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We all can learn a thing or two from the principles of Zen. There are several Zen concepts which you can apply to your behaviors and attitudes when it comes to money. They can help you examine the way you live with money and how you use money. The following Zen concepts can also give you a fresh new perspective about investing, saving, and spending.

Zen Rock Balance

Do not easily give in to your wants and desires

According to Zen philosophy, the most common cause of your unhappiness stems from your inability to get something that you want. When you see a short clip online featuring a beautiful island destination that will be a perfect getaway for next summer, you instantly start imagining how gorgeous your photos will be, how lovely it will feel to wake up to that stunning ocean view, or how relaxing it will feel to dip your toes in the sand. However, when you realize that you cannot actually afford this vacation, or your office workload just won’t permit it, you can’t help but be disappointed, bitter, demotivated, or resentful.

To avoid having all these negative feelings, you need to understand why you want the things you want. You need to determine whether it’s a need or a want. You should not give in to wants because the feeling of wanting something so bad can disappear as soon as you give in to the feeling. That’s why they’re called wants, because you don’t necessarily have to have them to survive. So before you make that purchase and swipe that cash back credit card, make sure that you are buying something because you need it and not just because you want it.

Focus on the present

When it comes to Zen philosophy, it’s important that you focus on the now. Concentrate on the things that are happening in your life today so you can better plan and prepare for your future. When you’re going through a financial crisis, it’s best to approach the stressful situation by staying present. This will allow you to see the problem clearly and come up with good strategies. Instead of selling all your assets and cashing in all of your investments, think of ways to remedy the situation that will not affect your future.

Shizen: Be honest about your money

The Zen concept of shizen urges you to be honest about your financial situation and how much money you really have. Live within your means and to stop pretending to be someone that you’re not. You should buy things only if you can afford them, and only if you truly need them.

Just because you have a credit card doesn’t mean that you should shop like a millionaire and spend the rest of your days paying off your debts. Shizen doesn’t want you to keep up with the Joneses. Shizen encourages you to be true to yourself and spend only the money that you actually have.

Koko: Concentrate on the bare essentials

This Zen concept highlights the need for sparsity and frugality. In essence, you should only buy things that you truly need and serve a functional purpose. Only add the essentials and do away with the rest. In a practical setting, it asks you why you need to have three sets of TV for the three rooms in your house when you can have one in the room that you share with the rest of the household. If you remove the excesses and stick to the essentials, just think about how much money you will be able to save. By removing the luxuries and the extras, you are allowing yourself to save more money that can be used for more beneficial things.


This article is contributed by iMoney, the leading financial comparison website in the Philippines. Our primary goal is to provide users with current and relevant information regarding various financial products available in the market. We want our viewers to have easy online access to the right information, to aid them in their decision of getting the best product for their needs.

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