In Life, Money

Companies must really hate personal finance and “Natural” movement bloggers

I was thinking the other day that I am giving companies every reason to totally, absolutely hate me.

Why?

I talk about personal finance — saving, investing, not spending money and basically not pushing our economy forward.

Think about it — if we don’t spend as consumers, the money languishes in our bank accounts earning us interest, but none of it gets pumped into the economy.

It’s the reason why Obama gave money to every American as part of the Stimulus Package way back when during the crisis, to get people to start spending money again.

If personal finance bloggers talk about NOT spending money and living below our means, we’re basically screwing our economy by not advocating the use of credit to pay for lavish lifestyles.

Of course, we’re not normal, but that’s beside the point.

Even if nobody really follows 100% of our advice to live like frugal hermits, spending 1% of their income a year, SOME of it sticks and trickles down.

People may start to think twice about paying for things on credit.

stock-photo-money-cash-piggy-bank


To top it off, I’m also a bit of a “Natural” movement hippie, who advocates strange and extreme things like to:

  • Not use laundry detergent 99% of the time — GASP! How will they ever sell their detergent?
  • Not use laundry dryer sheets — I hang everything to air dry now
  • Not use body wash — It actually dries out my skin & makes my eczema worse & I don’t need it
  • Not wear perfumes except for essential oils — <3 the Bulgarian Lavender by Essential Goodies
  • Not buying any home sanitizers or sprays — Again, the perfumes are really strong!
  • Not eating any processed or packaged foods — Kraft dinner has never entered my pantry
  • Not eating out or buying junk food — I really try to avoid restaurants these days
  • Not buying or using any hand sanitizers or those silly anti-bacterial wipes
  • Reusing and repairing what I have instead of buying it new
  • …and basically not buy into the idea that everything needs to be ridiculously clean and fresh

Among OTHER things, now that I’m on this thing of not buying anything cheap and disposable (especially stuff from China), the problem for companies has worsened in the sense that I am not buying cheap but stylish clothes to dispose of in a year.

I’m searching for quality, handmade items, tailored clothing and things that I will buy once and wear for a good 10 – 15 years.

Even if I pay more now up front for an amazing pair of custom-made boots from Italy (I am looking at $850 – $1000 for a custom pair of leather boots), I am going to keep what I have for a longer period of time.

I really REALLY suck as a consumer for this society (at least I will, after I replace major things in my life and wardrobe).

Although to my credit, when I do spend money, it now stays in Canada, goes to the U.S. or to countries in Europe, and I’m trying to choose independent stores over mainstream retailers.

Have you ever wondered about this?


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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27 Comments

  1. w
    www.livetolist.wordpress.com

    Except for eating out, I think I’m totally on board with your non spend list – and I don’t buy magazines or the like either. Actually I wrote a post about it a few weeks ago.

    Reply
  2. MauiShopGirl

    I do think there is value for companies if there would be emphasis placed on quality versus quantity which can be part of the minimalist and naturalist mantra. The consumers constant need for “more more more” on the cheap makes it very difficult for a business who would like to be sustainable and produce apparel in it’s own country versus importing from China to compete. If consumers were willing to pay more but buy less, that’s not a bad thing for business. Frugality can also mean buying something that will last longer and support local industry. Less bail-outs, bad debt too.

    Reply
  3. Anne @ Unique Gifter

    There’s much more than straight up purchasing of consumer goods, don’t worry 🙂 As someone else pointed out, unless your money is in your mattress (heck, even if it is in your mattress, it’s affecting things like the velocity of money and the money supply), it still plays a part in the economy. How you do or don’t spend your money also shapes the economy, and can very much be used as a force of good!!

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      Like sitting in my bank account? 🙂

      Reply
  4. alwayshungry4

    Do you use an alternative to laundry detergent, or just wash with water? I wear most of my clothes a couple of times before washing except underthings and gym clothes, but I use detergent when I do (though half of what they advise and it works out just as well).

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      I just wash with water. No alternative. 🙂 The agitation and water gets all the odours, sweat and any kind of dirt out of my clothes.

      I’d use soap nuts or soap nut liquids only on greasy kitchen towels.

      Reply
  5. D
    Dillon

    Unless you are keeping your money under your mattress, it is going back into the economy. For example, you have an emergency fund of $10,000 at a bank, well that bank can loan out roughly $8000 and the person who they loan it to will keep $8000 in the bank or go and spend it. If they spend, it you are putting $8000 back into the economy. If they save it, the bank will lend out another $6400 to someone else who can either spend it or save it. If they save it, the bank will lend out another $5120. Basically for every $10,000 you save, the bank creates over $50,000 in loans to other people so by saving you are actually creating more money into the economy.

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      Sounds to me like a lot of money just swishing around, in terms of loans.. a bit like a Ponzi scheme of sorts.

      Reply
  6. T
    Tim

    Oh, but some companies do love you…if you own their stock. I personally don’t think PF bloggers are screwing over companies, we are just converting people from being consumers to investors. So we are loved for different reasons. Besides BMO must love me, then send me a cheque ever quarter. *grin*

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      *LAUGH*! True 🙂 I do own consumer stocks.

      Reply
  7. K
    Kerry

    Hmm, I think these are two different issues. There’s ‘not buying unnecessary stuff’, which I agree with. There’s no sense in buying things you don’t want or need.

    But in the bigger issue of ‘saving rather than spending’, I’ve actually started to come down on the side of spending. It’s true that spending creates economic growth – which means jobs for more people, which means more growth. But that spending doesn’t have to be on Stuff.

    I’ve actually started going to restaurants more, and travelling more, because I know I get a lot of pleasure from those things and it helps people stay in work. It’s as important to choose what you spend on as it is to decide how much to spend.

    Plus, saving rates are TERRIBLE right now – in the UK it’s practically impossible to find a place to put your money that beats inflation, never mind making any kind of capital gains. If I stick £200 in the bank for five years, I’m not convinced that will make me happier than spending that £200 on a really amazing weekend in Edinburgh would. Especially considering how unstable global finance is at the moment (see: Cyprus).

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      I’ve stopped going to restaurants too… eep.

      I do travel but not all the time. What keeps people in jobs in my line of work is hotels and rental cars…

      Reply
  8. M
    MelD

    LOL hear hear!! Loved this!

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      Just made me wonder 🙂

      Reply
  9. S
    ShopMyClosetProject

    I agree with Leslie that there is a balance. I am relatively frugal…but…i purchased a home, I travel, I buy groceries, you get the picture. The things that I do buy balance out the things that I don’t spend on. I imagine that this would be the case for everyone’s spending. I have a friend who is here in the States purchasing clothes because Australia is too expensive (she works for Virgin Atlantic). But, she won’t spend on a lot of things in Australia that she would spend on here. Food for thought.

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      I wonder if anyone has ever thought about comparing the two — what you’d spend in your own country, versus elsewhere.

      Obviously items that have to be imported from other countries will be cheaper to buy in the domestic country itself.

      But in some countries where they practically don’t make anything at all, and import it all… how does that play out if people stop spending on services too?

      Reply
  10. Michelle

    Could you post what items you are buying or thinking about buying? 🙂

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      What in particular do you want to know about?

      I’ve spent a lot of money already, and half of it was frivolous spending *digs toe into ground*

      I also post monthly what I buy 🙂

      Reply
      1. Michelle

        Just wondering what brands are good… like how you say Cosabella’s underwear is what you prefer. I am having a hard time finding good shoes though… since I have a high arch. I’ll just wait until your monthly update then. 🙂

        Reply
        1. M
          Mochi & Macarons

          I regularly update this list here:

          https://www.savespendsplurge.com/which-companies-manufacture-their-products-and-goods-in-china/

          As for shoes, I’ve found Aigle from France makes THE BEST rainboots I have ever tried on in my life. Around the same price as Hunters.

          For boots, I am going to get them custom made in Italy ($$$$$$ but it’s once in my life), but Fryes have good boots that are made in Mexico and seem to be of good quality.

          If boots are a problem for you because of a high arch, buy a Birkenstock thick, black, cork half insole. They’re amazing. I put them in almost every pair of shoes I own, and they make flat shoes sing with an arch.

          Cosabella is a good underwear brand, so is Commando. Very durable.

          Reply
          1. Michelle

            Ohhh… didn’t know you updated that post! Thanks! It’s what I’m looking for. 🙂 I’m also looking for good blouses now. I found 2 companies that have fabrics and are made in USA. It’s Clary Sage Organics and jetclothing.com.

          2. M
            Mochi & Macarons

            For blouses I think American Apparel has 80s clothing but has some blouses I might wear. I’ll take a look at your list!!

          3. Michelle

            I guess the only place I can really shop at in the mall is American Apparel since it’s so easily accessible… but I read some things about the owner of AA that makes me not want to buy it…. he seems like a sleeze ball…

  11. Mrs PoP @ PlantingOurPennies

    Luckily for those of us that hold consumer stocks in our portfolios, I don’t think the habits of the masses are really undergoing a drastic change. The relative frugality that hit many sectors of society during the recession has largely evaporated as jobs have come back.

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      True 🙂 I think most people feel relieved with a job, and loosen purse strings.

      Reply
  12. L
    Leslie Beslie

    Everything balances out. If everyone consumed at the highest of rates, supply couldn’t keep up. Don’t worry, Procter & Gamble isn’t going to go bankrupt because neither of us buy laundry detergent.

    Reply
    1. M
      Mochi & Macarons

      Still, it makes me wonder what would happen if it reached critical mass.

      Reply

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