More About the Declining Balance Tool
Declining Balances and Call for Board Candidates
by Steven Hanson, MMFC board member
We know you love your co-op – you tell us that all the time. You demonstrate it with your loyalty to the store and by promoting us in the community. There are times you may ask if there are things you can do to help support MMFC, and I have a suggestion for how you can help both the co-op and yourself.
Each time you use a credit or debit card at MMFC the co-op pays a “swipe fee” for your use of the card. The fees are not large but after a year of thousands of transactions those little charges really add up and is one of the line items that come out of the co-op’s profits. In the past year alone, we paid over $55,000 in credit card processing fees.
The Declining Balance Tool
The co-op’s declining balance tool is an underused and often forgotten perk of co-op ownership. You can have all of the convenience of using a card, and help lower our costs by using a declining balance to buy your groceries. Using this tool not only saves the co-op money, but it can be a great help managing your budget.
Using our declining balance tool allows you to put in a fixed amount every month that corresponds with your grocery budget. It’s self-enforcing in that you will be able to keep track of what you’ve spent through the balance left on your account. Not a co-op owner? You can use the same technique with a co-op gift card, load it with your budgeted amount for groceries at the beginning of each month to keep your spending in check… I know that when I use a credit card to buy groceries I can get carried away because somehow psychologically it just feels like free groceries. The gift card or declining balance will help keep you in line with your grocery budget.
Upcoming Board Election
While I’ve got your attention, I’ve been on the MMFC board for eight years now. It has been a great experience for me and I’ve learned a lot and have gone through a lot with the co-op, particularly in the year of building the new store when I was board president. It has also at times been great fun. The board members are invariably lovely people with a lot to offer to the co-op and the community.
We have some openings on our board that will be filled at the annual meeting in October. I’d like to invite all members of MMFC to consider becoming a board member. It’s a very rewarding way to help out the co-op and I know it has helped me to grow as an individual and member of my community.
Consider joining us in running a grocery store with our friends. Learn more on the MMFC website at https://www.mmfc.coop/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-BoD-Candidate-Packet-REV2.pdf .