How we make ourselves poorer in the hunt for bargains

Like many who have grown up in the Internet age, I’m one of millions of savvy online shoppers who enthusiastically search out, close in on and compare the cheapest internet bargain for whatever I’m searching. But as of last week, I’ve gone on strike.
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally realised I’ve been short-changing my family and community for the sake of a couple of dollars.
That’s because a $10 saving made at a far-off business, just doesn’t have the far-reaching benefits of spending that extra $10 with a local company.
Local business can offer not just great face-to-face service and often some added extras and follow-up service (like the great local camera store I visited last week and some fabulous independent bookstores!), but crucially they employ local people. These local people and the companies who they work for are more likely to spend their wages/profits in the local community thus adding to the vibrancy and resilience of the local economy and community as a whole.
Locally, what goes around, comes around. But when you choose to ship in, all the benefits ship out.
The concept of local investing takes this whole idea one big step further. In her book “Locavesting – The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It”, Amy Cortese asks: “What would the world be like if we invested 50 per cent of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?”
And in Michael Shuman’s book “Local Dollars, Local Sense – How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity” he makes the point that “Americans’ long term savings in stocks, bonds, pensions, life insurance and mutual funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 per cent of these savings touches local small businesses, the source of half the economy’s jobs and output.”
Shopping locally. Investing locally. Thriving locally. I’d pay $10 for that!
NB: When times are tough, $10 is $10, and environmentally the more second-hand buying we can do over buying new the better. So rather than straight away turning to an online site like Ebay, when you’re searching for second-hand goods, try to first visit your local op-shop/Goodwill who will reinvest the money you spend with them into local welfare and community programs!
Are you spending more online than on your main street?

local dollars local sense

Local Dollars Local Sense

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