WHAT does being 'good' with money mean to you? Vicky Shaw finds out how to align your finances more closely with your principles.

Being 'good' with your money can be about more than just bagging a bargain in the shops, or getting favourable returns on your savings. Where you choose to put your hard-earned cash can also have a positive impact on wider society and the environment.

October 5-11 marks Good Money Week - a campaign to help grow and raise awareness of sustainable, responsible and ethical finance. The potential for making a positive change could be huge.

Keen to know more about how to do good with your money? From making sure your pension is invested in funds that marry up with your values, to mindful shopping and supporting your local community, here are some tips from Good Money Week campaigns director Charlene Cranny...

1. Know your values

Firstly, sit down and have a think about your ethics, what you stand for and what you'd be happy for your money to support - and equally what you would not feel comfortable with your money supporting. For example, is renewable energy your passion point, or shopping Fairtrade, or ensuring that the local community is invested in?

Or have you recently gone meat-free or cut down on your use of plastic, and want this to be reflected in the industries your money supports? Referring back to your particular values will help guide you through your actions.

Good Money Week 2019 has discovered that when prompted, the top places that people would like to see their pension money support include green energy, sustainability, water conservation, renewables, and electric vehicles.

2. Mention the pension

Around 9.3 million of us will be investing in workplace pensions by the end of this year, which means millions upon millions of pounds are being invested in the name of the UK's workforce. But in new research commissioned by Good Money Week, over half (53.3%) of those surveyed stated that they have no idea where their pensions are being invested.

That's why this year's Good Money Week campaign is focused on encouraging the UK's workforce to find out where their pension is invested. This can be done simply by asking your boss or HR manager to check whether it's invested in funds that match up with you and your colleagues' values.

Many pension providers offer an 'ethical' or 'sustainable' option - but it may not have been used as your default. And some pension providers can even let you change your fund yourself online, making it really simple.

One in six (15.4%) people say would feel awkward asking their employer where their workplace pension is invested. But getting over this awkwardness will help ensure that your pension money is used for 'good'.

3. Change current accounts

Thanks to services such as Current Account Switch Service (Cass), it has never been easier to switch. The numbers of ethical banks operating in the UK are growing at an encouraging rate. Co-operative Bank, for example, has a customer-led ethical policy. And Triodos Bank has an ethical investment policy and publishes details of the organisations it finances.

4. Shift your savings

Even the most bog-standard savings account will be sending your hard-earned pennies somewhere, so have a look around at how you could be using your savings more positively.

5. Consider 'green' energy

Like changing current accounts, switching energy providers is no longer the headache it once was. The number of providers supplying renewable energy in the UK has increased in recent years, with green energy suppliers including Bulb, Ecotricity and Good Energy.

6. Support your local community

We should all be shopping mindfully and avoiding wasteful purchases, but when you do need to shop, you may want to try going local. As well as more cash staying on your local high street and benefiting the surrounding economy, when you shop at local butcher's, baker's, farm shop and green grocer's, a good bulk of the produce may have had a relatively short 'field-to-fork' journey. Supporting local farmers may also mean that the food may be wrapped in less single-use plastic packaging.

7. Consider investing

The word 'investment' might sound scary, but it doesn't need to involve big amounts of money. Some investment platforms offer investments that have a positive impact on the environment and society. You could try making a small commitment and see what happens - you may discover the returns are more encouraging than you thought.