Friday, April 30, 2010

Pooled Susus: C'mon in! The water's fine

Just in time for summer, is proud to offer Pooled Susus. The latest way to save is great for any large purchase or trip a group plans to make together – family reunions, vacations or even real estate. Members contribute and instead of someone receiving the Susu funds each week, the funds are pooled into one participant-designated account. The Susu Administrator can distribute payouts as needed at any point during the cycle or just continue to let the pool of money grow.

For example, let's say a family of four consisting of two parents and two college students plans to go on vacation over winter break. The parents are willing to pay for the bulk of the vacation, but want the students to contribute as well. The parents set up the Susu and agree that combined they will put away $500 a month if each of their kids will contribute $125 a month. The Susu will begin in May and end in September, giving them plenty of time to purchase plane tickets and book hotel rooms.
The parents end up contributing $2500 ($500 x 5 months). The students' savings total $1250 ($125 x 5 months x 2 students). Grand total = $3750.
Everyone in the family contributed but at different levels due to their varying incomes. This is one of the benefits of doing a Pooled Susu. Members of each Susu will decide the terms. Not everyone has to contribute the same amount. Not everyone has to participate for the duration. To keep everyone in the loop, all members of the group will know what has been contributed at all times.

Other ways Pooled Susus could be used:
• Birthday Clubs
• Christmas Clubs
• Bachelor/Bachelorette parties

Summer hasn't officially begun, but Labor Day always arrives sooner than we think. How do you plan to pay for that last trip of summer?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

End of an Emergency but the Beginning of Better Saving Practices

Note: This is the final entry from Emergency Fund Susu participants.

Now that our first Emergency Fund Susu has ended, I have never been more sure that providing this service is the right thing to do. About 90% of the participants in the Emergency Fund Susu were first-time Susu participants and have made a commitment to continue saving money using Our Susu!

One thing we heard over and over again from participants is that they weren’t “missing” the money they put towards savings. That's exactly what saving should be about and why I started Our Susu. I wanted people to see how easy it is to save money without affecting your day-to-day activities. Whether that saving is for purchasing "Man Stuff,” relieving your Costco addiction, small business saving for a rainy day, or for the savvy investor who values dollar cost averaging, Our Susu has the mechanism to achieve those goals. Join in the party and see how Our Susu can help you save without missing a beat!

Founder, Our Susu & Emergency Fund Susu member

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ready for a Bigger Badder Susu

Note: This is the latest entry from members participating in Our Susu's Emergency Fund Susu.

Well, Friday was my payout day. The two months went really quickly, and it's nice to wake up with extra money in my account. With all the trips and events coming up in the next couple of months, the money will come in handy. The Susu process was easy and the money taken automatically every week was hardly missed. I look forward to participating in another Susu immediately. After going through this "trial" run, I think I would be interested in participating in an interest-bearing Susu and/or a Susu with larger weekly contributions. I've always been a saver, and I find that dollar cost averaging and automatic withdrawal into my IRA and varying investments are very effective. I now see the same can be said with creating savings and an emergency fund.

Emergency Fund Susu Member

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Susu Saver with a Costco Problem

Note from Throughout March the Our Susu blog will feature entries from new and experienced Susu users participating in our Emergency Fund Susu.

My husband joined and so I had to join, too. Other than that, I didn’t have a real reason for joining the Susu. You see, I consider myself to be pretty financially savvy. I know where my money goes; I keep my credit in check; I have the emergency, college and retirement savings funds, the life insurance and other investments all set up; and I’m not too out of control with my spending. So, I really wondered what was the point of doing this.

Then one day, I found my answer in the strangest of places: The Costco parking lot. I went there to buy Pull-Ups for my son and $300 and a cart full of stuff I didn’t need later, I realized that I didn’t need to save for an emergency… I needed to save for Costco. And the Susu is the perfect vehicle. I barely noticed the money coming out of my bank account each week, and I stayed out of Costco the whole time. Now I have a nice little wad of cash to drop on that case of canned tomatoes, 10-pack of toothbrushes, some new mats for my car and maybe a new set of knives. Oh, and yes, I’ll get some Pull-Ups, too. Added bonus -- my husband can't say a thing. He's the blogger from a couple of weeks ago whose "emergency" was needing a new flat screen or a phone. Well, he has his new phone. Maybe with our next Susu he'll get the TV? My next Susu will be for Target. I’m going to need to increase my savings for that one.

If you think a Susu is not for you because you already have your financial house in order, think again. You probably have a Costco issue, too.


Emergency Costco Fund Susu Member

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Small Businesses Need Big Savings

Note from This month the Our Susu blog will feature entries from new and experienced Susu users participating in our Emergency Fund Susu.

Any business needs an emergency fund. A small business, really small – army of one small, probably needs two or three. After all, I’m too tiny for a bailout and too honest for a good Ponzi scheme. So, I’m all about saving and budgets.

The easiest way for me to save is to keep my money busy. Idle dollars are like idle hands – never quite know what they’ll get into. For that reason, all my dollars have jobs. This dollar works on investing. Another works on paying the mortgage. Some lucky dollar is fully committed to a trip to Puerto Rico. This plan has always served me well, but when I started my company, I got thrown off a bit.

When you run your own business, there will be months when you’re like Midas. And, there will be months when you’re like Mo’ – as in I need mo’ clients, mo’ billable hours, mo’ money. It’s so important to put money away during the Midas months. This is why the Emergency Fund Susu is so perfect. March thru October are my busiest months. In addition to my usual savings, I have added the Susu. It gives me one more bank to break in case of emergency.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Our Susu Helps Men Do Men Stuff

Note from Throughout March the Our Susu blog will feature entries from new and experienced Susu users participating in our Emergency Fund Susu.

I guess I should be thankful. I’m in a recession proof industry; I make a reasonable amount of money, and my wife does most of the long range financial planning. So you’re probably asking, “Why do you need to Susu?” The answer is I don’t. In fact, after I completed the registration etc. I actually forgot about the whole process until I got paid. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than when money magically appears in your account.

No more arguing about whether I can buy a bigger big screen TV or if I actually “need” a new phone. I’M FREE! Our Susu is letting me live the way a man was intended to live. So if my wife is reading this then…Yes, you’ll be seeing another large piece of electronics. No, there isn’t anything you can do about it, and yes, I realize I’ll be sleeping in the guest room for a while, but at least I’ll have a new toy to occupy my time.

Emergency Fund Susu Member

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why it Pays to have an Emergency Fund… A Real-Life Example

Personal finance gurus all have their own style and top tips they share with their readers and listeners. Suze Orman offers lessons to “control your destiny” while Dave Ramsey asks people to attack their debt with “gazelle-like intensity.” The one thing Orman, Ramsey and many others have in common: preaching the importance of an emergency fund. Thanks to, I have built up my emergency fund. A recent car accident proved to me how much easier my life is when I have money in the bank to pay for life’s unexpected events.

Ten years ago, I was just out of college and definitely not thinking about savings. Being in a fender-bender at that time was devastating financially. I didn’t have the money to pay for the deductible so I had to pay for the repairs with a credit card. Since I was just starting out in life, I didn’t even have a credit card with a high enough balance to pay for it so I used two credit cards. You can see how easily things can spiral out of control.

Fast forward ten years. I’ve paid down my debt and have an emergency fund. When I was rear-ended by a careless driver, I was upset about my car but not stressed about how I would pay for the repairs. Since I had an emergency fund, the accident turned out to be a minor inconvenience. It’s tempting to raid the emergency fund for that new plasma screen TV or a vacation I supposedly NEED, but the financial security I feel from having the money I need if a real emergency happens keeps me from giving in to temptation.

If you have trouble saving, I encourage you to use to set up an emergency fund Susu. You never know when an emergency will happen, but at least you’ll have the money to pay for it. One less thing to be stressed out about is truly priceless.

Emergency Fund Susu Member

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Why Susu? To Save in Uncertain Times

Note from Over the next two months the Our Susu blog will feature entries from new and experienced Susu users participating in our Emergency Fund Susu.

I Susu in a time of uncertainty

I stink at saving. I have what I consider a savings account. But, I suppose, a more appropriate name for it would be “Coach is having a sale and I NEED a new bag” account. Now, like many Americans, the threat of unemployment is looming and those bags won’t pay the rent. But what can I do? My Coach bags are empty; my savings account is lean. I have waited until the 11th hour to try to right this train. Enter the susu.

I was invited to join this Susu and at first I said no. While I trusted my friends and family to put in their share every week, I just wasn’t sure how it would work or why I should bother. I thought that I would need that $50 a week that is being withdrawn from my account. And I do need it. But left to my own devices, I’ll be tempted to buy a bag instead of paying my utilities. It’s not pretty, but it’s real.

So here I am. In my first Susu. I don’t need to worry about spending the money because it is whisked away before I can get my hands on it. And when I get my payout, I’ll roll it into another susu. Then another. Until a TRUE emergency rears its ugly head and then I’ll have my emergency fund to cushion the fall.

Emergency Fund Susu Member
Recovering Coach Purse Addict

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Build Your Emergency Fund

I love money – yep, I said it.

The thing is, even if you’re fortunate enough to make a lot of moola, there’s still one key element necessary to actually having it: saving. Over the years I’ve explored a lot of methods to amass the money I’ve earned. I’ve kept it in piggy banks. I’ve stashed it in socks in my dressers. I’ve given it to banks. However, my favorite means of holding on to my hard earned cash is Susus.

When I was a kid I’d hear my grandmother, aunts and their friends talk about all the things they planned to do once they got their Susu hand and instantly I wanted into this magical pot. Eventually, I learned there was no trick to getting your hand; you had to work for it. Still, the lure of communal savings had me sprung for several reasons.

First, it created a sense of accountability. Every week I knew I was saving for myself – and for others.

Second, there was no backing out. Whether I saw the perfect pair of shoes or wanted to spend extra cash on my girls’ night out, I knew certain money was off limits because I had to save.

Third, I loved getting my hand. Having a lump sum of money at my disposal was worth all of the hard work it took to save it.

With that in mind I’m launching this Susu. The goal is simply to amass a few extra dollars to start out – or build up – the highly coveted EMERGENCY FUND. You know, that untouchable stash of money all the savvy financial experts say we should have in case the worst happens (I.e.…job loss, illness, or unforeseen expenses). Like many of you I have already been the victim of every adult’s worst monetary fear: a layoff. I can say with the utmost honesty that my emergency fund – which included money I saved due to my participation in two Susus – helped shield me from too lean of times.

Many of you may already have an EF – kudos. But unless you’re a cash/money multimillionaire (which means rich in cash, not assets such as real estate and stocks) you still need to save. Experts suggest each person strive to save 6 to 8 months of expenses. Saving that much money may sound daunting, but it’s easier when we’re going to do it together.

I’m starting my EF Susu with friends and family. Everyone in the Susu is going to put in $50 per week for a minimum of 12 weeks. Most importantly, we’ll use this blog to share our thoughts, dreams and the sacrifices that surround this investment in our future. Our start date is February 12. I implore you to begin your own EF Susu on that same day. It’s too late to prepare for an emergency once it has already occurred. Get your money together, tell a few friends to join you and get ready to save.

S. Tia Brown
Lifestyle and Life Skills Expert

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