Consuming

Cash Values: What Are Yours?

Mindful spending is a way of treating yourself, your community, and your money with respect, says Tara Gentile

Photo © iStockPhoto.com/shipov

Mindful spending begs you to consider each dollar you spend an extension of your personal values, creating an individual economy that centers on what you love and not what society tells you you have to have. It means choosing not to spend money at all sometimes, choosing to spend more on high-quality, well-crafted items that support your community, and choosing to spend less on items that commercialism has put an unnecessary price tag on.

Mindful spending means buying handmade or buying local when appropriate. It means supporting fair industry practices around the world.

Using your money in a conscious way and not just spending when it feels good requires some out-of-the box thinking. It’s not what we’ve been told to do. Even in a recession, the government and the media beg us to spend out money – more! more! more! – to bolster the economy. The “have-nots” are asked to spend their money to support the “haves.” We buy more cheap meals, more cheap toys, more cheap clothes, more cheap services, more more more until the cheap has become more expensive than quality goods & services.

And the people out of work are those that create the quality goods & services.

Bottom line, it is important to spend your money. We can’t expect to get paid if we’re not willing to pay others. But being mindful of where your money goes benefits society in unimaginable ways. According to the 3/50 project, $68 dollars of every $100 stays in the local community “through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures” when you buy from an independent locally owned brick & mortar store.

If you buy directly from a maker or service provider, the impact is even greater.

When you are mindful of your spending, you are supporting yourself with your money.

You are spending money to allow someone else to spend money on you.


Tara Gentile empowers passion-driven entrepreneurs to find the profit in producing the work of their true spirit. Find her unique philosophy on her blog and join the conversation about creative economy on her daily zine, Scoutie Girl.