Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Money Money Money Money

Money makes the world go around. The world go around. The world go around. Money makes the world go around. It makes the world go 'round. A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound.A buck or a pound. A buck or a pound.Is all that makes the world go around, That clinking clanking sound. Can make the world go 'round. (Lyrics from the movie/play Cabaret)

I need money and I need it badly. I’ve never been good with money, not to blame my parents, but they were never good with money either. So I didn’t have a good model to follow. However, at this point in my life, I need to ante up and just figure out what my problem is and what I need to do to make it better.

Admitting that you have a problem is important right? So here I am admitting it. But what does one do, when one needs to get better at something. How do I fix this? A few weeks I go I was overdrawn in my account by over 500 dollars. I actually considered doing one of those payday loans. I didn’t do it, sucked it up and just did what I had to do, but still, I thought about it for a while.

I do participate in a type of savings program. Depending on where you hail, it’s called something different. In Haiti we call it a Mains. I’ve also heard it called Sou-Sou and Partner.

Well first, let me tell you what’s it’s not. It is not a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. You do not have to recruit anyone to get a payout. But it is important to note that the more people participate the larger your payout will be. It is a type of savings circle I guess.

How it works: Everyone who participates contributes the same amount of money each week or month for predetermined amount of time. It could last a month or a year. As I mentioned earlier, your payout depends on how many people participate in the circle. The most important thing about doing a Mains, is making sure that all the participants can be trusted. This savings circle is really popular with people from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. My mother did this for years and years, every time she wanted to save for something big. I have also participated from time to time, and have never ever not once had a problem. Assuming everyone in your mains can be trusted, everyone will benefit from large payout. I recall reading an article somewhere, like Time or Newsweek, which said that mains were possibly the answer to the economic crisis that we have found ourselves in.

The mains that I am participating in right now, has a payout of 11,000. The amount that you get depends on how much and how long you do it for. My contribution is 250 dollars per week. My “turn’ in getting the money is early next year, and we have been doing it since August 2009. It lasts about 50 or so weeks.

What’s my “big” thing? I am saving up for a down payment to an apt. I live with my family and hate it. Hate it more than you can imagine. At my age, living with my parents, is just embarrassing. Just embarrassing.

But besides saving up for the “big” thing, I just want to be better at saving money. Not spending every dime I have on silly things. Which I admit that I do a lot. I am such a work in progress.

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