Kòb – money
Sòl – a short-term money saving method among a group of people
Money used to pay “sòl”.
Sòl is a short-term money saving method that a group of friends use.
Each person in the group contributes a predetermined amount of money at a specified time. The money will go to one person in the group each time it’s collected until everyone has received their “hand” (yon men).
So, a group of 10 people makes a payment of $500.00 on the 1st of every month –each person will take turn receiving a payment of $5000.00 on the 1st of every month until everyone is paid. At that point, the group will most likely start the “sòl” over. As you can imagine, the first person that gets paid is usually the neediest person and the last payment will be a receipt of a nice $5000.00 saving.
It’s helpful when people who do not have access to banks do it (in Haiti). Some Haitians do it even when they have access to banks because they know the money will not be available to them until a specified time. It works for them if they’re trying to build a small saving or if it’s dangerous to go to the bank (as it can be in Haiti) when crooks, hiding in every corner, watch your comings and goings from the bank.
Many Haitians from all over the US do it, Africans too (They have another name for it). Mostly women do it. Some use it as a way to keep their spouse from spending their money too :)
Sometimes a friend may invite you to participate in a sòl. They try to gather a lot of people because large groups yield large payments, but it can be a gamble if you don’t know the people you’re dealing with.