What are the bylaws, policies, and procedures? It is important to have knowledge of these details before joining the SACCO.”
Money has a language of its own. Two years ago, l traveled to the lovely countryside in Lira, where l saw women and men in the rural areas bringing their money together to save to alleviate poverty.
I met them during one of their weekly meetings whereby they would bring even shs5,000 weekly to their savings group which has a structure with a treasurer.
Under the guidance of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), these people with disabilities have proper books of accounts to keep record of what money that comes in and what is borrowed.
Some of these groups opened up bank accounts so as to ensure safekeeping of their savings instead of keeping the money locked up in a member's home which would attract thieves.
With retrospect, we can borrow a leaf from this idea to also start saving. There is never a right time to start saving you just have to start states Clare Oparu, an economist.
With today's economy, to ensure personal development occurs SACCOs have come up and some people pool money with family and friends at a smaller level. Although saving is a good habit here is what you need to know before deciding who to save with.
It is more than money. This is what Dickson Mushabe, CEO of Hostalite in Naalya, Developers of investment and SACCO software, keeps tracing when it comes to choosing who to save money with.
KNOW WHO YOU SAVE WITH
"Many people's true colours manifest when the money comes. The way they walk and relate with people changes when the big money comes. Are they going to remain the same when the shs1Billion hits the account?
Observe how they handle personal money do they have integrity? You need to really know the people you choose to save with to avoid such situations," he explains.
Investment requires a trust element better save with people you know. This will especially apply when choosing a circle of friends and family to save with.
Our money habits define us. Is your circle of friends the kind who are broke on payday because they have to pay off debts? This means that such a person will not have money to save. These habits are vital to consider when looking out for whom to partner with on your journey to save money.
GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES IMPORTANT
There must be rules. You need to have a common agenda as to why you are saving. Where you choose to put your savings goes beyond money.
Be careful to know whether the circle of friends you intend to save with payback when they borrow.
Are these people who do not pay banks? You need to know them because sometimes personal sentiments kill investment clubs. Remember this is a long term investment.
There is need to work out an arrangement on how to deduct the money for savings. For instance; if the SACCO is for the workplaces the money is deducted before it is sent to your account.
SAVE WITH LIKE MINDED PEOPLE
Lilian Katiso an accounting gardener blogger based in Kyanja observes, "It is key to know the vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and activities of the SACCO. If you do not subscribe to any of them then do not join.
It is vital to know the SACCO members. Are these people you would want to identify with? What the governance structure is like are the office bearers members of good repute?
Then what are the legal structures of the SACCO the operational and financial management systems that need to be in place?
Finally, what are the bylaws, policies, and procedures? It is important to have knowledge of these details before joining the SACCO."
Clare Oparu, an economist also concurs with the previous experts that one needs to choose like-minded people because you need to have a common goal. She adds, "be part of the group whereby whoever money is distributed and paid to will be clear regarding the money structure.
This information should not be privy to just a few members but everyone in the group."
REGISTER THE INVESTMENT CLUB/ SACCO
So when should one register the savings group? "Some small savings groups do not register, however, as the savings increase and the group grows it is important to register so as to enjoy business benefits like having a business account," Oparu observes.
If you are to trust people with your money, it is wise to have the savings group registered so that you are able to deal with challenges legally in case someone runs away with your money. This ensures that it is easier to sort out the conflict.