These houses are typical in Barbados: some are rusted and worn while others are proudly maintained. Most are small and modest. One look and you might assume this is a poor island. Yet, the country ranks as the 53rd richest in terms of GDP. This apparent dichotomy is because the Barbadian culture abhors debt. They rarely have a mortgage and typically enhance their homes only when they can pay for an improvement in cash. In short, they are frugal and smart.