Savings through a SACCO is a gift that will keep on giving. Savings with a strategic motive is one of the ways to get the most out of your savings. Let me explain how. Life mainly takes place in three major phases: the starting age, the middle life age, and the old age. In the early stages of our working life, we have time and energy but probably not enough money. In later years of life, after we have worked for a while, we now have the money as well as energy but time is starting to get limited. When we are old, we finally have money and time but no energy. I think we can uniquely harness the opportunities brought by these phases of life in order to reduce the uncertainties that come with life. When we are young and starting out, we have energy, willpower, and time to work and make some money. A good strategy would be probably to understand that in some later stages in life, we will not have the energy and dynamism we have now. This is where strategic savings come in place. Savings that you make now should be able to earn you money in later years of life and therefore add to your income pool.
When you join a SACCO, make sure you do it with a group of friends. These friends act as encouragement in order to make sure you make monthly contributions. Since we can be able to make money with our hustles here and there, we direct some of this income to a SACCO saving pool. After months of savings, you qualify to get a loan. Together with the amount of savings, your friends act as guarantors and therefore you get a loan. You can use this loan to expand your side hustle or any other pressing issue. Anybody within your group can do the same. Fast forward a few years later; SACCO should be making a reasonable return and giving dividends at the end of the year. When you earn these dividends, channel them back to the SACCO to act as minimum monthly contributions. At some point in the future, your contributions will be enough to get you a loan without much hustle. The value of your savings in SACCO continues to grow even without you doing anything to it.
At this juncture, you can even think of other investments outside the SACCO. Since you have a buffer in the SACCO savings, you can undertake other investments and use savings in the SACCO to finance other operations. The savings in the SACCO can even be used as to solidify your pension plan. Therefore using this strategy, when you enter the second phase of life: energy, money but no time, you are assured of a pool that can help you diversify your investments.
Another advantage is that you have the probability of getting investment partners within the SACCO that can be built upon to other investments. Since you will have taken a few loans and friends as guarantors and also guaranteed them, you can be able to extend the financial relationship to other investments outside the SACCO. This is because at least you have insights on dependable financial comrades with a track record.
At Ubunifu SACCO, this is our main goal, not just offering savings and credit services but also to be platform to build future sustainable wealth. Be sure to introduce your friends and take up this savings challenge. Don’t just save, save with a long-term plan and your savings will be a gift that will keep on giving and come to your aid in times of need. The future depends on the actions we take today.
By Chris Mugendi Kariuki
Secretary, Ubunifu Sacco