I solemnly swear that I’m up to some good

It’s easy (for me, at least) to spend a fair bit of time thinking about where my money is going- or rather, where it’s vanishing to.

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This month I want to start spending more time thinking about where my money is going. And yes, that is a very important set of italics.

I’ve reached a stage with my money where I’m no longer the panicking, impoverished arts student. I wouldn’t say that I’m functioning with a grown-up level of income (what’s a real job again?) but I am at a point where it’s time to start thinking about how my spending is serving the world – what lives am I changing, what values am I representing?

I’ll be the first to raise my hand and confess that I’m frequently guilty of going for the bottom line. Why bother spending top dollar on some boring essential when I can duck down to Big W and get what I need for just a few dollars? But it’s time to stop kidding myself (and yes, this hurts). More often than not that bottom dollar is supporting sweat-shop labour, unsafe conditions, and probably terrible environmental practices.

If I’m voting with my money, then I sure don’t want it to be going to those people. I want to live in a world stuffed full of companies that are truly trying to make a difference! Hell, I want to live in a world that still looks like our world in fifty years. If that means shopping a little more mindfully and perhaps forking out more for businesses that support my goals, then I guess that’s a small price to pay.

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WALL-E is adorable, but not if his world becomes our reality

While I’m at it, I’m going to do my best to support the people with the dreams! The good folk in my area who have taken the dive and are trying to make good when the whole world says they can’t. I’m talking delicious freshly baked breads, beautiful plants (from somewhere other than the supermarket I’msosorryIcan’tleavethemtheretheyneedmeeee), handmade ceramics, locally grown organics, coffee from that new spot that just needs time to become the next big thing. Doesn’t that just sound like the dream?

And maybe I will have to make some sacrifices to follow through. Maybe I cut down my takeaway coffee habit to so there’s money to pay more for my veges, or maybe I save for the items I truly want to bring into my life from suppliers that I honestly want to support. The great thing about having a budget is that it’s totally possible to look at your spendings in black & white and re-evaluate as circumstances change.

I’m not going to lie, this is going to be hard for me. After so many years of being dirt-poor, parting with more money than I absolutely have to is going to take some getting used to. But I’m going to take a big ol’ breath and let go of the reins a little, putting my money where my mouth is. Because what’s the point of money, if we’re not using it to make the world a better place?

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I solemnly swear that I’m up to some good

17 thoughts on “I solemnly swear that I’m up to some good

  1. This is a tough one.

    I’ve kind of negotiated my buying to the point that, if it’s going to be a mass produced item (7 pairs of next size up underwear for a growing boy, say, or light bulbs), I shop around for lowest prices for what I need. But, when I can readily get local, natural, sustainable goods, I pay extra as needed to support retailers who are in alignment with my values. Farm direct food from my region, for example, or a card by a local art student instead of Hallmark at the mall.

    My husband is thriftier than I am, but he’s always been willing to spend whatever necessary for high quality food. That’s a good, healthy place to start because supporting your body is fundamentally thrifty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a great plan! I’ve also recently shifted to shopping way more consciously. It started with me becoming more minimalist and, when decluttering, being terrified of how much money I had spent on junk or stuff I only half-like. Lots of sunk costs…. Now when I buy something I think about whether I really find this beautiful (like 100%) or truly need it. It’s reduced the number of items I buy a lot. Not necessarily the money I spend as I now spend it on less but more quality and sustainable items. And I’m happier for it and glad that at the same time I support companies like those you mentioned. Good luck with your project!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I notice too! So many great items that I’ll wear ‘one day’ or that I bought to make myself feel better on a tough day, when the act of purchasing made me feel better than the item itself. It’s so hard to train myself out of! But my little house (and my wallet) can only support so much

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nataliesalchemy says:

    Wonderful read! I totally agree and I have been trying as well to be a conscious buyer! I find this post really helpful: https://anuschkarees.com/blog/2016/5/26/5-ways-to-build-a-more-ethical-closet-no-matter-your-budget. She has great tips for being a conscious shopper! If you have any tips in the future that you find helpful to be able to budget for more ethical items, please share – I would love to read it!
    Natalie | Holistic Health, Lifestyle, & Travel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the link! Clothing is something I definitely foresee struggling with – a lot of the companies I would like to support all seem to make that very fashionable ‘sack’ clothing and unfortunately that’s not a style I can rock!


  4. I have been pondering similar things, especially after watching some of the documentaries about “fast fashion.” What is the real, human cost of the Old Navy clothes which are so convenient and affordable for a growing pre-teen like mine. I don’t have the answers but it is on my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely a case of self education making life a little harder. Knowing what’s behind the cheap clothing does make the decision a little more difficult! But I can empathise with the struggle of growing children to dress. A lot of people trying to reduce their impact stick to second hand shopping but I imagine that won’t fly with most pre-teens!


  5. Well said. The book: Your Money or Your Life by Vicky Robin and Joel Dominguez is a fantastic resource for this subject. ALSO: look up “Zero sum budgeting”. It has revolutionized (and simplified) my financial life.
    Thanks for the great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to look up both of these things, thank you for the recommendations! I think it’s going to be an ongoing battle between my desire to spend minimally and live mindfully. I’ll get there!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I agree. “Your Money or Your Life” is well worth reading! The specific (government bonds) investments they mentioned aren’t sold anymore in the US, but the general advice is so powerful. It’s a book that really shifts your perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree. My first stop on errands day is my local town where I shop at the farmers market and private shops. The supermarket is my last resort. Yes, it may be more expensive, but I don’t get manicures, collect jewelry or buy soda and cookies. Not only do I like the idea of supporting the local farms and small businesses, but I believe the choices are healthier and the shopping experience is more enjoyable. I find these big box stores depressing.


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