Putri Fitria | May 26, 2012
Arisan is a regular social gathering that is very popular in Indonesia. Almost all people are familiar with this gathering that involves a circle of friends, of families, or even of colleagues. In general, arisan is run once a month. Participants pool together their money, each in a similar amount that has been jointly agreed before. In the meeting a drawing is then carried out to determine a winner or more; each winner gets a defined figure of cash. This goes on until everyone gets his/her winning turn.
Many people believe that while reinforcing relationships among participants, arisan can also be a powerful tool for a short-term financial planning. This is especially for those who just start learning to save.
Some benefits you can draw on from arisans are as follows:
1. Means of Marketing
If you have something to sell, do not hesitate to bring it along into the meeting. This is commonly practiced during arisan. The products can be dresses, bags, cosmetics, paraphernalia, and even household utensils. Those working at a company or institution that provides services can put forward special offers in a form of, for instance, vouchers that fellow arisan members will surely love.
When you are new in an environment, neighborhood, or workplace, arisan is a very useful occasion to introduce yourself. Arisan is almost never done in a formal way so even if you come in the middle of the meeting, you will find it very easy to mingle. No need to be shy to tell the people of yourself and what you are good at. You never know what your arisan friends will need in the future and so the other way round.
3. Loan without Interests
Getting money from arisan is like getting a loan yet, favorably, without any interests. Nevertheless, it is not wise to depend on arisan for immediate needs as you can never tell when your name will get a mention in the drawing.
4. Learn to Save
This is the reason most people would tell you about why they want to join arisan. Typically a collection by an arisan fellow works more effectively than your self-collection to save money in the bank. Of course your arisan “savings” will not yield interests and the money you will get will equal the total of contributions you make every month. The saving discipline you can acquire from the arisan, however, may be more advantageous than bank interests.
Mind that you must always be careful of bad forms of arisan such as the recently-popular chain arisan (arisan berantai) and auction arisan (arisan lelang). Chain arisan offers prizes without the members having to do anything but recruiting new members. The members’ contributions are used to cover the contributions of the older members, and the prizes for them are paid at the expense of the newer members. In auction arisan, the winners are determined in an auction-like way—they are members who are willing to accept the littlest sum of cash for the moment, usually those who need quick money. This practice of arisan can be said as giving disguised interests.