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How do we vote with our dollars, not just to make ourselves feel good, but to make a real difference?
Wallet Activism challenges you to rethink your financial power so can feel confident spending, earning, and saving money in ways that align with your values.
While we call the American system a democracy, capitalism is the far more powerful force in our lives. The greatest power we have—especially when political leaders won’t move quickly enough—is how we use our money: where we shop, what we buy, where we live, what institutions we entrust with our money, who we work for, and where we donate determines the trajectory of our society and our planet. While our votes and voices are essential, too, Wallet Activism helps you use your money for real impact.
It can feel overwhelming to determine “the right way” to spend: a choice that might seem beneficial to the environment may have unintended consequences that hurt people. And marketers are constantly lying to you, making it hard to know what choice is best. Wallet Activism empowers us to vote with our wallets by making sense of all the information coming at us, and teaching us to cultivate a more holistic mindset that considers the complex, interrelated ecosystems of people and the planet together, not as opposing forces.
From Tanja Hester, Our Next Life blogger and author of Work Optional, comes the mindset-shifting guide to help you put your money where your values are. Wallet Activism is not a list of dos and don’ts that will soon become outdated, nor does it call for anti-consumerist perfection.
Instead, it goes beyond simple purchasing decisions to explore:
• The impacts a financial decision can have across society and the environment
• How to create a personal spending philosophy based on your values
• Practical questions to quickly assess the “goodness” of a product or an entity you may buy from
• The ethics of earning money, choosing what foods to eat, employing others, investing responsibly, choosing where to live, and giving money away
For anyone interested in leaving the world better than you found it, Wallet Activism helps you build habits that will make your money matter.
About the Author
Tanja Hester is the author of Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change and Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way. After spending most of her career as a consultant to Democratic politics and progressive issue campaigns, and before that as a public radio journalist, Tanja retired early at the age of thirty-eight. She documented the process on her award-winning financial independence/retire early (FIRE) blog, Our Next Life. She’s been an outspoken voice in the personal finance media community to consider systemic barriers and opportunity gaps, rather than simply pushing people with lots of advantages already to accumulate more wealth, part of why the New York Times called her “the matriarch of the women’s FIRE movement.” She hosts a podcast also called Wallet Activism, writes an occasional opinion column for MarketWatch, and lives in a burgeoning permaculture food forest she’s growing in North Lake Tahoe, California, with her husband, Mark Bunge, and a flock of tiny rescue dogs. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @our_nextlife and visit her blog at OurNextLife.com.