Thursday, December 17, 2015

Zen State of "Non-Buying"

Cutting the small stuff won't save enough money to make a difference. If you're middle-class and suddenly unemployed, eating bologna sandwiches and buying day-old fruit isn't going to make up even a fraction of your deficit. Yes, if you were really poor, then buying nothing but potatoes, Wonder Bread and peanut butter will make a difference but only because your base expenses (rent, insurance, schools, etc) are already low and your previous income wasn't that high.
I'm not putting down poor people, I'm just telling you to look at the reality of the situation and not fantasize about getting your hands dirty and cutting out every expense. Yeah, cut as much as you can before it takes all the joy out of life and then treat your family and yourself to a couple of little things. Dude, this could last a while and no one can keep up monk-like asceticism forever.
What you need to do is to reach a Zen-like state of "Non-Buying." You don't want to think about stopping yourself from buying that expensive item; you want to simply never even consider it. Your desires recede to the point where you don't want to buy anything, spend any money, even go into a mall makes your stomach ache.
Then, everything you actually do buy has to pass a higher level of critique:
• Do you really need it?
• Do you really need it NOW?
• Will it make you happy?
• Will it make you happy enough to be worth spending the money?
• Will it keep your family safe, warm, fed, etc?
• Will it make your family happy?
• Does your family really need it NOW.
• How happy do you or your family really need to be?
Keep in mind that you will have enough money again and you can buy pretty much everything you want then--don't suffer and deny yourself all pleasures, just defer them a little while. If you can sell this to your family, well, then you're a much better salesperson than I am but I know you can turn yourself into a Master of Zen Non-Buying amazingly fast once you're unemployed.