To revive an old theme – so old, in fact, it inspired this very damp place we could home – I was thinking about our savings club/social enterprise.
All because I wanted a fancy haircut. That’s all. Popular culture has told me that I need to look smart to get on in life, so being the diligent go-getter I am, I bought a haircut. To do so I went through MyCityDeal.
I reckon it might hold the clue of how to make a low-income savings union. It works in partnership with a load of retailers in the UK and offers discounts on their services (good for restaurants, good for haircuts, slightly less edifying when offering cosmetic surgery) if you buy through them. So I paid the £30 to MyCityDeal, who then gives a voucher which is taken to the haircut shop.
I presume MyCityDeal take a cut (guffaw) and the retailer the remaining. All of which means that they have a big bank of cash made up from all the people who buy through them.
So, if we were to adapt this slightly, firstly by doing away with cosmetic surgery and then by partnering with a wide spectrum of retailers – from low-income stuff to organic posh crap – and make everyone who signs up (like I had to for MyCityDeal) a partner, we could use the load of payments as a savings bank. Money could be invested in social bonds and returns could be given back to our parters. For low income groups this would be particularly useful because it offers a way of building up a bulk of savings.