Recently, CNN reported, “SnapChat stock loses $800 million after Rihanna responds to offensive ad,” one that she said made light of domestic violence. That startling monetary loss came not because this celebrity stopped patronizing them herself but because she also asked her fans to drop Snapchat as well.
While everyone does not meticulously research the retailers and service providers that get their dollars, more people are paying attention to the stances the businesses they patronize take on certain issues. You can use your clout as a consumer to express your views on political and social issues, especially if it makes you do more financial planning so you can spend in ways that make you feel useful. You are not obligated to spend money in places where you do not feel welcome or where you disagree with the management. Whether you join a group of people in a organized effort or you find ways to feel better about your own personal spending, consider ways you can spend proactively.
Spending: As The Washington Post reports in, “Why ‘buycotts’ could overtake boycotts among consumer activists,” avoiding a business is not the only way to flex your financial muscle. The article defines a boycott this way: “…used over the years to explain efforts by conservative and liberal consumers to spend money in support of companies with which they agree, especially as a counter-protest to those boycotting the same brands.”
You can support organizations you believe in while not buying from those that don’t align with your values. The difference with the buycott is that you give less publicity to the businesses you don’t support.
Investing: “How to put your money where your feminism is” discusses how you can not only invest in companies that you think are acting responsibly when it comes to gender equality; you can also invest in helping women who need investors to start their own businesses.
Donating: In “13 Easy Ways To Put Your Money Where Your Feminism Is,” BuzzFeed offers a list of organizatons that are helping women in India. Many such organizations could use your help.