Money and finance have taken control over our lives to such an extent that many people find it very difficult to understand basic aspects like mortgages, pensions and savings. Bills are flooding our basic costs of living.
There are often hidden charges and commissions, and interest rates get compounded to increase the cost of our borrowing often when times are already very hard. Increasing rents mean bad news for young people trying to get onto the property ladder – they have less and less savings for the deposit on their own home. Our lives are increasingly becoming enslaved by finance and its power.
While the rich get richer, the poor keep sliding deeper into debt and poverty, breaking up marriages and families along the way. Britain is entering a period of “stagflation” when we have a combination of economic decline and rising prices and cost of living. Jobs are becoming uncertain and insecure. The noose around our finances is tightening and we need help from wider family and relatives simply to stay afloat. Homelessness too is on the rise, increasing fear and vulnerability especially for women and young children. Britain is no longer the land of hope and opportunity.
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It is very important that we all improve our financial understanding, spend and save wisely and keep our jobs. Sadly, this is a modern reality – finance directly affects our health and wellbeing. At home we need to find ways of saving on childcare, on unnecessary spending, and instead choose local breaks, nature walks and communities for our welfare and support. For those of us who are wealthy, this is the time to share and care, rather than grow in selfishness and insecurity. As a community we need to think of new institutions like social housing for young people and community banks to help people in tough times.
Vulnerable families find it very difficult to ask for help, but leaders, philanthropists and professionals need to offer a helping hand where necessary. Sometimes simple guidance on mortgages, saving and budgeting can be enough. We can open our own credit unions to give that early borrower support, especially to young people. Banks have become far too greedy to care.
Dharma elevates us to care and share – now is the time to act, and help others to build lasting communities.
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