Everytime you spend money..

Good Morning!

Yesterday I was almost unreasonably happy as I folded down the top of my tiny lil 1992 Geo Metro Convertible. We had a meeting that we stayed late for so I knew that my 30 min drive was going to run just under and hour. On days like today, that means fun music from the local oldies station and fresh sun and breeze, and thinking.

I want to share with you a quote I heard in 2010.

“Every time you spend money,your casting a vote for the kind of world you want”-Anne Lappe

and one I found today trying to locate the author of the first one

“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” -James Frick

This was kind of eye opening to me. It never occurred to me that I was choosing to support companies I didn’t like. Like Walmart. I hate shopping in Walmart. I have more than once stated that if I had a personal hell, it would be Walmart on the first week of school. So many people all crammed in the isles with little to no patience or basic manners. Children scream underfoot and god forbid you are trying to pick up a simple spiral notebook. Plan to wait an hour in line with people bumping you and giving you nasty looks. I decided I wasn’t shopping there anymore. I couldn’t imagine that it would be that much more expensive to shop at the smaller shops that specialize in certain items. Besides, most of what I was getting was available at Kroger at a small price hike.

I have’t been in Walmart since. If I am in desperate need of a random item, I go to Target, which I find is a bit more spacious. If I need foods I go to Kroger. If I need clothing items, I shop at Goodwill or order online. (I love love love Goodwill).

When I spend my money eating out, I tip very generously for service I enjoy, as in more than 20%. I leave a shitty tip for bad service. I used to use Bank of America. After getting frustrated with their lack of customer service, I spent a day calling banks. Chase had the shortest wait time to speak with a human being so I now use Chase for my normal bank. ATT quickly was replaced by Boost Mobile for my cell phone and I got better service at a $20 price drop.

I don’t pay for TV at all. I wasn’t raised with cable and in the apartments I am in you can only run TV from the wall connection if you pay for cable. My solution? I used an old laptop that gets internet. I run Hulu.com and use several other free sites. I paid for Netflix for awhile and after watching most of their documentaries and TV shows I was interested in, I switched to using Amazon Prime (FREE SHIPPING =)). I won’t pay for any TV/Movie service that makes me watch commercials.

I don’t feel like my pocket book has taken that big of a hit from these changes. I don’t mind having to make an extra short trip or two on the way home from work to avoid getting everything done at one place I’d rather not be in. I like the idea that in some small way, I am encouraging the world I want to live in.

I still have some changes to make with where I spend my money. Ideally I would also frequent some farmers markets and buy locally within financial reason and of course I would not pay near as much to fast food places since they usually are so lacking in quality and service..

Reader, do you think Lappe and Frick were on to something or just full of lofty ideals? Do you feel like your dollar actually matter enough to change anything outside of your personal life?

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8 Responses to Everytime you spend money..

  1. Wonderful post some art teacher 🙂

    I do agree with Lappe and Frick and have had similar thoughts for a while now. I stopped shopping at the big box stores years ago and much prefer the local shops and businesses in my neighborhood! In fact I wrote a blog post on that topic here if interested:http://www.thejoyofsimple.com/shop-simple/

    I think we can all make a difference in our own lives and those in our communities by just being a tad more selective about where our money is going…even if it costs us a few more bucks!

    Thanks again for such thoughts and take care.

    Lyle

    • imber says:

      I believe they were absolutely on to something! We actually use the phrase ‘voting with our dollars’ pretty often when explaining why we are vegan, or why we don’t buy coke products, etc. (Also why I won’t shop at Hobby Lobby, Salvation Army, or Chick Fil-A.) I prefer to shop locally for products whenever possible and reasonable, and support artists on shops like Etsy rather than buy off-the shelves merchandise.

      Still, buying too much in general is still a problem, and I’d like to work on buying more ‘American made’ things (assuming they aren’t made in American owned sweatshops overseas!), and just buying less.

      I think it is pretty amusing that you posted this when I’m working on a post about this past weekend, basically spent worshipping the god of competitive consumerism. : )

      • I love how ya’ll boycott and stick to not buying certain brands. I also would love to buy American made but I’m so jaded. Every time I see that I think they are just assembling it over seas and spraying the last coat of paint here. Do you know how we can check that?

      • imber says:

        I just realized I replied to Lyle instead of making a new comment. Sorry Lyle! (and now it won’t let me reply to your reply, so….
        There are some blogs out there to help find American made things:
        http://www.madeintheusa-blog.com lists americansworking.com, madeinamericaforever.com, and madeinusa.org.

        I think the main answer will be buying less stuff. Beyond that, researching large purchases, learning about one ‘normal’ purchase at a time, and being loyal to the best brand available. You mentioned butchers and farmers markets–that is a great place to start. Food is a big non-negotiable budget point, and it can be easy to find sources for local foods.

    • Thank you Lyle.
      I think that you have covered everything I am writing about in some form or fashion =) I need to research more into neighborhood grocers and butchers. I’ve actually never been to a butchers. Never occurred to me. Now though, you know I’m going there (hopefully Sunday).

      Thank you for your reply!

  2. Zendelle says:

    Big box stores are sucking our country dry, one community at a time. I try to avoid them whenever possible, and shop at locally owned businesses instead. Rather than wandering around Lowe’s for 20 minutes looking for something, I go to one of the small hardware stores in my town. They can tell me within 20 seconds if they have what I need (and they almost always do) so if it’s a little bit more expensive I don’t mind. My time is worth something too! And I’m doing something positive for the community by helping to keep them in business.

    • I do love that in a small store I usually can find quick and competent help. In our local Home stores, I find I am there way to long because no one there even knows what part I need with out asking their managers IF I can even find someone to help out.

      Thanks for your comment Zendelle!

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