Monday, November 7, 2011


I am looking for rewards these days but not the kind they attach to credit cards and such things.  If fact, I am in the process of reducing all that stuff.  I canceled two big bank credit cards this morning.  I don't even know how I got them.  They started out as store credit cards and then, at some point, and likely because I was advised that I could get AN ADDITIONAL 20% OFF MY TOTAL BILL  if I changed to a VISA or MasterCard, they became big bank credit cards.  I don't need those things at all.  They only clutter up my life.  Bye bye, bank card.

Except for the Macy's one, I have never subscribed to any of the Rewards programs anyway.  I got into Macy's only because it is the second oldest account I have and because I once worked there.  It is nice every once in a while to get this credit for $25.  I guarantee you I don't make purchases to get the points.  They just cash in from time to time.

Like so many other people, I am interested and inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.  There is so much I don't know or understand but so much that I want to know and understand.  For example, as pitiful as this sounds, I will admit that I never even thought about the big banks and how they take advantage of the working people.  I just didn't know anything other than that my paycheck goes to Bank of the West and I have a debit card from there.  The automatic deposit is convenient and the debit card can be handy.  End of awareness.

And now my eyes are open.  Imagine my incredulousness when I realized that my folksy so called neighborhood bank with the all  American name of Bank of the West is actually headquartered in Paris, France.  They are a huge band and they take my Sonoma County dollars and use that to get themselves the best return.  Maybe it will go towards  a hotel construction project in Dubai or a manufacturing plant in China but it's likely NOT going to be sweat equity home project in Santa Rosa or a small business loan to a solar company in Sebastopol.  I feel really stupid not knowing this and I wonder how many other things I don't know.  I will move my (very limited) money out of Bank of the West as soon as is practical.

An intriguing offshoot of this process has been my own rededication to reduce/reuse/recycle.  I am loving the concept again of reduce.  I have never been a big consumer but I am looking around and thinking I can do better in this department.  I can stop and reconsider the purchase of yet another sweater or pair of boots (NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!   - but ..... yes).  I don't want to fuel the production of more things, fuel the waste of more resources.  I have been on this train since college for sure and I am all about recycling and riding my bike or walking places.  I love that I live three blocks from work and that Oskar can sometimes sit alone in the garage for two or three weeks without his steering wheel being gripped by my hands.  But I can say stop to the purchase of more luxuries.

Truth is, I will never stop buying reading materials and likely not art supplies.  I will always be interested and open to technology innovations.  I will buy dinners out and bottles of wine and good fresh produce and breads.  But more jewelry?  more jeans?  more BOOTS????  Not so much.  Not never but not so much.

I will get into the rewards plan that gives me less stuff to take care of.  I will enjoy the reward that comes with NOT buying something.  I will consider how I can use my paycheck to make a difference in the world and maybe buy myself some knowledge and experiences.  All good rewards, don't you agree?

1 comment:

  1. I don't know too much about credit cards. Do you suppose the Bank of Willits really isn't? Inquiring minds would like to know. Tell me if you are going to a protest; you know I could get into that. What kind of narrative could I produce from that experience?