Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Beginning

Last winter, I spent a lot of time playing email ping-pong with my cousin Marquis. And I shared a vision with him that I have had for a while. And because he and I are of similar minds, we advanced the ideas to a point where they were worth trying out.
At its simplest, the ideas work around cooperation. Some days my life is on a crest, and some days it is in a trough. And by working together, we could help each other.
I've looked at these ideas in the past, and because there is an inherent distrust that people have for one another, the path often ended up at a roadblock. For building insurances in so that no member of a group could exploit the others, the whole project became so cumbersome as to lose a lot of its effectiveness. But by working with Marquis, with whom I share not only two grandparents but worldviews, some of those roadblocks could be avoided.
Because of that, we also tackled the whole picture in the reverse way to which I'd always envisaged that it would be tackled - we did the money aspect first, rather than as a much later step. Because the trust-building wasn't as necessary as if we were dealing with partners who were not already clan.
So Marquis and I established a joint bank account. With the end of the 2005/06 financial year, we each contributed 1% of our income for the year. And we set up direct debit transfers so each payday, 1% went into the joint account. So now, six months later, there is over a grand in the account, and it is slowly growing.
At this stage, solid plans for what to do with the money have not been negotiated. The basic fundamentals though are:
  • The money does not belong to either of us, not even jointly. The money belongs to the project.
  • The money is only to be spent on things we both agree on.
  • The money can be "borrowed" by either of us (both must agree) if it is repaid back with interest, just as if we'd borrowed it from a bank.

The idea is that we got sick of running into those situations where we'd be flat broke or in a bind, and with no back-up. So we use this to insulate ourselves to that kind of thing, until we're each in a position where we can then think about uses for the money to improve the space around us, rather than only just ourselves. And to do that - improve first our own lot, then that of those around us, we figured we'd need a cash reserve. So that's what we're building first.

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