Ethical Finances 101

Many of us are trying to lead more ethical lives, We recycle more, favour ethical fashion and check out the companies we are buying from before we make a purchase, but when it comes to our finances, many of us are still lagging behind. This is a shame because money is one area where being more ethical can really make a difference.

If you want to deal with your money more ethically, here are some tips to get you started:

Do Your Research

Before you consider applying for same day loans, a new bank account or a new share for your portfolio, do your research on the company and see what their ethical policies are like. If you don’t like what they have to say, try another company - it’s not like there isn’t a lot of choice out there.

Switch to an Ethical Bank

The easiest thing you can do to be more financially ethical is to switch to an ethical banking current account like the ones offered by Triodos, who are completely transparent and who invest in greener, more sustainable, ethical businesses amongst other things.

Invest Ethically

There have never been more ethical investment opportunities than there are right now. Whether you’re looking to invest in an ISA or build up a stocks and shares portfolio, there will be something to suit your particular needs whether you’re for greater sustainability or against animal testing. It may be worth talking to an independent financial adviser who can help you find the best investments to meet your particular ethical requirements.

Make a Difference

Something that has become more popular in recent years, which enables you to give back and use your money for good is peer-to-peer lending. This is a process by which you can lend some of your money, along with others, to a third party so they can set up a small business or buy the tools they need to provide for their family. Although you may not get as great a return for your money, you get the satisfaction of knowing you have done some good in the world.

Get an Ethical Pension

Friends of the Earth has a great resource to help you move your pension fund away from schemes that invest n fossil fuels, land grabs and the oil and tobacco industries. It is one of the best things you can do if you want to be more financially ethical right now.

Buy Local

There’s nothing easier than buying local - you just head out of your4 door and see what’s available - and there is no denying that buying local is one of the most ethical decisions you can make. Not only do you cut down on travel miles and save carbon, but you keep your money in your local economy where it can help local people to live better lives and do more good in the community.

This may seem like a lot of work, but actually making the change to a more ethical way of using your money is pretty simple, and you don’t have to do everything at once - even making one small change will make a difference.