This is a great question for me as I have never had to ask it before. I have not been great at dealing with money in my life and I am ready for a new era, one in which the way I deal with money reflects the new atmosphere of ‘self care’.
I am so grateful for having this blog to work through thoughts ‘out loud’, and to hear myself speak. I want to find a way forward that allows me to save money without violating my ethics which would set me up to have a conflict of goals and I would probably not succeed with the cognitive dissonance raging away in the background.
I have always been wary about accumulating money. In the past this was because I didn’t trust myself to handle it. I thought money might hijack my inner purpose, that I might like it too much. I was afraid I might develop undesirable traits, become ambitious, greedy or start leaning on it for a sense of self worth. It was simply ‘safer’ not to have any, and this allowed a focus on what really matters to me, the fulfillment of inner potential, becoming more authentic and the realisation of truth.
This is not about assuaging guilt about having saved money, which to me is the same as the farmer having excess crops to barter trade or sell. It is about my strong sense and belief that money is meant for circulating and doing something useful, and not simply for hoarding. It can be a great resource for good, for supporting projects and people and businesses that are making positive changes. Just hoarding it in a conventional way doesn’t work for me. Money sitting in conventional banks is invested in all sorts of ways including weapons manufacturers, companies that damage the environment and businesses that exploit people, and these are activities I do not want to support.
Here are some of the ways that I will support my aim of both saving money and making the money useful and productive in directions I can support in terms of ethics and the environment
- I opened an ISA saving account with Triodos Bank. This is an amazing bank and is worth having a look at and supports an abundance of positive and ethically sound activities.
- For some years I have had a Micro Lending account where I have kept a small balance which is lent to people in poor countries trying to improve their lives. The money is repaid gradually back to your account, and the repaid balance can then be reinvested. It is a way of supporting people without giving your money away. I plan on increasing the amount of money I circulate there.
- I plan, when funds allow, to invest in Triodos Investment Funds
- Investing in local social enterprise business
So some thoughts are developing along with a feeling of excitement which tells me that I am on the right path here 🙂