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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in money

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
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.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you! A wonderful way of remembering that our spending is a spiritual practice!
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Thank you! We spend all the time, and I'm sure that's the mystery of money: turning its flow into something more powerful than t
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    This is an absolutely wonderful idea! Helping our local businesses makes the world where we live a better place. Thank you for sh
Dental hygiene and the wheel of the year

The equinox is upon us, bringing light and dark again into balance, so it is again time for us to turn our minds to our toothbrushes.

That's right, toothbrushes.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    I like it, Terence! Thanks.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    That's a really great idea! I never knew about that company. Thanks for sharing.
  • Don Kraig
    Don Kraig says #
    Indeed, getting a new brush every 3 months is a great idea. Just as important, IMO, is to use the toothbrush daily. You should als

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dispelling grey charges

The term grey charges is new to me, but the concept isn't:  these are financial parasites that suck off your bank or credit card balance for as long as you don't notice them.  Like living parasites, they succeed by staying small and not hurting you too much at a time, costing the average consumer less than $350 per year but banging the entire economy for about $14.3 billion in 2012.

Grey charges depend upon us not spending with intent.  Some of us can't be bothered to look at our statements, but it's just as common to be afraid to look at our financial situation.  Either of these extremes is the opposite of living a life of intent, because earning and spending are part of the intentional life.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks for bringing a focus to these!
  • David Dashifen Kees
    David Dashifen Kees says #
    If you see such a charge on your statement: call the bank. My bank (Chase) was actually helpful (for once) in correcting the sit
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    "A fool and his money are easily separated," P.T. Barnum.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A brief history of the value of money

I've been studying the nature and value of money for awhile now, and I've only begun to scratch the surface of what the stuff is.  Here in the United States, and perhaps elsewhere, philosophical and economic discussions about money are hopelessly entangled with political philosophy, which makes it all the harder, but I think I have a grasp of what American currency is, and how it got there.

Barter was the first way humans exchanged things they had for things they wanted.  It works well when two people each have something they other wants and they value it equally.  Otherwise, the trades can become inordinately complex, such is the stuff that fiction writers love to illustrate, because wacky hijinks ensue.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    I'm no survivalist, and we'll be in as much peril as everyone else once the game of kicking the [fiat money] can is no longer poss
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    "I don't care if its dirty, moldy, or soggy, just so its money," Bart Maverick from the 1960s TV series. Gold isn't money, gold
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Enjoyed this, Terence. Reminds me of my friends who invest in the stock market, when I try to point out that it's based on nothing
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Its worse than that. There are NO people in charge. However, you can own a portion of large business.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The power of cold, hard cash

Debt counselors like it when their clients use cash for all of their transactions.  That's because they understand that physical currency connects us to the power of money.  If you've noticed that most money-drawing and prosperity spells use a couple of bucks as a material component, rather than a checkbook entry or ATM receipt, you're seeing the same idea in action.  We don't fully realize the power of money if we keep it in the realm of bank balances and automatic bill payments.

This is no accident:  money is the earth element, so by definition it's a material component.  The fact that we've made various representations of money, from bills of credit to checks to a jumble of electron, obfuscates this fundamental truth.  Money is physical, and forging a relationship with it is going to be much more difficult if you can't feel it in your hand, hear its clink, or smell its peculiar, musky odor.

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  • Wendall Mountain Runner
    Wendall Mountain Runner says #
    All of my everyday spending is cash only, the larger financials (mortgage, utilities...) are web based. I try and budget my expen
  • Penny Lloyd
    Penny Lloyd says #
    Just wanted to tell you how much I'm enjoying your blog! Your insights are helping me to change my perceptions on money and all th
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Penny, thank you -- this comment definitely made my day, which is quite hot and sticky, otherwise A-OK.
  • David Dashifen Kees
    David Dashifen Kees says #
    I hate cash. I can't keep track of it. I lose it, I spend it, it just disappears. Debit cards are a key for me. I can check my
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    You're definitely not alone, David. That strange phenomenon of money "just disappearing" is not only a mystery, it's a Mystery, a

NPR reports on a study that confirms what many of us already felt, that poor people are more charitable, in how they think about community and as a percentage of what they have.  So what's going on here?  I have some ideas, not all of which could possibly be correct at the same time, and I'm even more curious about the ideas I haven't thought of myself.

Not surprisingly, "religion" is cited as a motivator for charitable behavior, but from what I can tell, that generic term as applied in the studies cited actually means "Christian religion" instead.  It's understandable that researchers focus their efforts on the largest groups, but the rest of us must read between the lines.

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  • T
    T says #
    I recall (though sadly can't cite) this being a repeatedly reaffirmed trend. Heck, even Jesus has parable with an example of the p
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I like the connection you draw between community and charity, T, particularly this remark: "Someone who has not directly experien
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Not Paganism specifically, but a general New Age concept that if you want to attract prosperity into your life you must be willing
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Five points for making me look up a word, Ted! Sometimes I wonder if giving tax deductions for charitable contributions is actua
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    The tight fist of fear definitely keeps us from giving a lot more money.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Charity is blind

Although I grew up in a community with a strong Jewish presence, I never really delved into the wisdom of that path; therefore, I was completely unaware of the wisdom of Maimonides and his views on charity.  The philosopher laid out eight levels of giving which observant Jews should follow as a tenet of their faith.  I can't think of a reason Pagans shouldn't adopt something similar.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    That is a really, really good post. Thank you. Marcus Aurelius once wrote that the most noble deed is the one we receive no cred
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    It's noble because it's hard! I have a slew of things I'd love to tell the world about, but unless you're interested in boor hunt

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