Mississippi Money: In 2019, Invest in Your Community
By Ryder Taff
One of my earliest memories growing up in Belhaven was the playground around the corner. The swings creaked when you got too high and the merry-go-round wobbled as it spun – it was a great place to be a kid, but maybe a bit of a nightmare for parents. At one point, it must have been enough, because the neighborhood came together to upgrade the equipment. They invested in the park and reaped rewards in many ways.
In finance, when we say invest, what we mean is that you are spending your resources with the expectation of a return. Looking forward this year, invest in your own community! By investing in your community, you are providing a better future for your children while increasing your well-being and net worth.
Investing directly in your neighborhood might look like pitching in to build a new playground. You help foster connections in the neighborhood while also improving the appeal of homes in the area. Belhaven has always been a friendly neighborhood, but maintaining places for our children to play no doubt increases our sociability, health and long-term appeal. I continue to invest in the neighborhood by welcoming new neighbors, picking up trash on my walks and contributing to neighborhood events.
Shopping local is another great way to invest in your community. While stores of all types and ownership structures are important to your community, locally owned or operated stores pack a big punch. Not only does more of your money stay in the community, but you also strengthen bonds between neighbors you already have. Local stores and experts are a valuable community resource and your children will benefit from them as well.
If you can, take a look at your community and volunteer in a big way! While volunteers will always be needed to pick up litter, tutor at a local school or feed the homeless, the organizations that put these on may need your talents in other ways. While getting involved in a more continuous capacity may not fit into everyone’s schedule, it can magnify your impact. Interacting with, or joining an organization at the board level, can give you impact, influence and connections that you didn’t have before. Your work can open opportunities for yourself and your children while improving the community you live in.
This year, invest in your own community. You’ll gain new connections, find new avenues for your children to explore and increase the appeal of your neighborhood all at the same time.