Stokvel members must curb appetite for spending
Stick to budget to avoid Janu-worry.
With the festive season upon us, it is usually at this time of the year that members of common-purpose savings clubs, commonly known as stokvels, withdraw wads of cash to enjoy the loot with their families.
While it would be good to see shopping trolleys filled with essential items like food and clothing, among other things, as a stokvel member you should try to curb your shopping appetite when it comes to non-essential stuff like gadgets.
Besides reckless spending, stokvel members should also guard against entertaining cunning salespeople and falling victim to criminals.
Most of the theft relating to stokvels takes place between November and December.
To avoid being a statistic of crime, you should ask the stokvel to transfer cash electronically to you, instead of allowing you to withdraw large sums of money and walk around with it in the streets, becoming a low-hanging fruit for unflinching robbers who are keen to use your hard-earned money to enjoy their festive season.
Stokvel proceeds can give you much-needed breathing space going into the new year when you have credit commitments, need to buy school uniforms and other home essentials.
As a stokvel member you should also consider getting counselling from an independent financial adviser on how you can better spend some of your savings while preserving at least some of the cash.
An independent financial adviser (who is not associated with a financial institution and is not trying to sell you credit or an insurance product) should be visited once a year. Supermarkets often promise stokvel members heaven and earth as the salespeople are eager to meet their festive season targets, but they care little about your actual budget. A good salesperson will persuade you that the way you have planned to spend your income over a particular period should take a back seat to what they are selling you.
Hence the salespeople come up with promises of bulk-buying discounts, exclusive shopping hours and freebies as bait to attract consumers.
This is the reason you should exercise patience and restraint when you lend an ear to a salesperson and remember that they are sellers, not financial advisers. Salespeople are on a charm offensive to generate a large number of sales while you need to avoid spending on items that are not in your budget.
Try not to blow all your stokvel money at once, stick to your festive season budget and avoid buying unnecessary goods. Cultivate a relationship with a financial adviser who wants to help you straighten your financial affairs rather than sell you a product.