I have an extreme interest in my life in making my money work for me every day in my activism efforts. How can I spend and organize my money in ways that will bring about the world that I want? It can sound like a titanic task, as anything does that challenges the default and normal ways we’ve gone about doing things over the years, but once the initial effort and infrastructure is set up a lot of happiness can come from how our money everyday is a movement in itself for creating the world and values we want in it. It’s passive activism and speaking with your dollar will do more for activism than most other types of activism. Doing more with actually physically doing less? Where can I sign up?!?!?!
I have re-arranged my life to spend money on non-animal foods and products (Veganism) in an effort to not support those industries and be more resourceful in how our resources are spent. This improves our world at large and also creates a world of less killing and more compassion and mindful, conscious led decisions. Banking is a bit different and the environmentalism aspect is more focused on how it will create re-investment and better communities for us to flourish in and keep us financially healthy and in a state where the giant corporate banks of the world don’t make irresponsible decisions with our money as has happened in the past and will happen again in the future. In this sense, finding a good credit union is the way to go. A great site for finding ethical banking is http://banklocal.info/
Credit unions are owned and controlled by their members and cater solely to them. Their members vote for who manages them. They are a non-profit entity and when profits are made they are returned back to their customers in the form of reduced fees, higher savings rates and lower loan rates and lower credit card rates. Credit unions revolve around the needs of the local community and are customer focused and have better service. When people deposit money at a credit union that same money is used to offer other people in the community loans. There is more flexibility with a credit union as a blemished credit history will get you denied from a normal bank, but at a credit union and with being treated more as a functioning person in society rather than a customer who is a good investment on a paper application, you are still considered and more likely given an opportunity.
Banks operate very differently. They are owned by their stock holders and the profits of a bank go towards them. Most banks, especially the bigger ones, participate in speculative trading and your money is funneled into the Wall Street “gambling casino.” These are usually high risk investments made with your money, and for example, is what led to the financial crash of 2008 that almost obliterated our world economy and left a lot of people in a desperate situation. Still to this day in early 2016, nobody has been jailed for this irresponsible atrocity that almost bankrupted whole countries.
So what to do? Find a good credit union or a more ethical bank at the link provided above. Ease out of your Wells Fargos, Chase Banks, Bank of Americas, etc. What I did was move all my savings into a credit union while I still used my Chase Bank account for the money I was using from month to month. I eased out of the process of bill paying and doing all my banking with my big old bank by eventually making it a part of my new credit union (many credit unions have similar online banking and bill pay features). It’s not awful to still have the flexibility with your old big bank around. Just keep a minimal balance of like $300 or so and possibly use it for your monthly bills or whatever. You perhaps may need to use it some day but investing and having them hold your precious savings is proving to be very risky, and bad for the environment of our fellow humans by participating in and giving incentives to high risk speculative trading and contributing to government bailouts of banks. These banks which were bailed out by the government (taxpayer money) will continue to operate as such because there are no negative consequences to their behavior. The power is within our personal choices to hold them accountable. True change occurs when we make changes to our lifestyles.
Banking in this way, is part of the lifestyle switch that a new generation of people are bringing to the world. Do we want to invest in our communities or in high risk speculative trading on Wall Street? The choice is ours and if we want to live in a better world we will by pass the big banks and invest our money in entities that have the interest of the people in mind.