Author Topic: Material/Money Anxiety  (Read 200 times)

Bambs

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Material/Money Anxiety
« on: June 23, 2019, 08:53:01 PM »
Hi everyone  :)

Since graduating from university I have been getting by on a somewhat low income, and while I never got into any debt, I always felt like I was spending a little more than I should and that I sometimes made silly decisions with my money.

I was recently lucky enough to get quite a large promotion with a big raise, which puts me materially in quite a good position for a young person.

Still, I find myself feeling anxious and guilty about spending money and struggling to differentiate between necessity and indulgence when it comes to buying.

I also have a big problem with becoming obsessed with "wants" - typically I feel a lot of anxiety about needing to buy my first home, but worry about how long it will take for me to save for a deposit. I just can't seem to switch off the stressy money and materialistic thoughts.

Any advice about finding a "middle way" to all my confused materialism would be much appreciated!!  :'(

Mert

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Re: Material/Money Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 01:54:37 PM »
Your feelings are because of the past experiences, not for the future. Maybe, you're still feeling guilty about the hard-earned money you spent?

You should try to be more self conscious about your feelings to resolve the issue. I am not sure about focusing on hard as I don't have too much experience, and don't recommend.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Material/Money Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 09:48:04 AM »
We are following the path that others have shown us exists, but have to live in the world we inhabit now. Consequently many of the stories of the Buddha and Buddhism set a harsh example to us, and the tension between the two parts of our lives can be distressing. I think the best we can do is to live mindfully in the situation we find ourselves in while not being too hard on ourselves when we measure against some kind of ideal.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Nicky

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Re: Material/Money Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 11:12:45 AM »
Still, I find myself feeling anxious and guilty about spending money and struggling to differentiate between necessity and indulgence when it comes to buying.

I also have a big problem with becoming obsessed with "wants" - typically I feel a lot of anxiety about needing to buy my first home, but worry about how long it will take for me to save for a deposit. I just can't seem to switch off the stressy money and materialistic thoughts.

Hello Bambs

Buddhism teaches there are four material needs or 'material requisites', namely, food, clothing, shelter & medicine. In the Buddhist scriptures, we can read when the Buddha met a monk in his travelling, the first thing he would ask the monk was: "Do you have & are you obtaining sufficient material requisites".

Therefore, a house is a 'need' rather than a 'want'. It is proper to feel anxious about a home because the cost of housing & renting is increasing more & more in most Western countries. If you get older and are still paying rent that is generally a very difficult situation. Therefore, you should save as much as possible for a home-deposit. The Dhammapada says:

Quote
155. Those who in youth have not led the holy life, or have failed to acquire wealth, languish like old cranes in the pond without fish.

156. Those who in youth have not lead the holy life, or have failed to acquire wealth, lie sighing over the past, like worn out arrows (shot from) a bow.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.11.budd.html

It is proper for you to feel guilty about wasting money. If a later time comes and you think back to the wasted money you could have saved & wasted money you could have invested, you will feel a greater regret than your current guilt. This 'guilt' the Buddha called 'hiri-ottappa', which means 'sense of moral shame' and 'moral dread of bad consequences from bad deeds'. The Buddhist scriptures teach a person who is free from debt, who owns wealth & property and who has disposable income has material happiness or well-being, as follows:
Quote
There are these four kinds of bliss that can be attained in the proper season, on the proper occasions, by a householder partaking of sensuality. Which four? The bliss of having, the bliss of [making use of] wealth, the bliss of debtlessness, the bliss of blamelessness.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.062.than.html

The scriptures also teach the following about being prudent with & managing money:
Quote
With wealth acquired this way,
a layman fit for household life,
in four portions divides his wealth:
thus will he friendship win.

One portion for his wants he uses,
two portions on his business spends,
the fourth for times of need he keeps.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.31.0.nara.html

Since you do not carry on a business, the bulk of your wealth is for your investment in a home. (Note: Try to avoid property bubbles & buy in housing price dips that somehow reflects ordinary "affordability" of housing).

Myself, I saved for a home deposit (living with my parents) over four years. I also used a portion of my money on prudent well-researched investments. While I did not make a lot of money (due to the small portion of my savings I risked for investments), I paid off my modest home in 5 years. Not having a mortgage and not pay rent is ease. Not having enough money is stressful.

Regards & best wishes

 :)

dharma bum

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Re: Material/Money Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 01:12:41 AM »
Good advice from SPD and Nicky. I would just like to add that handling money wisely and skillfully is important and the fact that you feel some anxiety about it is a very good sign. I would suggest getting better understanding of finance, taxes, savings, investments etc and then you will feel less anxious.
Mostly ignorant

Middleway

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Re: Material/Money Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 03:51:34 AM »
If it interests you to learn finance, then by all means. But do not expect your problem will be solved by doing so. Looking out does not solve the problem. Looking in is the only way out! The only way to solve your problem is by doing root cause analysis. Why do you feel anxious?  Maybe be because of insecurity? Why do you feel insecure? Maybe you think the world is wild place and it is against you all the time? Is this feeling of defending yourself is arising because you love “to be” and think you are separate from the world?

What if there is no you i.e an entity independent from the world? Then all will be well. Your needs will be met. Just don’t have the wants. Wants arise because your are self aware. That is it’s nature. Just understand it and ignore.

Kindly,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Material/Money Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 11:28:07 AM »
It is all balance.

You can't afford to get caught up on material possessions, objects are only a means to an end. Don't get caught up on your appearance and shiny baubles.

But, also recognise the importance of making the most of your working time and aim towards financial self reliance.

However, don't forget to take the time to enjoy life. There's no use squirrelling and saving so you can retire at 65 only to realize your body is wrecked as well as your prostrate and zest for life.

Balance those 3.