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?