__ FREE YOUR MONEY __

When we spend money we are saying that we value whatever it is that we spend money on as well as the entire system that delivered the good or service. Spending money is a profoundly powerful act. Our spending shapes the culture around us, it shapes the business practices around the world, and shapes our environment and how we utilize our limited world resources. We rarely think of this when we pull out our wallet, but we cannot deny it’s truth. How we spend our money should reflect our personal values, yet I know it often doesn’t. If you are a Christian, an environmentalist, a gay rights activist, a parent concerned about your child’s safety, whatever it is that you are, whatever it is that is most important to you should be reflected in how you spend your money. It is one of the most powerful influences you have.

Regardless of the size of your budget, it is worth taking a look at how you spend your money. If you are one of the fortunate ones to have great income, you might be thinking, “I have enough money so why bother thinking about how I spend it?”  The point is to look at money, how we spend it and whether or not our spending adds value and meaning to our lives and is in support of our personal values.

We all have monthly bills and expenses, but bills and expenses are not the same thing.

Bills: An amount of money owed for goods supplied or services rendered, set out in a printed or written statement of charges.

Expenses: a. Something spent to attain a goal or accomplish a purpose: an expense of time and energy on the project. b. A loss for the sake of something gained

It is fairly easy to adjust our spending on goods and services because we have many choices about where and what we purchase. If we want to buy American products with some effort we can do that. If we want to support local restaurants over chains, we can easily make that choice.

Bills however come with very little choice. There are very few banks that we can get our home owners or auto loan from, very few corporations from whom we get our cell phone service and tv & internet service, there is also very little choice health care and insurance, and the uniting factor in all of these listed is that many if not all of them are publicly traded corporations whose primary objective is to make a profit to benefit their share holders. Since the wealthiest 1% of Americans own 50% of the stock market, it is easy to see that most if not all of the money, that we owe to bills or that we spend at a corporate chain, is going to leave our community and end up in the pockets of the wealthiest people in America. The only protection that we have from being taken advantage of by profit centered business is that which our government regulators can apply. You see, when profit is the primary objective it will be attained at the expense of everything else which individuals and communities might value such as livable wages, air & water quality, human health & safety, quality of life, pursuit of happiness, and human dignity to name a few.

It is for this reason that I feel it is crucially important that we reduce our bills as well as our money spent at publicly traded corporations such as every chain big box store. When we free up some money from bills we have extra to spend on what we truly value in a way that enhances our life such as spending on music lessons or a night out at our locally owned pub. We have enough money to buy organic foods in support of sustainable farming, we can give to a charity whose mission aligns with our values. We feel more free and more engaged. This expanding of choice in where we spend our money, expands our freedom and our liberty to create a life and community that we want.

Next time you pull out your wallet, consider what you are supporting. Next time you pay your bills, consider how you could reduce them. Making choices in the spirit of liberty and personal values will serve to make you feel empowered and connected with your community!

If you are up for a challenge I encourage you to read my series focussed on emancipating your money from your bills. It will help you squeeze money out of your bills, freeing you to choose more often where your money goes.

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Bills Shmills!  In this series I walk you through six categories of bills and how to squeeze money out of them.  It is fun and empowering!

Dive into the series and emancipate your money!

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