With each pound/dollar/euro/yen you spend you’re voting. Spending money is a political act as much as or even more so than casting your vote on election day. Every time you purchase a product or service you’re helping an individual or a corporation to stay in business. Your vote says that you want that product or service to exist in the world. For example, you’re reading this article. You’re reading it online, which means you are – or somebody is – paying for internet access. Whoever is paying for internet access votes with his/her money for the internet service provider to keep providing it to the world.
Yet, there’re people who will complain that there’re too many chain pubs or restaurants in town and that the family ones seem to be disappearing from the community. These people go to eat / drink out often and wish they could enjoy more of the comfortable, more atmospheric family-owned establishments. However, when they do go out to eat / drink, convenience often takes over and they end up at the chain restaurant / pub. This is where somehow their vote for family-owned restaurants / pubs skips the essential step of financially supporting them.
Most of us are directly responsible for making decisions about how we spend our money. So, how do your expenditures reflect your values? How do you choose to contribute to causes that are important to you? Do you purchase products that are well designed or function well for longer even if they’re more expensive than products of lesser quality? Do you spend money to insure your safety or to establish your social position?
As a family member, friend, colleague, businessperson, or self-coach you can help yourself or those around you increase their awareness of how they spend their financial resources. First, of course, it will be important to estimate how you are with money. How much is enough? How much of your time and energy are you willing to trade for money? And how can you spend money in a way that is aligned with your values? Money is an area that people in many cultures are unlikely to talk about in social situations. So no matter how well-meaning you my be toward someone you wish to help with, ask that person’s permission before you explore financial issues with them. And do the same with yourself.
And what else can you ask yourself or the person you’re helping that is related to money?
How do you want to vote with your money?
How will you decide that a product or service is worth what you spend on it?
What are your criteria for selecting that product or service?
Again, how much is enough?
How do you make choices about how you spend your money?