Stokvels can be used for more than buying groceries and paying school fees. Matladi Raphiri* shares how her stokvel savings helped her reach her financial goals and fulfil her dreams.
The early stages
Like many people, Matladi dreamt of travelling the world and wanted to make her dream possible using the money she had at the moment. When she discovered that she was not the only person in her social circles who wanted to travel, she and five friends formed their stokvel in 2009.
Strength in numbers
‘We thought having a travelling club would be cheaper than travelling alone and even though our constitution changed over the years with the addition of wedding and funeral benefits, we remain true to our goal of travelling.’
Their initial contribution of R100 per member each month has increased to R500. The club currently has eight members. Some of the places they have been to include Victoria Falls, Namibia, Zanzibar, Sun City, Mozambique, Lesotho, Venda and Bela-Bela. Their next trips are to the Macufe festival in Bloemfontein and Mauritius. They travel once a year.
As it happens when people come together, success depends on having a shared goal, says Matladi. It also comes with accountability. Her advice to anyone who wants to start a stokvel is to set limits so that the vision is not compromised. ‘If a member misses three contributions, she will be charged 10 percent interest and she forfeits funeral benefits in case if there is a funeral in their family.’
One way to ensure that no member is left with a bitter taste in the mouth, is having a bank account that all contributions go into. ‘Having a club bank account instilled discipline and because not everyone has direct access to the money, we know contributions will not be misused.’
*Name changed to protect her privacy.
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