Can money play a spiritual role in your life?

Gugu Sidaki | 20 October 2023

Gugu Sidaki is an independent financial planner and co-founder of the financial planning and wealth management practice Wealth Creed. She holds the Certified Financial Planner accreditation and is an author and financial literacy enthusiast.

Money is a means to exchange and a measure of the value of most things in life. However, there may be an element to money that is often overlooked – the spiritual role of money.

Many people who have real, tangible financial struggles may have little capacity for something so intangible.

But if you have enough money to meet all your basic needs and an open mind, considering the spiritual role of money could change your reality.

Regardless of whether or not you are affiliated with any religion, when money is used for greater good, it creates a better society and that makes the world a better place in which to live.

In most religions, there are teachings about money and often very strong views too. Most of them have a few things in common that can help anyone of any faith, and even those without, make life better.


1.  Money must be earned honestly and responsibly

In the world we live in today, little emphasis is placed on ethics and integrity to the detriment of society.

If there are no morals or ethics in the way we make an income, anything goes. We see evidence of this in our country daily - serious reputational damage, criminal behaviour is prevalent, people are robbed of their rights and access to basic service delivery, and in extreme cases, lives are lost.

One religion takes this effect a step further suggesting that money not earned honestly will negatively affect the profitability of a business, the behaviour of offspring and future generations of the individuals concerned.

Whether you believe this to be true or not, we are witnessing how a degeneration of morals affects us all, regardless of our social standing, education or income tax brackets and we all need to participate in its eradication.


2. Money should be shared

The one thing many religions have in common is the principle of sharing, particularly with those less fortunate.

Without this sharing, similar to cases where some people choose not to earn an honest living, it becomes clear that everyone is affected - a lack of money in certain parts of society affects everyone and not just those who are lacking.

People who don’t have the means to buy food or provide a roof over their heads will eventually do what is necessary to improve their situation. This often means crime. And no amount of policing or private security will shield the rich if the crime is widespread.

Therefore, even if philanthropy is not high on your agenda for moral reasons, you may want to promote it and engage in it for more selfish reasons, particularly for self-preservation. A more equal society is a safer society for all of us.


3. Money is not the end itself, but should be a tool used for good

For some people, the act of accumulating money is in itself a target and end goal. Watching the zeros multiply in a bank account and achieving a certain net-worth is a major thrill for many people which we cannot question or judge.

However, it cannot just end there. We should not be accumulating money for the sake of it. Rather, money should enable us to craft the life of our dreams and improve our well-being - not just for ourselves but for society as a whole.  Read more: Planning your money around your life.

If you have a level of optimism and, regardless of your religious persuasion, believe things may turn out well, you should be willing to contribute to making that happen.

If you believe that everyone is entitled to food, a roof over their heads, a good education for the youth and a functioning society that looks after the environment, you probably want to make your own contribution towards this greater good, no matter how small that contribution may be. Read more: Can I use my investments to make the world a better place?

And just imagine, for one second, how incredible our country would be if we all shared the same vision and played our part in bringing this picture to life. If we all earned money ethically, shared what we earn with those less fortunate,and worked together to create a balanced and happy society, we’d live in utopia.