How to stop worrying about money

I’ve been reading Buddhist books, mainly because I found two on my daily walks. Since I don’t bring my mobile phone out with me anymore, I read these books on the train. 

This is my first real introduction to Buddhism. When I’m not reading, I’m contemplating its teachings. 

When I started Freegan living, I noticed a few significant changes in me. First, and very importantly, I no longer worried about money. 

Money worries have plagued me for years. That’s one of the reasons I became a financial planner. I reasoned that if I knew more about how to manage my money, my money worries would disappear. 

It didn’t. 

I could have the best laid out plans and take action on them, but I still worried about not having enough money. Financial planning is important, yes, and it does help ease worries somewhat, but not totally. 

Freegan living, however, does. Because when you become less dependant on the money economy, you naturally worry a lot less about it. 

There’s another reason why. When you live as a Freegan, you often end up with so much stuff that you have to give it away. And you give them away generously. 

When we buy things with our money, it’s more precious. We use them until they almost cannot be used, then we give them away. 

But when you’ve obtained stuff for free, the emotional attachment is not there. You give freely. I’ve given away handbags from Prada, Coach, Burberry, Calvin Klein, and so much more, because they all cost the same to me – free. 

I’ve found that the more I give, the less I want. And the less I want, the happier I become. 

This was what Buddha discovered 2500 years ago. Specifically:

  1. Life is full of dissatisfaction. 
  2. One of the causes of dissatisfaction is wants. 
  3. The remedy for wants is generosity. 

It’s not good enough to suppress your wants, as that will still make you feel miserable. It is better to be generous. By doing so, the wants disappear. 

And when the wants disappear, the money worries go with it. 

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