Exploring Pagans and their relationship with that earthiest of earth symbols, money.
Local spending is intentional spending
Whether it's your local metaphysical shop, farmer's market, or hardware store, buying local is an easy path to intentional spending. The 3/50 Project is my preferred method of encouraging local spending, because once you get past the sometimes-confusing name, it's an easy way to redirect existing money to local businesses.
The 3/50 concept is this: take fifty bucks each month, and spread it around three local businesses instead of using it at chain stores, franchises, or online. The project has a pretty specific definition of local business that focuses on the amount of money which stays in the community. One thing I like about the concept is that it stresses balance -- don't avoid big-box stores entirely, if that's where you get the best deals on some items, but do spend some money in businesses owned and operated by your neighbors.
I find that this dovetails nicely with my belief in spending cash -- at the beginning of each month, I take $50.00 and tuck it in an envelope marked "local purchases only." The money is stored in the altar and is an offering to Hermes Agaraios, god of the marketplace. Typically I find it's used for pizzas, small gifts, and cleaning supplies in our household. It's not a financial burden because it's money that was destined to be spent anyway.
Money spent locally stays in the community longer, supporting jobs and paying taxes and generally making our cities and towns better places to live. It can also help build relationships with independent business owners, who already live among us, and are generally hardworking people who are dedicated to the place where they earn their bread and butter.
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