People all around the world get together to save together. That has been going on for centuries. You can do it too.
The first thing you need is 15-25 like-minded people. Once you sit down with them, the rest is easy. If you think you might want to do this, talk it up. You might be surprised how much interest you find.
We'll take you through the steps. It's straight forward:
- You'll hold a meeting to decide on the rules (we give you a draft constitution to help you do this). And you'll elect some officers. Give your group a name. And then each person can say, "I'm in!"
- Then you'll meet regularly, every week or two - you'll decide. When you meet, everyone will save at least a minimum amount of money. You'll decide on that. (We've got a manual for you with a guide to how to run a meeting).
- After a few meetings, you'll have enough for people to borrow if they want to. No one has to, but you'll find it's better to borrow from your group than from a credit card. (We'll show you how to keep good records).
- Then, after 8 months or a year, you'll share-out. That means, everyone gets back their own savings, plus their share of the money the group has earned from interest or fines or whatever. (Of course, we will tell you how to figure out the share-out).
- Finally, if you want to, you'll start another cycle.
We've got everything you need on this site, including a coach. Any new adventure is easier when you have someone to help you who has already been down that road.
Okay, but - Why?
There are three good reasons to start a savings group.
It builds social trust - it's a way to use money to bring people together, and not push them apart like sometimes happens when money is involved. You will have more friends and closer friends.
It makes it easier for you to save. We know that saving is hard for a lot of people, but like most things, it's a lot easier when you have other people supporting you.
It's empowering. A lot of us don't want large corporations to run every part of our lives. We still need banks of course, but Savings Groups can do some of what banks and credit cards do, faster and easier, and without taking your money to give to a corporation. A lot of people say it changes their view of the world and themselves when they join a savings group.
For some people, the Savings Group is their destination: they like the community and the savings and the trust, and they are happy with the group the way it is, and the group continues for many years with only a few tweaks to its objectives, procedures and membership. Other people see Savings Groups as a platform to stand on as they reach for other greater things, and many groups evolve and carry out other activities, either for the benefit of the members, or the benefit of the community. Either way is fine: Savings Groups belong to the members, and the members decide what they will become.
Here - watch this video
It explains savings groups and has some great pictures and interviews.
Tens of millions of people - really! - have been in Savings Groups all around the world. Their collective experience and wisdom has taught us a lot about the best way to form Savings Groups and run them. We've collected it here for you. Use these tools, and you'll be in good shape.
SAVINGS GROUP MANUAL
Start with this short manual that describes what Savings Groups are, how they work, and what you need to do to start one.
SAMPLE BOOKKEEPING FORMS
If you're dealing with money, you need to keep good financial records. Here are some forms to help you do that.
WANT EVEN MORE?
We have links to videos prepared by international organizations to train savings groups in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
It's all about Community
We all spend a lot of time on-line. Like.. right now we're on line! That's fine, but as our banking goes on-line, and more of our social life goes to Facebook and Instagram, and we find ourselves buying more stuff on Amazon, we begin to lose our sense of community, and people need community to be whole and happy. Community is a key to happiness and health.
Here's a chance to do something really exciting with old and new friends. A lot of people find that their Savings Group becomes like a new family to them. It's fun, but it's not trivial, since you are working with real money.
Check it out. If this looks like something you'd like to do, ask us for a coach and go for it!
Who we are
The site was put together by Paul Rippey. (I'm the only person in the picture above who isn't a Pakistani woman). I've worked with Savings Groups around the world since 2003. I've seen a lot more groups in Africa and Asia than I have in the US, but I'm happy to see them starting here too. This site is designed to help encourage and support people who would like to form their own group.
I've learned a lot from a lot of people. A special shout-out to Nancy Jordan and the Wealth Walkers Savings Group in Missouri, who have grown from one group to four in a year, and who continue to inspire me.