Re-examining the way I spend money
More mindful and equitable purchases, explaining our minds, the implications of war, and talking dogs
One of the things I’m always thinking about is financial equity for our marginalized communities: how are we giving back in a way that is sustainable and making a long-term impact?
After taking a look at my finances last year, I realized that a majority of my expenses (including day-to-day business operations and living expenses) supported institutions primarily led by straight cisgender white men. Although some purchases went directly toward supporting queer BIPOC businesses, there were mostly infrequent purchases including gifts, meals, and direct contributions.
When discussing this with friend & collaborator, Dalia Kinsey, we came up with a challenge this year to re-examine all of our transactions, from gifts to everyday purchases, and explore alternative options run by women, BIPOC, and queer communities. In the case we couldn’t find an alternative that centered our communities, to simply decrease the amount of money spent.
The result so far?
Saving a lot of money. Though I haven’t been able to find many replacements just yet, I’ve reduced the number of subscriptions and mindless purchases.
Learning more about businesses I shop with. From clothing to tech, investing time into researching the founders or current business owners has taught me a lot about where my money was going. Sometimes, it was a delight realizing that I was already supporting my community (ex: Calendly, DoorDash, Zoom, Notion). Sometimes, it was quite a disappointment to realize that businesses I shopped at were not only white-led but also very right-wing (via Goods Unite Us). (Though a few good surprises: Sonos, Peloton, and Grubhub)
Discovering new minority-owned businesses. Investing time to find alternatives helped me to learn more about my neighborhood and stores to consider shopping or eating at. (Discovering amazing lists online such as NYMag, FastCompany, EatQueer)
Sometimes, a small shift in our every day can make a cascading shift for our communities. And when it comes to a long-term financial impact, especially for our marginalized communities, it really does take a village (you and I) to make a difference together.
Where is your hard-earned money going toward?
How can you align your mission with your wallet?
Was also able to sit down this past week with Dalia to talk about Dalia’s new book launch - Decolonizing Wellness: A QTBIPOC-Centered Guide to Escape the Diet Trap, Heal Your Self-Image, and Achieve Body Liberation.
In the interview, we chat about what does “decolonizing wellness” mean, the need for QTBIPOC wellness information, and how allies can show up in this work. If you love the interview - highly recommend getting a copy of the book!
PS: if you’d like to directly support a queer BIPOC non-profit organization, highly recommend donating towards QTBIPOC Design! Donations are 100% tax-deductible and contributions go toward helping to educate our next generation of queer BIPOC design leaders.
What I’m up to
For Asians: Wed, Feb 16 - Asian American Healing Space
For queer BIPOC designers: Tue, Mar 8 - QTBIPOC Design UX Nights
For queer Asians: Thu, Mar 10 - Yellow Glitter Sparkles Support Group
New Yellow Glitter Podcast Episode with Dr. JT on body image, PEDs, and social media’s impact on our self-image.
Something to watch
I’ve been really loving this docu-series The Mind: Explained breaking down various facets of our mind - from societal and historical implications to creativity and focus... there’s something for everyone. Highly recommend starting with the episode “How to Focus” (Season 2, Episode 1) covering our fragmented attention span.
Something to read
Yuval Noah Harari (author of Homo Deus and Sapiens) is one of the most intellectual people I’ve followed to date. Recently, he shared his perspectives regarding what’s happening over in Ukraine and Russia (paywall free version here). The precipice of war should concern us all as it will shape the future of our globalized society.
Something to follow
After finishing the book on Stella, How Stella Learned to Talk, I was blown away. I expected a book all about dog training tips but got a deeper dive into the world of speech therapy, AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) devices, and the power of language. Highly recommend this book to pet owners, parents, and anyone looking to learn more about language and communication beyond our verbal language.
As always, thanks for reading!
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Have a beautiful day!