Washington, DC -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/22/2012 -- In the recent past if you wanted to buy anything you just took out a loan or a credit card. Both were easy to obtain with low levels of interest. Saving became something unknown and unnecessary for most of the population. Why save when you could borrow? Sadly but predictably, this credit boom had to end.
Now with the US economy just picking up again, banks are unwilling to lend money and people are finding it very hard to get a loan. So what do you do when you need to buy something large or expensive? You could try saving for it - but for a whole generation of Americans that is something they're just not used to doing. And as Gwanyalla puts it:" Saving money can be a little difficult for some. It's tougher for people to fight the temptation of a 'new shoe 'or 'the latest gadget' when they have access to their savings account."
The result is we never reach our savings goal and we never save enough to buy our large purchase, to repair the car or buy a new washing machine.
But Gwanyalla believes he has the solution; social saving. "I thought about it and realized that people today are very comfortable sharing. While in the past sharing was seen as a taboo, we are now the sharing generation: people share their houses on airbnb, their couch on couchsurfing.org, their lives on facebook, and their cars on GetAround.com. So I thought, why not share money with people you care about to fight the hard times?"
And so sou-sous was born. The idea of sou-sous is that a group of people who know and trust each other agree to contribute a certain amount of money at an agreed interval. For example, ten friends each decide they can afford to contribute $200 each once every two weeks to the group.
At the beginning of the group they decide by lottery, the order in which the group members will receive the money from the group. Then, each time the group collects its $2000, the money goes to the person who has been allocated to receive it by the lottery. This means that as an individual you are saving towards $2000 every two weeks and you are guaranteed to reach this savings total as you cannot 'dip' into your savings in the mean time. It also means that once every twenty weeks you will receive a sum of $2000 to use however you need it.
"Sou-sous is sharing at its best. It is people coming together to help each other” Gwanyalla adds.
There is nothing new about the concept of sou-sous, Gwanyalla admits, "It has been going on informally in communities for hundreds of years. But I realised that many people needed to know about this useful type of social saving. That is why I made it digital and launched the sou-sous site."
"Sharing is caring" repeated Gwanyalla, "so why not share one of the most valuable things with the people you know and trust and make a real difference, not just to their lives, but to your life too."
To find out more about the sou-sous method of social saving and maybe even get involved, please visit: http://www.sou-sous.com
About Bill Gwanyalla
Bill is a 26 year old on asylum living in Washington DC. He came to the United States from Cameroon, West Africa when he was 18 years old. He arrived with the firm belief that everything was possible in the US if you were willing to work hard.