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Buy Local, Pay Cash

Friday 16 August 2013

So here’s a new challenge: buy local, pay cash.

This is about as simple as it sounds: buy local products from local merchants, and pay them in cash. That keeps as much of your money in your community, or the community you’re visiting if you’re traveling.

I am not advocating spending less, nor am I advocating cutting up your credit cards. You can do that too, but that’s not part of this. Nor is making your own clothes (hard) or trying to grow all your own food (even harder; ask a farmer). You don’t have to go without if what you want isn’t locally available, or if the locals are gouging (full retail is not gouging). Chains owned outside the local area are only marginally better than shopping on-line; the profits all leave the local area.

I’m still using my Amazon card at Amazon (3% rebate!), and yes, I’m still buying from Amazon when I can’t get it from a locally owned merchant. I’m still using a different card at restaurants that aren’t locally owned, and when traveling (don’t carry too much cash when traveling).

Some wag will now say “why bother? The merchant won’t discount for cash.” Doesn’t matter. It’s called “doing the right thing” and “community spirit” and “supporting the family down the street”. Getting the rubbish 1% back at a cost to the local community of 2% to 5%, and more if you don’t pay off each month–it’s worth doing this.

Have fun with that.

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