Saving money a sin?!


I came across this site with the imprimatur but it seems to say saving is sinful? That doesn’t sound right. Any ideas?

"Then I will say to myself: You have blessings in reserve for years to come. Relax! Eat heartily, drink well. Enjoy yourself. But God said to him, ‘You fool!’ " —Luke 12:19-20

Jesus said: “Avoid greed in all its forms” (Lk 12:15). Then Jesus called a man a “fool” because he was storing up his harvest to provide a “reserve for years to come” (see Lk 12:17-20).

It seems Jesus is opposed to savings and considers it a form of greed. This comes as a shock to us who were brought up with the idea that saving our money was a good, even virtuous, thing to do. Yet savings accounts, pensions, retirement funds, and even social security are more cultural than Christian.

In the Old Testament, Joseph saved for the seven-year famine (Gn 41:35-36), and we are told to imitate the ants who save up for winter (Prv 6:6-8). However, savings is not the main point of these passages, and they are superseded and fulfilled by the New Testament.

If we are to obey God’s word, it seems we must stop or at least severely curtail saving money, and live on a day-to-day basis (see Mt 6:33-34). This will immediately free up substantial amounts of money to feed the starving who won’t live till tomorrow if we don’t help them today.


No, saving money is not a sin. Hoarding money for no other reason than to live ‘fat and happy’ for the rest of your life…that, may be.

And this, from Fisheaters:

*Please know that the presence of an Imprimatur does not mean that a book is an official text of the Church. It doesn’t make the book the equivalent of an encyclical, say. It’s not the approval of the work by the Pope or a dogmatic Council, and it’s not a stamp of infallibility. It doesn’t even mean that everything in the book is accurate, only that there is nothing in it that contradicts Catholic dogma. But, while occasionally a book sneaks through and its Imprimatur later recalled, this procedure is an important way for Catholics to increase their chances of staying error-free with regard to doctrine. *


When an article fails the common sense test, ignore it. If we did not save for future misfortune we are not fulfilling our role as husbands and providers, or hard working wives who work, save, put aside, scrimp all for their families.
If I spent everything I earned on a daily basis feeding the poor who may not be there tomorrow if I don’t, then it will only take one accident; one bad investment; etc for me to be that poor man. I am not holding my breath for good churchmen to come to my aid.
Christianity is not for the hand wringing idealist, but the ordinary man and woman with ordinary families that need a wise budget and a careful and prudent saving plan to tide them over when the train derails, as it is wont to do at the very worst opportunity.


But be very careful about some of the other stuff on this website (Fisheaters) cited.


Jesus was God so I suppose He was right. But can you tell me, how parents are supposed to pay for the college education of their children if they did not save up the money for them?


Now that people are living much longer than they used to, it is mandatory for them to have something put away for retirement. Hospitals and dr. bills are expensive, even with Medicare. If they got sick later in life, who would pay their bills?

Also, saving is important for younger people who have kids. The fact is, having kids is expensive. They need food, shelter, clothing, and education. Many kids are in debt for college and their parents may not be able to help them.

The saints that lived as hermits in the desert were doing penance and devoting their lives to prayer. They gave up all their worldly goods and conveniences. They probably did without quite a bit, but that was their decision. They did not have any utility bills or housing expenses because they lived in caves and ate whatever they could find.

They also did not have anyone to support when they decided to be hermits.

So, if not having any money to fall back on seems virtuous, it won’t work in ordinary scenarios. No, saving money is not a sin. If you ever need anything and have nothing to pay for it with, you would have to do without it or rely on charity. How would that help the ones that need help if you are broke yourself?


Your question immediately reminded me of Jesus’ Parable of the Talents, in which the master gave 3 servants a particular sum of money to test their faithfulness.
(Mathew 25:14-30)

The master was very angry with the servant to whom he only gave the one Talent, because he had done nothing with it. And he told him, “you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest”

So, I think saving money shows wisdom, not sinfulness.


If you follow the money “experts” like Dave Ramsey or our own Phil Lenahan (who is/was a CAF moderator - Google Veritas Financial Ministry), you’ll find they all recommend prudent Christians/Catholics have a savings - but not without intentional giving built in to your overall financial plan. In other words, while you save, make sure you budget for charity and “tithing” (with some variable definitions of that word).

It’s only the absence of that latter part that makes saving hoarding.


Do Not Worry
6:25–33pp—Lk 12:22–31
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worryf about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.g Are you not much more valuable than they?h 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifee?i
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendorj was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?k 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.l 33 But seek first his kingdomm and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.n 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Savings as its done by many today in the modern world, is a sin, because it’s essentially about getting ahead of others and not trusting in God. Some sensible savings are in order, certainly, given social norms and what is to be rationally expected in a lifetime, and also saving with a valid goal in mind (like maybe to buy a car, form a retirement fund, deposit on a house or fund some education) but planning for a rich or luxurious retirement or to retire early (unless you have a valid reason, like disability) is a sin I think.


There is common sense to be had and based upon one’s situation.

If you have your abundance and are set for retirement and kids etc… perhaps you can begin to enter the greed side.

But also how does one plan good without means??

For instance say you feel called to help people afford housing by offering lower rent and individual compassion? I know a guy who has some rentals and he will discount if he knows someone in hard times, If a struggling tenant has a car problem this landlord has cut the cost of repairs out of the renter’s rent.

He can only do this because of his earlier savings, if not he would be renting along side the poor renters and the only landlords in existence would be the greedy types.


It sure better not be a sin. I read, within the past few months, that the Arch dieses of Chicago has a 1.7 billion (yes, billion) dollar investment account! To me, that seems a bit excessive though. :eek:


That doesn’t surprise me, as I would imagine the Archdiocese is very large and has a lot of expenses. Even an individual who modestly invests for their retirement can get to the $1,000,000 mark pretty quickly, and will still use most of it up during his or her lifetime. There may be some shock at seeing the number, but I’m sure they release financial reports (our diocese does as does our parish), and that number might not be as high as you think. Cemetery maintenance alone is very costly in our diocese.


If you are not frugal with YOUR spending, then you are not going to be able to give to The Church and to charities and to support the poor.

There are parts of the Old Testament that describe and define wisdom.



I have a feeling our definition of being ‘rich/ poor’, and saving/ hoarding, is going to be much different than Gods.

Our earthly lives were not meant to be easy or comfortable, actually I believe Jesus said it would be the complete opposite for Christians, maybe we are relying too much on ourselves and not God, no surprise though this is whats ‘normal’ in the world today. LOL


Your sense would be correct. It is not sinful to reasonably save money.


I find I difficult to believe you just “came across” this. It’s a 10 year old back issue of a relatively obscure publication.

I’ve posted to you before about your sensitive conscience. I would encourage you to refrain from seeking out these types of things without guidance from your pastor or spiritual director. If you want spiritual readings and reflections, let your pastor help pick something out for you that will not leave you troubled and confused.

An imprimatur is not a guarantee. This is a diocesan lay association approved in Cincinnati. It seems the diocese is giving them permission to print a monthly publication. I seriously doubt the bishop reads every word.

We have no idea who wrote this particular reflection nor their theological or scriptural credentials. They are trying to make a point about giving to the poor versus hoarding material possessions, but I think it is poorly made. They certainly overstate the case to call savings accounts a sin.

The Church doesn’t teach that at all.

Yes. Stop reading this website and obtain some spiritual reading in consultation with your pastor.

That’s pretty hilarious considering that dioceses have savings accounts, pension and retirement funds, and pay into social security for their employees. Parishes have savings accounts and capital funds for repairs and maintenance of buildings. There is NOTHING wrong with having savings.

The writer couches their reflection with qualifiers: “it seems”. Look, frankly the person writing this is out in left field.

Ignore it.

If you are troubled by something like this, please stop reading it and get guidance from your pastor.


Common sense is saving money for retirement so one doesn’t become a burden to children or the state; saving money for big ticket items like a house, cars, appliances, to avoid going into debt.

Spiritual common sense is not relying on that money 100%. It can be wiped out by a depression, medical bills, natural disasters, etc. Having money does not imply salvation or even a happy life. That is what I think Jesus was referring to.


i guess I was just wondering whats the difference between a prudent savings and hoarding. My husband and I did the retirement calculator and it says we would need 2 million saved to retire. That seems like a LOT of money. We do tithe and send our kids to Catholic schools but I still feel like thats not enough.

On the same topic I read a book by Fr. Dubay called “Happy are you poor” that seems to say that the old 10 percent tithe was abrogated and a Christian must “share to equality”. I do admit that caused me some anxiety because this was the first time I had heard this saying and what does this mean exactly. To me it seems to imply equality means tithing to 50 percent?! This whole time I had thought I was doing enough…


Again, sensitive conscience = talk to your pastor about these matters.

Fr. Dubay’s book is wonderful. But he is talking about the call to voluntary poverty. That is a specific calling, and not one most people receive. Fr. Dubay’s thoughts in “happy are the poor” cannot and should not be taken to mean everyone is called to radical poverty.

No, Catholics are not called to give 50% of everything to charity. We are called to continually discern our circumstances and be generous in time, talent and treasure. No one tells us what that is, dollar, time, or talent-wise. We discern.


I assume your local Bishop has not said for you to “tithe” 10%…

The Church does** NOT** require a tithe.

We are to give according to our means.

I would not recommend that book your mention to here in this question. Just set aside what that author said or did not say.

We are not required to give any particular percent…let alone 50%!

Use reason, prudence and other virtues to judge how much to give at this time to the Church and the poor…

Discuss your particular circumstances with a confessor or pastor…

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