Everyone’s life has a basis in spirituality. Of course, that is a personal perspective and spirituality means a different thing to every person. I am not speaking about religion as much as I am about the concept of spirituality or the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than yourself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.
When I turn to financial life planning, I find that most money advice overlooks the spiritual side of financial health. But if you miss the spirituality of finances, you’ll miss the truth about money and possessions in your life.
Personally, I consider myself as a spiritual person. I am about to go through what I consider as a guide to spiritual financial wisdom. I ask that you think deeply about each step and read about specific ways you can apply these principles. In the end, you’ll have a personal financial life plan for keeping your spending and financial goals in spiritual alignment.
Pay for your future
Whether you’re planning for a rainy day, an emergency, or retirement, your income should help pay for your future. Get into the habit of setting a little aside each pay period. In time, you’ll find that saving is fun, and you’ll enjoy reaping the benefits of wisdom. With the future secure, you can be more tuned in to your day-to-day life and more at peace about the road ahead.
Reduce and recalibrate
How high is your cable bill? Do you need those daily lattes or magazine subscriptions that go mostly unread? Having too much stuff harms us spiritually because it inhibits rest, clarity, and peace. Take stock of your consumption habits and get rid of everything you can. Junk the clutter, and also consider removing expenses that you enjoy but do not absolutely need. Simplicity will free your mind and your wallet.
After you pay for your future and reduce your clutter, choose a new way to enjoy your money. It might be something small or a dream you’ve long delayed. Enjoying the fruits of your labor is spiritual: it helps you appreciate the ebb and flow of work and play in your life. Self-sacrifice is essential to spiritual health, but so is self-acceptance and celebration. Buying yourself that special something can help you strike a balance between abundance and asceticism.
Random acts of financial kindness
Don’t wait for Christmas to buy your husband a new fishing rod or to take your best friend out to her favourite restaurant. Generosity will lift your spirit and give you a new appreciation for the purpose of money. Use your finances to surprise other people and love them in random, generous ways. It may mean holding off on your other spending, but you’ll love what happens inside you as you give to the people you love.
Love your enemy
Maybe you don’t have any enemies, but chances are you have a co-worker whose office habits annoy you, a neighbor who uses your sidewalk as an extra driveway, or a friend who hasn’t been so friendly. Find those in your life who haven’t been a blessing to you and bless them. Send flowers, movie passes or free coffee coupons. Consider keeping it anonymous. Even if they don’t change their ways, you will find that spending money on them changes your feelings toward them.
Teach your children
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is knowledge about finances. In my mind, this is one of the most important things your can do for your family. If they have a proper relationship with material things, they will be more empowered to develop a whole, healthy sense of themselves. Teach your children that money and possessions cannot make them complete. But if they are complete within themselves, they will be less likely to chase after money or spend it unwisely. Help them learn from your own financial successes and failures, and model for them careful saving, patient spending, giving to others, and planning for the future. Show them that money is not life’s purpose, but a healthy appreciation for money is essential to living with purpose.
Serve The World
You cannot open the daily paper, turn on the television, or go online without hearing about some great need in the world. With so many important causes like the fights against poverty and disease, disaster recovery, research in new fields of knowledge, or the arts. It can seem impossible to make a big difference. But if you want to be spiritual in your finances, take a few minutes and consider the causes that are closest to your heart, then find ways you can donate to them on a regular basis.
Spirituality encourages people to have better relationships with themselves, others, and the unknown. Spirituality can help you deal with stress by giving you a sense of peace, purpose, and forgiveness. It often becomes more important in times of emotional stress or illness.
A spiritual purpose is about establishing a set of values, principles and beliefs that give life meaning to you, and then using them to guide the decisions and actions you take such as financially. Finding a spiritual purpose first in life is the opposite approach than what is taken by many people. It’s the path that leads to Keeping Life Current.