Our dinero can be a powerful tool to support our culture and amplify our voices
Buying power: the amount of money that a person or group has available to spend : purchasing power.Webster Dictionary
How we spend our hard earned dollars, after our expenses, is the measure of our buying power. We fuel not only California’s economy but our nation as we are expected to exceed $1.7 trillion next year! Our dinero is a powerful tool because we show corporations, as well as policy makers, what we truly value when we choose how we spend our money. Is our buying power really working for us?
How do we spend our dinero?
Reading the latest Nielsen report, La Oportunidad Latinx, I was shocked at this statistic but then I had to check myself! Yep, each person in my family use a smartphone device of one kind or another. I like to think that it’s because we don’t throw anything away! Our old phones still connect to WiFi for playing games and watching videos. The report states, “98% aged 2+ own a smartphone, versus 95% of the total U.S. The high ownership and use rates are not just because of their relative youth. In fact, Hispanics 35+ surpass the general population by 5% for smartphone ownership as well.” This gives reason to our high usage of digital media, mobile apps, and online shopping. How we spend our money in these areas should correlate to fair representation of Latinx in media.
Despite our digital use, we still enjoy shopping in stores. A physical shopping experience, most likely with family, is an opportunity to try products and see what else there is to buy. According to the Nielsen report, we are specifically shopping in a store for beauty products, appliances, and health and diet aids. The importance here is that we spend our dinero where we are treated con mucho respecto not only through customer service but through continued marketing. A great example is the Selena Quintanilla make-up line launched by MAC in 2016 following a Change.org petition initiated by Patty Rodriguez, co-founder of Lil’ Libros, which reached 37,628 supporters. The line sold-out twice!
I totally related to this statistic, “Family meals are at the center of Hispanic lifestyles. 66% of Latinx consumers say they would rather prepare a meal than eat out at a restaurant.” My hubby, Juan, loves to cook and its a point of pride for him! He’ll do the grocery shopping for all the ingredients too. At the grocery store, the “most important category for local sourcing was produce, with 60% saying it was extremely or very important, followed by bakery at 56%, prepared foods and eggs at 53% and dairy at 50%.” The importance of purchasing our groceries from local Latinx businesses is to bring money back into our communities and it should also ensure fair wages for local labor.
On Friday’s We Fight! Latinx buying power is strong but is it working for us? With just 3 examples, we can see our dinero supports media, beauty products, and grocers however the current outcomes are disappointing. #Latinx #buyingpowerTweet
Is our buying power really working for us?
From the media, to the grocery store, to the MAC counter, I have to wonder, is our Latinx buying power really working for us? The National Hispanic Media Coalition and the National Latino Media Council protested Paramount one year ago #NoLatinosNoTickets to increase positive media portrayals of Latinos and increase Latino employment in media. The petition states, “We … only have 2.7% of speaking roles in film (2016) and 6% in television.” Why aren’t our dollars truly increasing our representation? When the Selena cosmetic line sold-out twice, it should have been obvious that MAC restock and make the line permanent. MAC hasn’t commented on why they have not. Lastly, why do most Latinx grocery stores cost so much more than other grocery stores? In Stockton, California, we have Food-4-Less and Rancho San Miguel groceries both owned by the same company yet, they have vastly different prices for the same product.
We work hard for our money. We should be smarter with how we spend it in order to see improvements in these and other areas. I don’t have the answers. I do welcome the discussion. Let’s talk about how our buying power can better work for us.