Remember the WhatsApp pyramid scheme masked as a “WhatsApp stokvel”? It then returned as “WhatsApp gifting”. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that I was invited to quite a fair bunch of them. Which, of course, I declined.
However, it got me thinking: whether it’s for the purposes of saving or investing, people struggle to commit. I’ve found that being accountable to your peers drives discipline and commitment.
Enter the “umshayelwano stokvel”. As a concept, it has been around in the townships for a long time. Members rotate “paying” each member on a monthly, weekly or fortnightly basis, depending on the members’ agreement. Usually, the amount is fixed for a year.
So I decided to start a gifting stokvel of my own with a few friends. We will rotate the gifting every month, similar to a “umshayelwalo”. Instead of sending each other cash, we will send EasyEquities vouchers. Which we can use for one thing only – to invest in our respective portfolios.
In a way, we are now as a group compelled to pay ourselves because we’re accountable to other members in the group. We also have a WhatsApp group where we share financial information beyond investments.
We initially wanted to base it on birthdays, but some months have more birthdays than others. So we created a sequence by assigning 12 random numbers to each member and sort ascendingly.
This approach doesn’t require a joint bank account. But having an EasyEquities account is a prerequisite.
Njabulo Nsibande is a Just One Lap user-turned-contributor and a founding member of an investment club. His “Cash Club” blog details his experiences balancing the financial obligations of a young parent with his investment aspirations.
Follow Njabulo’s journey here every month. You can also follow his trading journey by listening to his Village Trader podcast.
Find him on Twitter: @njabulo_goje.