Handout 38 - Atieno And Aleke

Atieno, 17, and Aleke, 19, are brother and sister who live in a small town. When their father died, he left each of them $100. Both siblings planned to save this money to reach important goals, but they chose different routes. Let’s hear about Aleke’s experience first...

Aleke’s story
Aleke dreams of going to the big city to work for higher wages, but before he can leave home he must save for his transportation and living expenses. He puts his $100 in a savings account at the bank. The bank charges a fee each month for the account, plus a small fee each time he takes money out of his account. However, if he keeps a minimum balance of $50 in his account, the bank will not charge him these fees. Aleke thinks this will be easy. He won’t need to withdraw money from his account because he earns his spending money with his bicycle taxi. In fact, when the banker told him that his savings can help him get a loan, Aleke had the idea to expand his business by rigging his bicycle with a trailer for hauling things. However, when one of his customers, visiting from the capital city offered to sell him an MP3 player at a really good price, Aleke got very excited about buying it! He would need to withdraw money from his bank account. But the bank was closed until Monday and the customer left town on Sunday.

Atieno’s Story
Atieno is only 17 and can’t open a bank account until she is 18. She keeps her $100 in a box buried under a pile of clothes. She is saving it to enroll in a computer course. But Atieno is easily tempted by clothes she sees in the market, and usually the jeans or shoes she wants cost more than the money she earns plaiting hair. So, about once a month, she takes a little money out of her box to buy something. That makes her so happy! Sometimes, when she has had a lot of business, she puts money into her box and is very proud of her ability to save. But one day, her uncle sees her put away her box, and the next time she takes it out she discovers that some money is missing. On another day, her mother falls ill and has to go to the doctor but has no money. Luckily, Atieno can give her money from her savings. But, when the time comes to pay the registration fee for the computer course, Atieno realizes that she only has $50 left in her box.