Promoting healthy money management
A hubub of voices accompanied by jingling coins; dust and exhaust; the lingering aroma each time a motorcycle passes, following the screech of rails. “Train, train! Stop!” Residents by the railway track shout at motorcyclists wanting to cross. This is the railway’s edge near Duri Station, Kalianyar, where a handful of families find the food, clothing and shelter they need to live.
Asep Gunawan works for a cottage clothing manufacturer in Kalianyar, and on the side sorts organic and non-organic waste near the railway tracks. The 23-year-old is a member of the savings group started by the YPP community centre in Kalianyar and now managed by a local leader named Pak Ujang.
“I don’t have a bank account, but I plan to (because my savings keep growing). I used to just stash my money at home. But I started to save once we had the savings group, so I don’t use it for non-necessities. If I keep it at home, I can’t resist spending it,” Asep explains while sitting in a warung food stall at the edge of the tracks.
“I plan to use my savings for needs in the fasting month. It’s also good to be prepared for sickness,” he adds, hurrying off to work. Asep works from 8 am through 9 at night, every day.
One of the benefits of the railway savings group is that it promotes sound money management. Not all those who live by the tracks have become members; but Asep sees the benefit of the savings group not only as a means to save. He intends to open his own bank account once his balance grows larger.
Asep saves regularly, and it’s not surprising that he has the highest savings in the group. This is our hope, not only for Asep, but for all who live by the railway tracks of Kalianyar.