Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Money Well Spent

I have $8 and eight days till payday. But today I had a miniature revelation that caused me to see my money in a new light.

The Cafe on Morgan Square is closed. I'm sad for Spartanburg more than for me, since I didn't go there a whole lot, but it was somewhat of a piece of local history.

Walking back to my car from a fruitless money-collecting trip to the Beehive, I was debating with myself whether to dig something up for lunch at home, or get something on the way. The sensible thing was to save my money, but as I was walking past Monsoon Noodle House, I suddenly had this flash of horror at the thought of it closing down too. For all I know, Monsoon is doing just fine, and I hear that the Cafe closed for health just as much as monetary reasons. But still, the thought shook me enough to change my course and walk through those big glass doors.

Schooled as I have been in the principles of thrift, I always look for ways for my work, time, or money to do double duty. Same research to write two different stories, vacuum while waiting for the laundry, etc. Usually, both those ends somehow serve me. But why not include in my considerations, how to get more bang not just for myself but for others? This is the principle behind the new social entrepreneurship movement as well as an impulse many nonprofits are beginning to capitalize on.

I have precious few extra dollars each month. As long as I still have a choice where and how to spend it, doesn't it make sense to put it where it will do the most good? Will Taco Bell notice and appreciate my last four dollars, or will Gaston, the owner of A Caribbean Sweetness, who remembers who I am and what I like and who always has some entertaining story of Cuba to share? When I can afford to buy a CD, do I reward Wal-Mart for their unethical treatment of employees and havoc wrought on local culture, or do I get it from Earshot, one of the few and by far the coolest indy record stores left in the area? (Why did I have to pick up that copy of How Wal-Mart is Destroying America? I'm afraid I already know what my New Year's Resolution is for 2010.)

We the consumers aren't the only ones suffering right now. I realized today that we have a responsibility not to turn our backs on our favorite businesses just when they may need us most.


  1. Good post. I agree but I don't see big time corporations going away anytime soon and as long as they continue to grow, small buisness will continue to shrink. Wal-mart does sell at lower prices and most people will shop there for that reason. Not realizing (or caring) that it's only digging a deeper hole.

  2. If Monsoon were to every close, I would move very far away. Kudos to you ma'am.


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