Savings Group. - Save a Little, Save a Lot - Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)

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1 Savings Group - Save a Little, Save a Lot - Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)

2 Kamala: What happened, Maya? Why are you crying? Maya: Well, my son is sick. He has a strange rash on his body, and a high fever. What should I do? My neighbours advised me to send him to hospital. But I don t have enough money. Do you think I should borrow some from the money lender? Kamala: Oh, don t do that, Maya! It s too risky! The interest he will charge you will be incredible! He can ruin your family s lives. I have some savings. I can help you this time. 2

3 Two days later... Maya: Hello, Kamala! Thanks for the money, my son was able to see a doctor. I was so worried. My friend lost her daughter because she could not buy medicine for her. Kamala: It s always important to save some money for emergencies. Maya: But how did you manage to save money? I thought you were as poor as I am. Kamala: Oh, actually, it s because of the savings group! Do you want to know what a savings group is? Let s learn about a savings group! 3

4 What is a Savings Group? A savings group is a group you can form with your neighbours and friends to solve financial problems by saving small sums of money together. It s like a drop of water in a bucket. You can t do anything with a drop of water, but once it accumulates, you can do many things: wash your face, use it for cooking, and drink it. Each and every drop fills the pitcher Unity is strength! It s the same with money. Let s each save a little bit and put it together! A little bit of money from everybody will gradually make a lot of money for the group to do many things. 4

5 How can the Savings Group benefit me? 1. At the group level In a savings group, you will always have access to cash for emergencies at very low interest or none at all. When you need a large sum of money for starting your own business or sending your kids to school, you can ask the savings group for a loan. 2. In the community You and your group members might want to consider a savings group as a starting point for improving your lives. It is a good idea to use the money for the benefit of the community, say, digging a well for the village. Use the savings group meeting as an opportunity to discuss important issues in your lives. 5

6 Kamala, the savings group seems very interesting. How can I save money at home? How can I save money at home? Make up your mind to do it! Try saving by cutting unnecessary expenses. Where there is a will, there is a way. Each and every drop fills the pitcher! Remember? Prepare a small bottle or a box. Save money in it every day. You don t have any money to save? Think about the bad habits that you and your family have. Cigarettes, alcohol, gambling... Stop these bad habits, and save money! You can save small change from your income as well! Why don't you save 3 apees* a day? Yes, it s not much, but if you do it every day, it comes to 90 apees a month! * Apee is an imaginary invented currency unit. 6

7 How Can We Form a Savings Group? 1 Make a group together with 5 to 10 trustworthy people. 2 Decide who is to be the leader and who will be the record keeper. 4 Every member will hand in the same amount to the leader for group savings. The record keeper writes down the money flow in a group ledger. A report should be made regularly. 5 Group members get together regularly and discuss their problems together. 3 Make rules for your savings group with your group members. Make sure everyone agrees with the rules. 6 When the money mounts up, group members can take loans from the savings, or the group can deposit some of the money in a bank. If your group faces any difficulty, seek outside advice from those with experience. For example, community learning centres and non-governmental organizations. 7

8 I have very little money. Is a savings group really safe? I collect money from every member regularly. I keep order in the group. I check what the record keeper writes in the group ledger. Forming a Savings Group - Note 1 Choosing a Leader and a Record Keeper We need to have a good leader and a good record keeper to form a strong savings group. What kind of persons are appropriate for these positions? Whenever each member puts money in the group savings, or takes it out, I write it down in the group ledger. Yes! The leader and the record keeper are really trustworthy. The Leader needs to... Be trustworthy Be decisive Know how to read, write, and calculate Have a safe place at home to keep the group savings Have enough spare time to manage group savings The Record Keeper needs to... Be trustworthy Be good at reading, writing, and calculating 8

9 Forming a Savings Group - Note 2 Setting Rules Rules like this will help your group to avoid conflicts. And we recommend you decide on your own group s rules together. Rules (Sample) 1. Members should attend the meeting regularly. 2. Each member hands in 10 apees to the leader at the meeting to be held on the 1st day of each month. 3. If a member misses handing in the savings, the member will be fined 1 apees, which will be added to the total. 4. If a member does not hand in the savings for more than 5 months, the member will be automatically dismissed from the group. 5. When a member asks for money for an emergency or loans, the group discusses and decides if it is agreeable. The member has to return the money in 5 months. 6. Loans are available to 2 persons at a time. 9

10 Forming a Savings Group - Note 3 Procedure at the Bank Once your group has enough money in the savings, say, 1,000 apees, it might be wise to deposit the money in a bank. It s not safe to keep a lot of money at an individual s home. It could be stolen! 1 First, take the necessary steps to open the group's bank account. If you need an identification card to open the account, you ll have to request one from your local government or people s representative. 2 Then go to a bank! There are various types of bank accounts. Ask the clerk about the differences between them. Choose one. You will receive a passbook and a checkbook. Keep them at the leader s house, where it is safe. 3 Now your group has opened an account. Your group can deposit the group's savings in the account. Of course, the group can always withdraw the money when they need it. Group leader and record keeper can take care of this The money deposited in the bank will accumulate interest according to the amount that you deposited. You see, interest is the money that banks give to the people who deposit their money there. So, your group s money will gradually increase in the bank! Isn t it great?

11 Be Happy with a Savings Group! I want to buy a small cart to carry the vegetables grown on the farm to the bazaar. I want my daughter to continue her education. Maybe we can buy three carts, and let everybody in the group use them! Solve your money problems as a group for the benefit of yourselves, your families, and your communities! 11

12 Let s think about it... Can you think of some people that you want to form a savings group with? How much do you think you can save each day? How can you do it? What do you want to achieve through saving money with a savings group? Guide for Utilisation Target: Neo-Literate learners at self-learning level Theme: Forming and operating a savings group Type: Motivational/Instructional Objectives: 1) To introduce the idea of a savings group 2) To motivate learners to form a savings group 3) To encourage learners to adopt the habit of saving money every day 4) To provide learners with practical knowledge to start a savings group 5) To enhance learners literacy skills Application: 1) Before distributing the booklet, discuss with learners whether they have put some money aside for emergencies, and what they will do in an emergency if they do not have any money. 2) Ask them what they want to do if they have some money to improve their lives. 3) Distribute the booklet to the learners and ask them to read it through. 4) Ask learners if they want to form a savings group. Discuss why or why not. Note: 1) It is recommended to use this textbook with Micro-Credit -Things to Remember when Borrowing Money- (AJP material 2000). 2) This booklet is a prototype version meant for local adaptation. Any organization is welcomed to adapt this booklet with written permission from ACCU. It is encouraged to modify the contents, reflecting local conditions such as currency, the use of and the procedures at the bank, who to contact in case of trouble. Please contact ACCU for further information. ASIA/PACIFIC CULTURAL CENTRE FOR UNESCO (ACCU) 6 Fukuromachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan URL: 12 This booklet is planned and produced under the Asia/Pacific Joint Production Programme for Neo-Literates in Rural Areas (AJP) in co-operation with UNESCO Bangkok. Illustrated by Ismail Lahri (State Resource Centre for Adult Education, M.P., Bhartiya Grameen Mahila Sangh) Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO 2002 AJP No.59

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