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Living Within Your Means

Dry Bread
The message that King Solomon, wisest of all men who ever walked the face of the earth, is conveying is to live within your means, don't owe money to anyone and you'll sleep like a baby at night, even if the only thing you have for dinner is a glass of water and a dry piece of bread. On the other hand, those who live lavishly and throw the "Goodbye Columbus" and "Keeping up with the Goldbergs" weddings, drive fancy cars and live in fancy houses - yet they owe thousands (tens of, hundreds of, or more...) of dollars to everyone in town - don't have an ounce of inner peace. In the middle of their rib-steak dinners, creditors are phoning and texting nonstop. That's what King Solomon calls the "steaks of strife". Who needs that?

Hashem gives us everything we need to live within our means. When a person can't make ends meet, he or she should assess themselves as to whether they're spending money needlessly, buying things they don't need or just trying to keep up with the Jones's (or the Goldbergs). My esteemed and beloved teacher and spiritual guide Rav Shalom Arush says that thinking that Hashem will cover debts accumulated from living above one's means if false trust. The true manifestation of emuna is when we're pleased with our lot in life; that means living within our means.

Comments

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Shira

But not when it comes to husbands making their wives happy right? I forget exactly what it said in the "little green book", but somewhere along the lines of husbands are allowed to go into debt to make their wives happy?

And wasnt Rav Arush in a tremoundous amount of debt at some point in his life and Hashem cleared it for him?

Feivel

Thank you Rabbi Brody. What happens if you don't buy anything extravagant but have a normal house, help in the house for a part time working wife who is also BH expecting, 1 normal mini van, normal expenses including multiple tuitions, Camp clothes, and food and you are still going in debt by just trying to maintain a Frum life? BH I am paid well but we constantly have negative cash flow. Are there things to "tweak" I am sure but the reality is it wouldn't make a huge difference. Should we sell our house and cram into a small apartment but risk Shalom Bais etc. Maybe. We barely even go on vacations and if we do it's once a year free on points. We stay at home every Yom Tov BH. Bottom line is "I feel" my family is "normal" And I have no idea what to do. I would be grateful for your advice and guidance. It's a stress that is eating away at me and others I know.

Lazer Brody

Feivel, read "The Garden of Riches" - if you still have questions, write me again. Meanwhile, blessings for your parnassa. B'hatzlacha, LB

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