Take a break with your stokvel

Phaka­mani Mve­lashe looks at why plan­ning for a hol­i­day is cru­cial

Move! Stokvel - - Contents -

STOKVELS don't have to be just about fu­ner­als and shar­ing gro­ceries at the end of the year as it has be­come a norm. Even though tak­ing care of our fam­i­lies and mak­ing sure that all their needs are catered for is im­por­tant, we need to have some fun too in our stokvels.

These money-sav­ing clubs, which have been part of African cul­ture for decades, should also be a place where friends, neigh­bours and col­leagues meet for good times and com­pan­ion­ship. How­ever, hav­ing a good time to­gether doesn't mean that you should spend a for­tune. Stokvels can do some fun ac­tiv­i­ties, like go­ing on hol­i­day, with­out break­ing the bank.

TAKE A WELL-DE­SERVED BREAK

Speak­ing of hol­i­days, the fes­tive sea­son is an ideal time for stokvel mem­bers to take a well-de­served break. This is a time when most of the stokvel mem­bers get time off work.

If you are plan­ning to take your first trip as a stokvel, there are some im­por­tant things that you need to con­sider to make sure that all mem­bers are on the same page and know what is ex­pected of them.

One of them is to know how much money needs to be raised for the trip and how it's go­ing to be paid. An easy way of do­ing this is to open an ac­count for your stokvel and save money through­out the year.

"The ma­jor­ity of stokvel ac­counts are opened at the be­gin­ning of the year as peo­ple start to save early in the year for the fes­tive sea­son or for un­ex­pected events in the year,” says Jo-ann du Plessis, head of pric­ing and prod­uct at FNB.

She adds that this al­lows the group enough time to save money for the de­sired goal.

SET UP A SCHED­ULED TRANS­FER AC­COUNT AND SAVE RIGHT AWAY

Dif­fer­ent sav­ings or in­vest­ment ac­counts will have dif­fer­ent fea­tures to meet your spe­cific needs, so find out what works best for your group and also bear in mind how long you have to save.

A use­ful way is to cal­cu­late how much you need in ad­vance, cal­cu­late how much you can con­trib­ute to­wards the hol­i­day ev­ery month and then set up a sched­uled trans­fer with your bank. Most banks in South Africa of­fer group sav­ings ac­counts.

“An ac­count like the 32-Day Flexi No­tice is ideal for sav­ings to­wards a spe­cific goal such as a hol­i­day. It al­lows you to add money at any time and you can ac­cess your money after 32 days at no cost, al­low­ing you to take ad­van­tage of any travel spe­cial that may arise,” says Lezanne Hu­man, CEO of FNB Sav­ings, In­vest­ments and Fidu­ciary.

Lezanne adds,“pay­ing for your va­ca­tion in cash would be ideal es­pe­cially where in­debt­ed­ness is a ma­jor set­back. When it comes to sav­ing, time is your ally. Plan well in ad­vance so that you know how much you need to save for and start sav­ing to­wards this goal right away.”

TIME YOUR TRIP AND SHOP AROUND FOR BEST DEALS

Sav­ing money on travel of­ten comes down to tim­ing. If you are fly­ing, try to fly dur­ing off-peak sea­son as these flights tend to be a lot cheaper.

Even if you travel in De­cem­ber when prices are up, it would be wise for the group to buy the tick­ets well in ad­vance so that you don’t in­cur the fes­tive prices. Tak­ing the bus or a train can also be a cheaper op­tion.

“Shop around for the right hol­i­day pack­ages or deals, com­pare prices and try to book well in ad­vance to en­sure that you get the best prices,” says Lezanne.

CHOOS­ING YOUR FAVOURITE DESTI­NA­TION

The South African Tourism web­site has deals for travel across the coun­try. It would be a good idea to start there for shop­ping for a va­ca­tion spot.

You can also visit your travel agency, which are lo­cated in most shop­ping cen­tres. The agen­cies will be able to help you with a rea­son­able quo­ta­tion for your trip, be it a lo­cal or an in­ter­na­tional trip. They are bet­ter equipped to help you with lo­gis­tics for any kind of trip.

CHEAPER OR FREE AC­TIV­I­TIES YOUR STOKVEL CAN DO

Head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions mar­ket­ing and cor­po­rate af­fairs at Capitec Bank, Charl Nel, says there are many ex­pe­ri­ences that won’t cost a lot but will help recharge your bat­ter­ies and build spe­cial mem­o­ries with your stokvel mem­bers.

“You can visit an art gallery or mu­seum, have a pic­nic in one of the coun­try’s many parks or spend a day at the beach,” he says.

“Some South African tourism sites also of­fer spe­cials. For ex­am­ple, you can get a free trip up Ta­ble Moun­tain on your birth­day, and ev­ery year South African Na­tional Parks gives South African cit­i­zens free ac­cess to na­tional parks for a week.”

USE­FUL CON­TACTS

■ South African Tourism: 011 895 3000 ■ Shotleft: www.shotleft.co.za ■ Club Travel: 0860 555 777 ■ Stu­dent Flight: 0877 40 50 80 ■ Pen­travel: 087 231 2000

Take time out of your rou­tine as a stokvel and ex­plore the beau­ti­ful tourist at­trac­tions in Mzansi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.