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We are living in a world where it’s easier than ever to live a socially conscious lifestyle. Organic farming, alternative fuels and using recycled materials in products are just a few ways companies are making it easier for consumers such as yourself to live a socially conscious lifestyle.
Even with the shift towards facilitating social good, many financial institutions are operating against the values of their account holders. Consider this. In their 2019 Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card, the Rainforest Action Network reports that thirty-three of the world’s leading banks lent over $600 billion to finance fossil fuel projects in 2018.
While it is easy to think that there is no way to escape the trap of storing funds with a firm that does not share your values, there is an alternative. It is Aspiration, a financial services firm that enables everyone to save money while making a difference.
Since its launch in 2015, Aspiration has gained hundreds of thousands of customers. Much of that growth likely is due to the unique approach the firm applies to cash management. Their flagship product, the Spend & Save™ account provides a secure way to store funds, but with additional features that align with the interests of consumers, rather than corporations that put profit first.
Here are a few of the top reasons why you should begin using Aspiration.
1. You no longer must pay to save
Isn’t it ironic how many financial services firms charge you money so you can save your funds? Aspiration works differently. They trust customers to pay the monthly fee that they think is fair, even if it is zero. Aspiration account holders can change their monthly account fee whenever and however often they want. Of the monthly fees paid by customers, 10% are donated to charity.
Unlike many traditional financial institutions, Aspiration also does not charge for overdrafts, account inactivity, check deposits and debit cards. They also commit to an “All Extra Services Provided at Cost” policy, where they only charge customers what it costs to provide the service and nothing more.
2. You have peace of mind that your deposits do not help harmful businesses
In the beginning of this article, we referenced how many financial institutions choose finance harmful industries, even if they go against the values of their account holders. Aspiration does the opposite. They pledge that 100% of customer deposits will not be used to fund harmful industries.
3. You can quantify the social impact of yourself and the businesses you shop from
The Aspiration Impact Measurement™ (AIM) score enables Aspiration customers to easily understand the impact of their spending on the world. Companies are assigned AIM scores based on factors such as CO2 emissions, renewable energy usage, employee benefits and workforce diversity.
Consumers also receive an average personal impact score based on their purchasing activity.
4. It is easy to offset your carbon emissions from driving
If you are like many, you probably know that carbon credits and offsets are often applied to large corporate activity. Aspiration now enables you to easily offset your carbon emissions without having to perform any calculations.
The Planet Protection™ feature of Aspiration (available through the premium Aspiration Plus offering) calculates your carbon emissions each time the user fuels up. Aspiration automatically offsets the carbon dioxide emissions for each gallon of gas.
5. Earn by supporting companies that do the right thing
The Aspiration Conscience Coalition™ is a cash back program for Spend & Save™ account holders that provides up to 10% cash back on purchases made at socially conscious merchants. A few members of the Conscious Coalition include: Reformation, Toms, Warby Parker and Blue Apron.
6. A wealth of additional protections
Aspiration’s Spend & Save account holders receive protections, including up to $2 million FDIC insurance by having deposits swept to FDIC member institutions*. Customers also receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance when they pay their monthly bill using their debit card and up to $1,000 in expense reimbursement if their identity is stolen.
How to get started
Now that you have seen the benefits of working with Aspiration, you are probably wondering what is required to sign up for an account. You can set up a Spend & Save or investment account with just a $10 deposit.
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