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The Power of your Purse

Growing up I always thought that to be able to wield any power with your money you needed to be mega wealthy - like Bezos, Arnault, Rinehart or Forrest wealthy. I wasn’t completely wrong in my thinking. Having billions of dollars to splash does give you a lot of power to change the world around you but what I overlooked is the fact that we all have some power when it comes to our money and, if we choose to do so, can create positive change in the world. I think sustainability advocate Anna Lappe put it well when she said, ‘Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote on the kind of world you want to live in’. That’s a powerful thought isn’t it? It’s also an inspiring thought. A thought that I hope inspires you to reflect on ways to use the power of your purse as a force for good in this world. We’ve got some ideas!

Embrace Conscious Consumerism

Being a conscious consumer means you are mindful of how your purchasing decisions impact the environment, society and the economy around you. Every time you make a purchase is an opportunity to support businesses that are aligned with your values. By embracing this power, you can make the world a better place one purchase at a time. The good news? You can be a conscious consumer even on a modest budget. Here’s some ways you can practise conscious consumerism.

    • Buy locally, buy small: 
      You’ll not only stimulate the local economy but you’ll reduce the emissions associated with the transportation of goods and packaging. For example, you could buy locally sourced fruits and vegetables from farmers' markets. This also gives you an opportunity to get to know the people you’re buying from and how they do business. I also like the idea that every time I buy from a small business someone somewhere does a little happy dance.
  • Slow and sustainable fashion: 
    Opting for clothing made from sustainable materials, such as organic cotton or recycled fabrics allows you to support ethical fashion brands that prioritise environmentally friendly production and fair labour conditions.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: 
    Challenge yourself to think twice about your shopping habits. Embrace a minimalist lifestyle to not only save money but live less wastefully. So aim to buy quality products instead of quantity, try to repair items before you replace them, pause before a purchase and decide if it’s simply something you want or actually need and look for items you can recycle easily. A super easy example is to use reusable water bottles and coffee cups instead of disposable ones which can significantly reduce plastic waste.
  • Support business with sustainable certifications: 
    Supporting businesses that prioritise ethical treatment of animals by choosing cruelty-free cosmetics and household products encourages a shift towards more humane practices in the beauty and personal care industry. Look for certifications like Fair Trade, B Corp, Cruelty Free, Guaranteed Fair Trade, Green Tick , Carbon Free, Forest Stewardship Council, Rainforest Alliance, Global Organic Textile when shopping.


  • Bank Better: 
    Research and select banks or financial institutions that invest in renewable energy projects or support community development, ensuring their money is aligned with their values and contributing to positive change. There’s more out there than you might realise.

Keep in mind that being a conscious consumer isn’t about being a perfect consumer. It’s about taking many small actions that add up to sizable change. If more of us make small changes to our consumption habits then it will add to big change for the planet and society.

Investing with Impact

Before you skip ahead and think ‘Oh well, I’m not an investor’ - stop. Do you have a superannuation fund? Well guess what? You’re an investor! Congratulations! And whilst you can’t immediately access this money, you do have the right to choose where and how it’s invested. So whilst our primary objective is to find a superannuation fund with low fees and good investment returns that help us to build wealth so that we can enjoy a fabulous lifestyle in retirement, many superfund holders are increasingly keen to see their retirement savings being invested in ethically and responsibly to achieve a positive impact. If that’s you, keep reading.

Impact investing could be the key to creating positive social and environmental change while achieving our financial goals regardless whether that’s inside our superfund or through direct investments. Impact investing involves allocating capital to businesses and projects that generate measurable, beneficial impacts alongside financial returns. In Australia, there are various impact investment options available for investors seeking to align their investments with their values. Consider ethical funds that focus on sustainable practices, community development projects that uplift disadvantaged communities, or renewable energy initiatives driving the transition to clean energy. To start impact investing, research investment opportunities, consult with financial advisors knowledgeable in this field, and ensure your investments reflect your personal values. By embracing impact investing, you have the power to make a meaningful difference in the world while growing your wealth.

Philanthropy and Giving Back 

Philanthropic giving holds immense significance in creating lasting change throughout Australia. There are roughly 57,000 registered charities addressing a broad range of issues, from fighting extreme poverty and human rights advocacy to tackling the climate crisis and wildlife conservation, according to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission. By supporting these organisations and causes close to your heart, you have the power to make a tangible difference in your communities and beyond. Whether it’s through donating time, money, or resources, every act of philanthropy contributes to improving lives, promoting social justice, and advancing important causes. To embark on a philanthropic journey, consider exploring reputable Australian nonprofits and charitable initiatives. Platforms such as GiveNow, Good2Give, and Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) provide resources and connections to help you to identify trustworthy organisations aligned with your values. Better still, if those organisations have DGR status (deductible gift recipient) then cash donations >$2 can be claimed as a tax deduction. By joining the philanthropic movement, we can collectively create a brighter and more inclusive future for all Australians.

You possess an incredible power within you—the power to shape the future, to ignite change, and to create a better Australia for all. It’s time to embrace your role as a change maker! Every woman has the power to make a difference and contribute to a better Australia. Your voice, your choices, and your actions hold immeasurable potential to make a positive impact. Whether it's through conscious consumerism, impactful investments, philanthropic giving, or championing causes that resonate with you, you have the ability to change lives, uplift communities, and drive meaningful progress. Together, let’s build a more sustainable, ethical and inclusive Australia.


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