Your money makes a difference. Any purchasing decision has an impact. If you decide to buy a latte at a big corporation store, you take away $4 from your local coffee shop. When you buy shoe laces at Target, your local shoe store loses a few bucks of business. Your local wine shop could use the $30 you’re going to spend on wine this weekend.

Here are a few ideas for Black Friday:

– Don’t go shopping today. Go tomorrow at “Small Business Saturday”. Patronize your local business and give them an opportunity to survive and prosper. They help create a lively community. You should be part of it.

– Even better: Do you own an American Express card and a smartphone? Download the Foursquare application, sync your account with your American Express card and spend at least $25 at a local merchant. Check-in with the mobile app and get $25 of credit, courtesy of American Express. Here are the details.

– Stay away from gift cards. Brands profit a lot from it (because many are never used) and you look thoughtless. Instead, donate money and give your loved ones the option to donate to the cause closest to their heart. It’s a very empowering experience.

– If times are rough, a good hug will always do.