You may not realize this, but the Buddha can help you with your finances. Through his teachings you can come to know thriftiness and ease with your money. How is this possible? Let me explain.
The greatest principle in my opinion that is at the heart of Buddhism is the idea that one must "suffer" in order to achieve enlightenment. I think the same could go for building wealth.
The Buddha grew up in a style that most of us could only dream of. He was catered to by servants for his every desire. Food, clothing, sex, drink, entertainment, it was all at his fingertips as soon as he wanted it. And yet he was still not satisfied. His desires could never be quenched.
Eventually he left the confines of his family's palace to the "real world" and discovered that suffering was all around him and he never knew it. Sickness, disease, old age, starvation, and death he all encountered for the first time. When I first read about Buddha and his embrace of "suffering" I was immediately turned off. I eventually found that there was simply a lost in translation moment, unless of course I still don't understand it. His suffering is more along the lines of deprivation. Being beat with a baseball bat is my definition of suffering, where as his would be more along the lines of abstinence from sexual intercourse. While not having sex sucks, I wouldn't consider it suffering. Go without coffee, now that is suffering!
So what does this have to do with money? Well for many the idea of delayed gratification in order to achieve wealth later on is their version of suffering. I used to date this liberal girl from an opposite coast who said something to me that struck a cord. I was in the process of evicting somebody from my house and I mentioned that I was going to turn off the cable in order to entice him to pay or leave. Her response, "Don't do that, why should you have to suffer also?". The sonuvabitch ended up getting cable when I left for a weekend behind my back. Dickhead!
Regardless, this was perceived as suffering. I didn't care, I don't particularly like tv. But it taught me an important lesson. People think that any sort of delayed gratification is a form of suffering. The slightest bit of which they can't tolerate. Well I'm here to tell you that you can't tolerate it and it'll make you a better person for it!
Suffering through delayed gratification will make your life better in the long run. You'll be more content since you'll eventually have less money worries, you'll discover that you don't need much of anything in order to be happy, and you'll discover that the less you have the stronger you are. That last one is the most important. Let me explain...
I've seen it happen at least half a dozen times where a person or a family hits hard financial times and they continue to live their lifestyle as if nothing had happened and they deplete their savings to the point of bankruptcy. It's incredibly sad to watch. Essentially what you have is a person who is so out of touch with reality that they can no longer live the way they once did. They NEED those creature comforts! They live in a world of delusion where the temporary change is seen as permanent and they quite simply can't deal with it. As a result it ruins them financially.
So what's the solution? Embrace financial suffering with reckless abandon! Delayed gratification makes you stronger, not weaker. Don't listen to the rest of society. The rest of society is broke! If you live a life of financial suffering and then the hard times hit, you'll never even know it.
Quit eating out, cut the cable, ride your bike, go to the library instead of the movies, take your lunch to work, contribute to your company retirement plan, pay off debt, shop at Goodwill, drive your car for at least 10 years, the list of "suffering" goes on and on and on. EMBRACE IT!