Atlantic Bank reduced its interest rate from 18% to 16% as part of its promotional offer on its Visa local credit card. The promotional period expired on December 31st, 2010, but Atlantic Bank, permanently reduced the interest rate to 16% to accommodate for those personal and business expenses. The Visa Local Credit Card also offers cardholders many other benefits; purchases are billed in Belize dollars, lowest annual membership fee in the market of BZ$36.00.We also provide photo security

feature and countrywide acceptance wherever the Visa logo is displayed. Personal Loans Effective April 1, 2011, personal loans at Atlantic Bank have are being offered at 8.5% compound interest. You can apply for loans to finance that much needed vacation, graduation and back to school expenses, personal and medical expenses or simply refinance an existing loan facility. Take advantage of 50% discount on loan processing fees during our loan fairs, which will be scheduled in the coming months across our branches countrywide. Residential Loans The extended promotional rate of 11% on our residential loans allows you to get the keys to your castle by applying at any Atlantic Bank office. And you can get an even lower rate of 10% during construction. Apply for our residential loans to purchase land for construction, build or buy a new homeor make home improvements. Atlantic Bank is reducing interest rates on our credit facilities to accommodate your demand for affordable


Career Magagement “How I Got to Where I Am” Many people dream about starting their own business as a means of increasing income and securing their financial future. While there are numerous stories of failure, there are also many stories of success.

saving relentlessly for five years in order to finance his own business. Along with his wife, he opened the Nahil Mayab restaurant. During the first stages of establishing the restaurant, there were rough times but he was determined to see his business succeed.

Along with his close friend and business partner, Salas was determined to see the restaurant succeed. He advises other entrepreneurs to “have people you can depend on to form a part of your Mr. Osmany Salas (far left) Taste of Belize 2010 Success may be team to lean on. You can’t do it alone.” He also emphasizes the importance defined as of saving. “I worked as a consultant Mr. Osmany Salas is currently the owner and manager of Nahil Mayab sharing your time and contract officer and just saved the money I could. The most restaurant in Orange Walk. Last year, in as many ways all important piece of advice I could give this restaurant was selected as “Best of is to save. I give my employees their Belize Category 1st Place Winners” for as you can own savings plan. My workers earn a Orange Walk in Taste of Belize 2010 . bonus by not touching their savings. Mr. Salas also has his own consultancy “ According to Salas, the second most called Belnarm Strategies, offering important aspect of entrepreneurship strategic planning for natural resource is diversification and innovation. He later left his job management. with the government to pursue his venture in the Although, Osmany Salas had a humble beginning, restaurant and consultancy full time. Although he he worked diligently to receive scholarships. He admits that leaving the security of a steady job was believes in the importance of a good education and not easy, he is satisfied in his decision. that the pursuit of higher learning is a key factor for success. He received his Bachelor’s of Science in at In addition to the business side of being an Regis University in 1990 and his Masters of Science at entrepreneur, he believes in being a community activist and started a citizen action group. He is also University of Michigan in 2003. part of the Muffles College Development Committee He started the Protected Areas Program with and motivates volunteers to help in serving the Ms. Janet Gibson in the early years of the Belize community. He defines success as “sharing your Audubon Society (BAS). He later started working time in as many ways you can.” He believes that with for Programme for Belize. In 2001, he became the enough commitment, anything is possible. “It’s more executive director of IDB and later Chief Forest Officer. a philosophy than anything else,” he says, “a way of When he returned from University, he decided to start not only taking advantage of existing opportunities, several small projects, thinking “if it went well, others but also bringing new ones into being.” [projects] will come”. During this time, Salas had been


Featured Product-ABL Visa Check Card The Difference Between Credit Cards and Check Cards contribute, the less interest will be charged. Also, as you pay your card, the amount is then available for you to use again. It is a revolving line of credit. With your Visa International Credit Card, you would be able to shop online, pay forfor business trips, family vacation abroad, and students studying abroad. All local purchases billed in Belize dollars carry 16% interest rate (except for Corporate Visa Card). This is the lowest rate in the market. Your minimum payment is 8.33%. Both the check card and credit card are very valuable tools you can use to manage your finances. When making purchases, it is important to know the difference between a credit card and a check card. In the case of a credit card, you pay later. For check cards, the funds are immediately debited from your account. With your check card, you have direct access to your checking or saving account. Thus, you won’t be able to spend more than you have; the money is debited from your account, not borrowed on credit. Check cards also do not carry interest rate charges or additional fees. It is, however, limited to only purchases in Belize. The check card is a convenient alternative to cash and checks and should be used for living expenses that fall twithin your monthly budget. The kind of places where you would usually use your check card include restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and shopping at the local hardware or furniture store. There are times, however, where you would want to purchase on credit and enjoy the benefit of paying later. You can use your Visa/Master Card Credit Card for these larger purchases such as airplane tickets, hotel stays, back to school expenses etc. Just be sure to pay as much as possible. Remember, the more you


Featured Product-ABL Visa Check Card The Difference Between Cash and the Check Card Cash has been around for centuries and is still the most widely accepted form of payment. However, as the world becomes more advanced and the check card industry grows, many countries are using the debit card, also known as check card, as their preferred method of payment for everyday expenses. The modern day debit card is just another simplified way of paying for purchases using your saving or checking account.

out cash in public. It is also more difficult for thieves to access your funds. If they steal your wallet, they have immediate access to your cash. Your check card, however, has advanced security features such as a pin number, signature, and photo ID. If someone steals your cash, your bank cannot assist you. If you were carrying a check card, you can report your card lost or stolen at 223-4123 or email us at atlantic@atlabank. com.

Accessibility Although most major vendors accept check cards, not all do yet. You can use cash anywhere, including merchants and services that may not be equipped to handle a credit or debit card purchase. Some expenses such as buying fruits at local markets, or paying for public transportation still require cash. For most other expenses, however, you can pay with with the check card. These expenses may include purchases at grocery stores, gas stations, clothing stores, and pharmacies. Therefore, you carry less cash and take fewer trips to the ATM since you have immediate access to your money anywhere Visa is accepted.

For everyday purchases, the Check Card is the preferred method of payment.

Convenience When given the option of paying with cash or paying with a check card, it ismore convenient to use your check card. If you go to the store and attempt to purchase more than you have available in cash, you may face the scenario of returning items or making multiple trips to the store. Cash also forces you to make multiple trips to the ATM. Since the Visa Check Card is the same card you would use to withdraw money at the ATM, just swipe with your check card since it does not carry any fees and is easier and less bulky than cash. Security Carrying large amounts of cash can also put you at risk of being a victim of theft. If you use your Visa Check Card instead, the thieves will have no idea how much money you have, as opposed to taking


Featured Product-ABL Visa Check Card Atlantic Bank’s Cheque Upgrade Atlantic Bank Ltd. introduces its new cheque design for both personal and corporate customers. The new cheques feature the Atlantic Bank logo in the middle with a colour gradient going from blue to pink. You will also notice that there are small fibers on the cheque in various colours throughout the check. If you hold the cheques under ultraviolet light, you will also notice a watermark with our logo. These are just a couple of the enhanced security features our checks now have to better help protect you from fraud. While the enhanced security features make it harder for someone to forge your cheques, you are your best help to prevent cheque fraud. Here are a couple tips on what you can do: Never pre-sign cheques! Don’t sign blank cheques. Always write names in full; for example, St. Mary’s School, instead of St. Mary’s. Draw a Line after the name, amount and anywhere else that there are empty spaces. Make sure you keep your chequebook in a safe place; don’t leave it in places easily accessible to other people. If you close an account, destroy any remaining cheques you may have. Ensure your signature at the bank is updated. Keep your chequebook separate from your credit cards, debit cards or any other document that has your signature. If a thief gets a hold of your chequebook, but does not have a sample of your signature, a forged signature will probably not resemble yours. Report a stolen chequebook to your nearest Atlantic

Bank office as soon as possible. We will then ensure that no cheques are cashed from the stolen chequebook. Customers with Corporate Online can also do this via their Corporate Online Stop Payments feature. There are many alternative payment methods that are also safer and more convenient. These alternatives include Atlantic Bank Visa Check Card and Online Banking. Online Banking makes it easy and convenient to make your utility/school payments and transfer to other ABL customers. With your Visa Check Card you can pay for purchases wherever 1 3

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theVisa logo is displayed. 1. Payee: The person or company you are paying. You can also make out a check to yourself. If you make it out to “cash”, that’s risky because if it is stolen, you could loose your money. 2. Date: The day you write a check. A bank may refuse to pay a check that is more than six months old. 3. Amount: The amount to be paid. You write this in both words and numbers. The bank may return the check for you to correct. If someone else changes the amount, the bank should not cash the check. 4. Signature: Your signature approves the payment. If someone else signs your name to a check, it is forgery; a criminal offense. You are usually not responsible if the bank cashes a forged check. You can ask the bank to refund your money.


Let’s Talk About Money How to Discuss Finances With Family And Friends Money is often a difficult topic that many people are uncomfortable with and can often lead to disputes between family members and take away from valuable family time. Healthy communication about money is possible with our spouses, family members, and friends.

When talking to a spouse or partner, don’t shy away from the topic of money when it comes up. Share your goals with each other to know if you and your partner are on the same page about things. Then create shared goals and determine how you want to share your money. Commit to money issues head on and remember to compromise, always working towards strengthening your finances. Know when it is an appropriate time and place to talk about money. You don’t want to talk about money all the time. You don’t want to talk about money while enjoying a nice meal or in front of family. Instead, pick a time when both parties are available, and not rushed or stressed. When financial problems do come up, ask yourself what you can do differently and make it a point to improve the situation and meet your spouse half way. Respect your partner and his or her financial relationships with others. Work through tough times to try to work on a solution to financial problems. When talking to your parents about money, assume that they are trying to help and want what’s best for

you. Don’t get offended when your parent makes a suggestion to help you improve your finances. Avoid miscommunication by setting clear boundaries. When asking your parents for financial help, only do so as a last resort. As for you helping your parents, honor the fact that giving up financial stability during retirement is not an easy thing to do. If you would like your parents to move in with you, work with their goals and include your siblings in the discussion. Regarding money conversations with your own kids, be responsible for teaching your kids to handle money properly so that they can learn to be financially independent later in their lives. When they are young, give your kids an allowance but let them earn their allowance by doing chores. Discuss financial decisions at an age appropriate manner. Be honest with your kids and answer their questions about money. Allow them to develop their own opinions. Ask what they think and don’t judge them for their thoughts if they don’t share yours. Most importantly, never try to buy your children’s love. This often happens in busy families and creates a lot of financial issues for kids later on. When discussing money with your friends, talk in terms of ideas, and not numbers. If one of your friends trusts you with any of their financial problems, respect their confidence in you. Support each other’s financial goals. Finally, be aware of the mood in the room. If the conversation becomes uncomfortable, move the conversation to another topic. Becoming a better financial communicator requires having the right attitude about discussing money. Instead of dwelling on difficulties, focus on ways to finding solutions and making goals and make an effort to remain positive. If you are honest about your family’s finances, you are at a better position for talking about money with others.


Activity Zone Rainy Day Family Activities Think of a rainy days as a break from the normal routine of the world. Since we live busy lives, we constantly are on the move. The greatest gift that you can give children is spending quality time together. So when a rainy day comes, think of it as a time for you to make time for family. Read books. A great rainy day activity for young children is to read to them. This is also a great time to encourage your older children to read. Plan weekly trips to the library so that your family will always have a variety of books to read that won’t cost you a dime. Bake up some treats. Spending your rainy days baking with mom or dad is a great way for children of all ages to learn new skills. Young children will enjoy pouring ingredients into a bowl and mixing. Older children can improve their math skills such as fractions when doubling recipes or simply measuring ingredients. Play board games and puzzles. Children of all ages can learn while having fun with board games such as scrabble. For a low cost alternative to board games, you can teach your kids to play cards. There are hundreds of card games designed for kids such as Crazy 8s and Go Fish. Go online and look for ideas. With puzzles, kids will

feel accomplished putting them together and seeing what image they make. Board games also develops problem solving skills, confidence and logical reasoning. Turn the light on and turn on some music. Having the lights on and curtains drawn can keep the energy level alive in your house. If it is too dark in your home, you might end up wanting to sleep or sit in front of the TV. Turn some music on and dance with your kids. See who can come up with the most creative dance moves. Watch a movie together. Make sure it’s something everyone will enjoy. Grab a few healthy snacks and get comfortable in front of the TV. You can rent a movie or borrow one from a friend. Get creative with crafts. Kids love to do hands on things. Put together a craft bin with loads of construction paper, glue, scissors, beads, glitter, crayons, coloured markers, and pencils. There is no limit to the amount of creations you can make with your children. Play educational video games with your kids. There are many free games on the Internet to help kids spell, type, read, and even learn different languages. There are also educational games available for your children’s gaming consoles.


For an online version of AtlaSource, visit us at

Phone: 591-223-4123 Fax: 501-223-3907


Your Guide to Personal and Financial Growth


Your Guide to Personal and Financial Growth