A Reader Writes: Spending More Than You Have – Bitachon or Foolishness?


moneyDear Editor,

When a person spends more money than they have in their possession to spend on something and they say, “Hashem will send the money,” is this emunah or chutzpah (that Hashem must give you the money you think you need)?

When I grew up in the 70’s, out of town, the prevailing attitude was that if you don’t have the money for something, then you don’t buy it. It was as simple as that. It wasn’t, “I need it and therefore I will buy it and Hashem will send me the money.”

Were we lacking in bitachon back then or do people have more bitachon nowadays?

Many people spend above their means. However, I have seen, time after time, that Hashem does send them the money. Or perhaps real bitachon is believing that what Hashem has already sent you is all you really need. So which is it?



  1. One is not to rely on miracles-is a fundamental tenet of Yiddishkeit. Just as you don’t sit home all day and say “Hashem will send me food and pay my rent”, so are you not to spend more than you have.

  2. You can have bitachon that Hash-m will provide for your NEEDS, but the, “I need it, therefore I’ll buy it” attitude is simply self indulgence. Saying that Hash-m will take care of you is just trying to sound “frum.” Is it proper bitachon that Hash-m will reimburse people for their lavish simchos, vacations, designer clothing, fancy cars, etc…?
    I don’t see real question here.

  3. Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach explained that the bitachon of Shabbos paying you back is for necessities, not over-the-top fancy Shabbos purchases.

  4. The Bach points out that since a person’s income is fixed from one Rosh Hashana to the next he therefore should only spend for his neccesities lest he diminish his share before the year is over and he may die of hunger.
    Can anyone really be so sure that he was allotted enough for all the luxuries that he desires?

  5. I think that is too general a question. There is a question that is not asked too often, but generally most of the people with the largest families are in klei kodesh jobs with lower incomes. Yet, that is something they do not budget. To have a large family, with all its expenses is something one does have bitachon for since it’s doing Hashem’s will.
    People marry off their children and have children in kollel, even if there is not money to.
    Things that are l’sheim Shamayim, probably are considered bitachon. But definitely buying a Lexus instead of a Chevy if there is no $ is not considered bitachon.
    Living up to the Cohen’s is not bitachon either.
    But when in doubt, as your LOR (local Orthodox Rabbi) for hadracha!

  6. Bitachon does not mean that you trust that HKBH will send you money everytime you ‘need’ it; bitachon means that what HKBH gives you will be enough, even if it’s not such a large amount of money. And enough means for your real needs, not your wants.

  7. The odds are that if you have children in yeshivos you have no choice but to “live above your means”. Parents are asked to spend upward of 40-50% of their income on tuition. This means that everything else you have to spend on is extremely limited. If you have 5+ children to pay tuition for you also have to feed, them, clothe them, house them. All that costs money and for most parents it is virtually impossible not to live above your means.