Saving is something that everyone should strive to do. It all starts by developing the habit and changing your thinking. Across Africa there are many different ways of thinking and therefore many different ways to save.
In South Africa and other African countries the most popular informal saving club is called a stokvel. A stokvel is a good way for people to help motivate each other to save. There are usually 12 or more members who each contribute a certain amount each month based on their income. Each month a different team member takes a turn to receive the money. For example if there are 12 people in your stokvel and each person contributes $500 a month, then once a year you will receive $6000. The motivation to save comes from the fact that other members will know if you haven’t paid your contribution for the month and there are also regular meetings to remind you how much money you will receive when it is your turn.
In Ghana, there are susu agents who deposit savings on their customers behalf at a bank in return for a fee and access to a loan facility. Susu is one of the oldest financial systems in Ghana and works in a similar way to a stokvel. Groups of people add regular amounts of money to a pool held by a susu collector. Each member of the group gets a turn to get the money at the end of the cycle which is usually 31 days. Unlike a normal bank, susu collectors come to your home to collect the daily, weekly or monthly contribution.
Whether you choose to save formally with a bank or informally by using a susu collector or joining a stokvel, the important thing is that you are saving. Find what works best for you and start today.