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Is it okay to save money, asset for the future financial security for a person with family following the Buddhist Path? There is always this dilemma in making financial decisions based on the Path and security for future. How to go about it?

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  • Why would saving or securing one's future be not in line with the path?
    – Motivated
    Nov 12 '15 at 6:28
  • how much should one accumulate wealth? if from saving , I invest in share market, and make windfall gain and again reinvest. Wouldn't this cycle create craving which in turn cause suffering!
    – user5256
    Nov 12 '15 at 7:03
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The wise endowed with virtue shine forth like a burning fire, gathering wealth as bees do honey and heaping it up like an ant hill. Once wealth is accumulated, family and household life may follow.

By dividing wealth into four parts, true friendships are bound; One part should be enjoyed; Two parts invested in business; And the fourth set aside against future misfortunes." - Singalovada Sutta

This kind of dilemmas can occur when you confuse lay life with monk's life.

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The Dighajanu Sutta discusses how to maintain one's livelihood in tune:

"And what does it mean to maintain one's livelihood in tune? There is the case where a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' Just as when a weigher or his apprentice, when holding the scales, knows, 'It has tipped down so much or has tipped up so much,' in the same way, the lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.'

"These are the four drains on one's store of wealth: debauchery in sex; debauchery in drink; debauchery in gambling; and evil friendship, evil companionship, evil camaraderie. Just as if there were a great reservoir with four inlets and four drains, and a man were to close the inlets and open the drains, and the sky were not to pour down proper showers, the depletion of that great reservoir could be expected, not its increase.

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There is nothing wrong with saving money to support your family.

The premise about money and particularly capitalism that conflicts most with buddhism is that money tends to be gained from the suffering of others. For the most part, the economy is made from need - which implies suffering.

Think of what is needed to build a skyscraper. The metal for the core of the structure comes from mines, the wood from trees and possibly the labour from people who would rather do something else over slaving away so they can 'live'. If each of these things was pulled apart further the mine and the wood took habitats away from species, not to mention the trees are sentient to a degree as well...

We are all learning and all have to minimise the suffering imposed on ourselves so that we don't cause suffering for others. Making money is a necessity for most cultures and in order keep kicking we have to adjust to the society we live in. If your ideals lean towards limiting the impact of suffering on others, thinking sustainable is the same thing.

Cultivate in harmony

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