By TKay Nthebe
The festive season is in full swing, an exciting time for members of mekhatlo to celebrate and reap the rewards of their labour. There are so many different savings clubs or mekhatlo in Lesotho, each helping its members achieve their respective financial goals. After 12 months of being disciplined and saving, I too would look forward to seeing the financial goals materialise – groceries, bedding, travel, bags/shoes or investments.
Being an advocate for holistic financial planning, I often encourage mekhatlo to graduate beyond just savings clubs, if they are to build wealth for themselves and families. Though financial planning is important, I also advocate for people, especially members of mekhatlo to the rewards of their hard work, live in the moment and find a balance.
In this article, I want to share a few ideas that members of various mekhatlo can consider this festive season.
- Celebrate the achievement
Saving towards financial goals is not easy, especially when the cost of living i.e., groceries, utilities and petrol is constantly increasing. Because mekhatlo are built on social interests and common goals, celebrating collectively and as individuals is key. I recommend that members spend time together to celebrate (adhering to all COVID-19 protocols), reflect on what went well or did not and plan for 2022.
- Build investments for the mokhatlo
I attended and hosted an empowerment event last week Saturday, organised by a group of ten women. What inspired me most is how this group of women started as a mokhatlo and eventually built their company. Looking to buy shares and invest in one of Lesotho’s prominent companies, these women started their mokhatlo to raise the funds.
Realising that they can achieve a lot more and contribute to the economy, they decided to register an investment company, which now has interests in manufacturing, energy, agriculture, retail and the hospitality industry. I truly believe that mekhatlo in Lesotho can build generational wealth for its members and contribute meaningfully to the economy if they work together and invest in for the long term.
- Start investments for your family
Similarly, to point the above, I love mekhatlo that share the money raised (from contributions and interests) throughout the year e.g. LSL 30,000.00. The reason people save via mekhatlo is because they have big expenses to take care of right? Naturally, my first recommendation would be to plan how the lump sum e.g., LSL30,000.00 will be used and accounted for. Secondly, I would recommend using part of the money e.g., 20% of the LSL 6,000.00 to start a savings/investment for yourself or children. It could also start by holding each other accountable as members on managing personal finances for example saving an agreed percentage allocated towards paying school fees, buying house materials and buying a site.
Financial coaches and/or financial advisors advocate for “paying yourself first”, how about starting 2022 with savings, however big or small? As we prepare for Christmas shopping and the holidays, please stay safe, plan and enjoy your money.